Day 25 – Friday March 24, 2017
Miles – 6 (unloaded)
End – Veteran’s Memorial Park, Monterey, CA
Day 26 – Saturday March 25, 2017
Miles – 0
End – Veteran’s Memorial Park, Monterey, CA
Day 27 – Sunday March 26, 2017
Miles – 39
End – Sunset State Beach, Watsonville, CA
Veteran’s Memorial Park was a strange place for us. A bit scary for me actually. By the time we left I realized that it was not a generally scary place, but we had some poor experiences. Our first night there, (a Thursday night, mind you) there were a couple of people high out of their minds, wandering around the hike/bike campsites and the bathroom which sits at an edge of the park. After dark while I was cooking dinner in the cold and damp, a woman came up to our picnic table while Jake was in the bathroom. She had no flashlight nd was wearing short shorts, a tight T shirt and flip flops. I was wearing my hat, my fleece, with a hood with wool socks and gloves and I felt pretty chilly. I said, “Hi there, what do you need?” and she went on and on about needing to find her 17-year-old daughter’s contact lenses or else she was going to be mad. “The funny thing is, she’s Hawaiian,” she noted. And she rummaged around our campsite for a while. She and two companions hung out in and by the bathrooms until 3 am. She mocked a woman who was speaking Chinese to her face by blathering weird noises. A man lurked in the shadows of the men’s side of the bathroom who seemed to be with them, but didn’t speak a word. I was on edge this night.
The night was made worse when a racoon ATTACKED OUR TENT! It was so scary. I had left a bag of trail mix OPEN in my OPEN handlebar bag in the tent at my feet, instead of in the racoon-proof food box. Lesson definitely learned. After sniffing around, it scratched and bit at the tent wall by my feet and didn’t go away with our shouts and my kicking the tent wall. It fled finally when we turned our headlamp on. Monte was totally unaware that anything bad was happening. He did not get alarmed at all. I fixed the holes the racoon made in the tent the next day with rip stop repair tape that we had the foresight to pack with us.
And so with a poor night’s sleep behind us we got ready to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It rained a bit that day so we had to pack everything up. We put valuables in rental lockers that were provided by the bathrooms. We hadn’t done that before on this trip, but then again, we hadn’t yet had them provided and we hadn’t yet had a high person rummage through our campsite in the dark. I figured that those two things may not be a coincidence. We dropped Monte off at doggy day care by the Aquarium. They kept our trailer inside while we were out which was very nice of them.
The Aquarium was great. Beautifully curated tanks and exhibits. The aquarium itself is at an exquisite location. We went into a bar for a beer afterwards which is not something we had the luxury of doing until then because Monte has been by our side all the time.
It was forecasted to rain lightly but steadily through the night so we put up the tarp to cook under. We were a bit excited because that meant a break from loud people and raccoons nosing around our tent. We were looking forward to a good night’s sleep…
Just as forecasted, it rained steadily until about two or three in the morning. And then the unthinkable happened. The rain let up and a party erupted! At least four people, men and women, were telling and screaming and talking loudly. There were banging sounds too. I didn’t understand them because they weren’t speaking english. The sounds were revelling in nature, but it felt threatening because who in god’s name would be so f$@&ing loud at this time at this place! The sounds seemed to be travelling closer and farther away. In my half awake state, I thought maybe it was a local gang of kids making trouble in the neighborhood on bikes. But in the morning with clear mind I realized that they must have just piled into the car and drove to and from the bathroom with the windows down.
I couldn’t sleep and I had to go to the bathroom, so I got dressed and walked over. As I’m coming back I spot some light through the trees. There they are. They have a fire, and are shooting off fireworks and lighting sparklers! This makes me a bit less scared knowing that the noise is coming from inconsiderate campers and not a kid bicycle gang. They were up for an hour or so. And the rain started up again and we could finally go back to sleep.
We spent the day drying out and organizing our stuff. Rain soaked through the bottom of the tent overnight, which isn’t supposed to happen. We had wanted to take a day ride down to Point Lobos to check it out, but at the last minute we learned that dogs are not allowed in the park at all, not even on a leash. In the early evening we walked down to town and got some mexican food and groceries. The campsite manager had kicked out the loud group at 7 am. Even though he didn’t hear them himself, he said that he could tell that something bad had happened just by looking at their campsite.
Our last night there was as uneventful as we hoped and we got a pretty good night’s sleep and an early start for our long ride.