Bako to Paso
In order to avoid the scary Bakersfield traffic we got started at first light. We had cut day 44 about 25-30 miles short so we knew it was going to be another century day to get back on track. No prob, it was our final full day of riding.
I google mapped out an alternate route which took us off the highway around the city. It was a lovely road called Olive Way, with (what do you reckon?) olive trees lining the street. We went through a nicer part of Bako…I hope this is the part my girl Cindy lived in many years ago.
We stopped at a gas station about 20mi in and the little cashier lady was very impressed with our story. She said “So that’s why you have big thighs, not little chicken legs like me!”. She sincerely meant it as a compliment and I thought that was nice. Damn straight I got leg muscles, and proud of em!
We went through almond fields and shelling factories. There were pyramids of almonds…not quite as big as Egyptian ones, but as big as an Arlington house.
We also passed a massive, cluttered oil field just packed with small rigs. Some were pumping and some were still. They reminded me of the office toy that looks like a bird bobbing it’s head to drink water.
Out next stop was at James Dean’s Last Stop convenience store. It was literally the last place he stopped before he died in the race car accident. Jacob bought garlic almonds and dried mangoes. A man from Santa Cruz asked us all about our trip and offered to host us. Wrong direction, but maybe next time.
We took route 46 all the way to Paso Robles. It turned into a semi-busy highway and a man in a huge red van pulled over and flagged us down. “Stoooop! You guys need a ride? Where are you headed?”
“Nah, were just going to Paso tonight but biking across the country”. He didn’t understand and looked at us like we were nuts. (we were used to that look by this point) “But…you know you’re on the highway, right? The highway!!!!”
We passed Jack Ranch and I took a picture of the sign in honor of granddad.
The terrain got hilly, beautiful, and filled with wineries. That told me we were getting close to my aunt Joey’s house.
We got to Paso well before dark and ate at jack in the box. We found zero campgrounds in the area and opted to lodge at the motel 6. We rode almost 110 miles in 9 hours, including breaks. This biking stuff isn’t so hard! I’m allowed to say that on the last big day, right?