Pinnacles National Park, CA

9:00 pm 21Apr17 I’m doing this editing offline in my tent. When it shows up on the site, I will have already left the Pinnacles.

I felt much better today. Google showed the Pinnacles, my destination for the day, as being 58 miles away. A little further than planned, but all right. There was no coffeemaker in the room, but there was a microwave, so I made some nescafe that I had brought along. I filled my water jug. 8 extra pounds of weight, but at least I wouldn’t run out. I also wrapped up the sleeping bag and tent like a package in the tarp, hoping that would help them not to slip out as I rode. Learning from experience.

I left the motel at maybe 8:30, had a gas station breakfast (an outrageous $2 for a danish), and while sitting at the table, met Walter from Santa Clara County services. He and his colleague Paul (? I think) run a mobile medical van that does needle exchanges and screenings. These were the first cards I handed out on the road.

Highway 25 is pretty good, with wide shoulders from Morgan Hill to Hollister.

important reminder

The first priority in Hollister was to get replacement bike tubes. Google pointed me to Off the Chain bike shop. Robin, the super-friendly owner, came out to welcome me. She and her husband Brian Lucas own the shop. I spent time chatting with them, and Brian told me about how he had ridden in the desert when he was younger. They each took a gallon of water, but rode at like 4:30 in the morning, found shade at mid-day, then resumed in late afternoon. Brian lent me his shoes so I could walk to the nearby Lucky, where I got 3 bananas, 6 bagels, and a full size dry salami. I also got a replacement emergency meal at the Big 5 next door.

bike shop owners
L to R: Robin, me, Brian at Off the Chain bike shop in Hollister. Besides getting 2 more inner tubes, I got a new pair of cycling shorts, with intact padding. Brian gave me a discount, which made the tubes basically free.
at off the chain
L – R: Robin, Gordon, Brian

Back at the bike shop where I had left my bike, I peeled one of the bananas, It was crushed and brown inside, but I ate it anyway.

Robin's crafts
Robin gave me a business card holder, She crafts items out of old inner tubes. Completely waterproof. Just what I need to hold my calling cards.
Hollister BK
A little down the road, I saw a Burger King, so stopped for lunch. Clay, this is in honor of our lunches.
no services
In spite of this sign, there actually are services, just no gas. There was a small store in Tres Pinos, and another beyond that. I didn’t stop, as I was packed in anticipation of no refueling.
Lots of sun. Good thing I’m screening up every day. I stopped under a shady tree for a banana. This one was firmer than the first one

The last few miles before the downhill into the Pinnacles were daunting. I had to unclip, and stop on the hill to rest. Something I didn’t do even once on the TransAmerica trail when young. In fact, I never even used the granny gear until Hoosier Pass. But now I know why they call it a granny. Because I’m a senior citizen, and need it.

campground full
This often doesn’t apply to cyclists or people on foot.  But in fact, there was no hiker-biker area.
After surveying a bunch of sites, I decided to ask Roy and Rita Romel whether I could pitch a tent on the edge of their space. They were in an RV, without a tent. They said sure, and wouldn’t take a dime.
This is Rita. Roy is holding the camera. They are both world travelers, having visited Thailand, South America, and too many other places to remember. They have a blog at
new shorts
I decided to just pitch the old pair of shorts in the background. That’s the last banana in my hand.
pinnacles dinner
This is my dinner, and tomorrow’s breakfast and lunch. I finished all the bananas already No cramps on the road, maybe it helped. I cut up the salami into slices, so it will be ready to eat tomorrow.

It’s now 9:30 pm, my teeth are brushed, and I’m going to turn in. 78 miles to San Miguel tomorrow, no services.

Miles: 57.0

(Visited 138 times, 1 visit(s) today)
  1. That first picture looks hot… and those food rations look skimpy…

    I’ve been to Pinnacles maybe three times now, all before it became a National Park. The last time was back in 2011, just after Fukushima, when dear daughter was home on break and we went down there to hike. The hills were all green, and in the park (at that time I think it was a National Monument) we kept splashing over (or through) little creek-like rivulets. It was a lovely day, perfect weather for hiking, and the rain didn’t start up again until we were driving home.

    I keep meaning to go back there, but now we’re getting into allergy season…

    1. It wasn’t too hot, as there was a light breeze. The killer was the hills. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to hike around Pinnacles. Just camped for the night, and left the next day out of necessity (only had enough food to last another day).

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