Another foggy start but not for long. Brian, our leader, had bike problems so had to drop back to bike #2, which is quite a bit heavier. I was ok with anything that made his ride more difficult. He and his wife Deb are both attorneys who had a practice in CA but quit the business while maintaining their license, to start up the bike touring company. They now live in Utah and run a number of century, double century, tours and races.
We got out on to Santa Rosa Road again, headed west and the fog lifted as usual. Wayne, the guy in the rear, is a prison guard at a max security prison. He told me some good stories and it helps me better understand why I should not end up in prison. He also always carries a blunt instrument with him so he can kill bad people when it becomes necessary. This helped me better understand why I should continue to be a good person, at least around Wayne.
We passed a large grove of what I think are pecan trees. Made it to the 101, turned left and reached Jalama Road. The next 12 miles are a freakin grind with a difficult 2 mile climb that is steep followed by others that are also steep but eventually...
....a glorious descent to the ocean and a state park that contains a market that serves the world famous Jalama burger. It don't get no better than this. Not even a Bladensburg pancake can approach the taste of a Jalalma burger.
So far, the day had been sunny with high clouds. Temperatures were lower by the coast but as we climbed out, it was 70ish degrees with light winds.
I reached the top of the hardest of the various cllimbs coming out of the coast and noticed a whif of smoke to my left. I looked back to see if there was a fire but no. I was instead staring into an oncoming cloud, exactly at eye level. Very cool except at that moment, the winds picked up dramatically, the tempersature dropped at least 10 degrees and it began....
....to get a lot darker. The clouds whipped past me, it became very dark and then started to rain. I stopped riding and pulled my jacket from my pocket and as I struggled to put it on, buffeted by the wind, I looked back. WOW! I was staring into the middle of a mass of black clouds, the wind was now howling, raining and very cold. I wanted to stay and experience what was a unique phenomenon for me but cars coming from the beach may not see me so I shoved off and screamed down a long descent. Somewhere in there I passed a large snake, coiled and looking for Ohio steak but I avoided it. Also saw a large fox trot across the road but finally reached the 101. Each of us had our own version of what we saw on the ride out, ranging from a snake covered in blood to one ready to strike. I swear I barely made it out alive but maybe that snake was not coiled after thinking about it.
I folded in behind the tandem, on Santa Rosa Road back to Buelton and then passed an ostrich farm. More than 20 of them roamed around the farm. I'm pretty sure I know what the two on the left are doing but not sure what the dude on the right is doing. Either just watching or waiting his turn. Well, that's the end of a 75 mile ride with 4900' of climbing. I arrived back at the hotel soaked from the rain and perspiration and shivering. Oh oh.....