Day 227

Oxnard, CA to El Capitan State Beach, CA

Oxnard is agricultural land, then labor housing, then a huge wealthy community of moored boats. Here I can find no breakfast, and I have to pee by the road out of desperation. In Ventura there is food, and to the north are a couple of rising coastal ridges that must be the mountains Wes mentioned outside his hometown.

There is nice riding on small roads, wide shoulders, then bike paths as I near Santa Barbara. The vegetation becomes lush and green, like San Diego again. I abandon my maps and follow bike signs. They lead me to views of the bay, nice neighborhoods, a small lake, and then the wharf. I ride out onto the pier, look for whales, examine the anchored naval ships, and have some fish and chips. To the north the Santa Ynez mountains rise up, green at the bottom, dry up high. I call Capn Bill to share my bliss with a friend.

Riding inland through homey little neighborhoods, I follow bike signs again out through suburbs. I crave coffee and ice cream, but find no supply for this demand. There is some cycling event going on, lots of lycra-wrapped riders are zipping around. None stop to talk.

El Capitan Campsite

I get out on 101 again and civilization vanishes. Fields and drainages stretch to beaches left, gentle hills watch over me on the right. I stop to camp at El Capitan State Beach, where the bike site perches over the ocean far away from the other campers. It’s a long haul to the bathrooms, though. I walk it, hoping to find someone to chat with, but everyone keeps to themselves. The wind comes up and eventually sings me to sleep.

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