"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." - Jacques Cousteau.
Favorite motorcycle rides are precious, and for me, the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) along some of California's most rugged and beautiful coastlines is it—Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, San Simeon, and Morro Rock. A buck-list-ride to be treasured.
I've never camped here before but it is a perfect spot to stop for the night after leaving Three Rivers, CA as I head for Monterey. There are twelve primitive camping sites at Los Banos Creek Reservoir State Park just off Highway 152. Site number 12 sits near the lake and appears to be a quiet spot.
There is no cell reception. I hike up the ridge some 100 yards to see if there is a signal. There are two bars. Later, I would climb this ridge many times for the signal to send messages across the airwaves to Denise.
|Campsite No. 12 at Los Banos Creek Reservoir State Park.
I'm not a dog lover but his sad eyes tell me that he is hungry as he slowly walks with his head down towards my campsite. I had seen him earlier licking a piece of discarded paper that must have had the scent of food still on it. I offer him a granola bar and it is gone within seconds. The hollow stare pleads for more. In my saddlebag, there are two cans of sardines meant for lunch. It is an easy decision. He licked the oil with gusto and then feasted on the sardines. Satisfied, he laid down and the hungry glare was gone. I later saw him chasing a dove and then a squirrel with renewed energy.
The moon is peeking at me as I start a fire for company. The splash of a fish in the lake catching a tasty fly breaks the silence. I'm unsure why, but cell reception pops up and I talk with Denise.
Tomorrow, I'm off for Monterey and the infamous Bixby Bridge.
|Los Banos Creek Reservoir.
ON TO THE BIXBY BRIDGE
The curves come quickly. The ocean breeze hangs over the ocean like a soft blanket. My bike leans left, right, then left again. All in perfect rhythm. The view towards the ocean is mesmerizing.
|Pacific Coast Highway.
There have been major repairs along the Pacific Highway south of Big Sur. I begin to frequently see other bikers, a sight that never gets old. The Bixby Bridge is a must-stop for pictures. If you walk across the road to the east, you'll be rewarded with unique bridge vistas.
I stay here for a good hour absorbing the moment before continuing south on towards San Simeon. I stop frequently at overlooks and gaze out to sea.
|Historic Bixby Bridge est. 1932.
|View of the Bixby Bridge across the road to the east.
|Incredible views continually stop me.
|Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.
|The ocean views are mesmerizing.
|Hearst Castle is nearby.
Off to San Simeon State Park, Washburn Campground.
|Sea Lions are a must.
|Morro Bay at sunset.