My breath came in short bursts as I pedaled through the California landscape. The sky was a brilliant blue, and the clouds up ahead beckoned to my final destination for the day: San Ellijo State Park.
"Hi there, I'm here for a hiker/biker site, please."
I had pulled up to the main gate, and was face to face with a polite employee handing out tickets. After paying $10, she pointed to my campsite on a map.
"You're all the way on the far side of camp, just follow this road till you can't go anymore."
My experience with most hiker/biker sites along the coast has consisted of a tree and a small chunk of grassland to sleep on, so I wasn't expecting much when I rode along the road to my campsite. Needless to say, if I was wearing socks, they would have been blown off.
I got so stoked with the view, that I ran out to the ocean to let the salt soak my muscles. Heading back to the beach, I ended up stepping on a stingray.
It was my first time experiencing this sea creature's painful sting, and I hobbled up to the lifeguard station in need of assistance.
"Hey there, so sorry to bother you, but I think I stepped on a stingray. "
"No worries man, I'll get you one of our other lifeguards to help you out, as I can't leave this tower. We'll get some hot water on that for ya!"
"First time with a Stingray?"
"Yeah dude. It was crazy, felt like I was stepping on a fish bear trap -- if that makes sense."
I talked with the lifeguard helping me out, and after playing some ukulele he invited me to a party the next day.
"We're just gonna hang out, you're more than welcome to crash with us for the night. We host couch surfers all the time!"
"Sick, I'll make pancakes!"
Heading to Venice to meet a friend from Pennsylvania, Danielle.
Headed to Carpenteria State Beach, storm clouds up ahead.
New post coming soon...