Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Beach time....


7:18 am - PDST - Tuesday - 44º F, humidity 81% (heavy dew this morning), wind 5 mph out of the east......clear blue skies greet us this morning....the lack of cloud cover/marine layer makes it much colder this morning!  Forecast high for today is 66º F.

I noticed while looking at the 'BIKE MAP' picture I took Sunday, which I posted in my blog, that Ocean Ave., the street on which the Lompoc Elks Lodge is situated, continues all the way to the ocean......almost exactly 10 miles distant.  I've been looking for a ride that would total out at 20 miles and this seemed to be just the ticket, however, first thing Monday it was still in the low 50's with low hanging clouds so I decided to wait until later in the morning for such an ambitious ride.

As you might recall I have been slowly replacing all the old, worn out weather stripping on all the storage bay doors so I thought I would spent an hour, or so doing some more of the doors whilst I waited for warmer riding conditions.  I managed to get three more doors done before the call of the road beckoned me to get ready to ride.

Another door done!

I headed out on my 20+ mile ride around 11:15 and within a few minutes had escaped gravitational pull of Lompoc by heading due west on Ocean Ave. to Ocean Park.....I was pleasantly surprised to find this road had a wide shoulder and some of the best pavement on which I have ridden in a long, long time.  There was a slight head wind, but nothing too discouraging....the thing to remember when you are doing an out and back ride, and you hit a headwind on the way out......you will almost always have a tailwind on the way back.  I averaged about 13.4 mph on the way out and arrived at Ocean Park to find it shrouded in mist....there is a children's playground, a large parking lot, and a very nice bathroom of which I availed myself before beginning the return leg of my ride.....

......on the way out I passed the entrance to the famous Vandenberg Air Force Base, so I snapped a picture for posterity's sake.....

.......on the way back the tailwind kicked in and at times I was pounding out 25 mph, but settled in at 23 mph for most of the 10 mile return ride......sweet!  As I pulled into the Elks Lodge my mileage read 20.5 miles in 1 hour and 19 minutes with an average speed of 15.5 mph, and 1271 calories burned into oblivion......

When I made the turn into Ocean Park I noted there was a sign indicating an AMTRAK station and a place called Vandenberg Surf Beach  was another mile, or so further on if I had continued on Ocean Ave. to its terminus so later in the afternoon TLE and I took a bottle of Pinot, a couple of beach towels and ourselves out to see what was there, and what a pleasant surprise it was.....naturally, since most of the ocean front along this stretch of California coastline is military property there are a lot of restrictions about using the beach, and there is fencing at each end of the surf beach blocking your way north, or south......in all there is probably 1/8th of a mile of public beach, but that is all one needs, right?

You have to walk through the AMTRAK station and across the tracks to get to the surf beach

......we found a nice spot up on a sand bluff, spread our beach towels, and opened the bottle of Pinot.......we sat quietly talking about our summer plans as the marine layer rolled in and out continuously for the 2 hours we were there......we pretty much had the beach to ourselves......

 If you look carefully you can see the AMTRAK station in the background

.....one of the things we missed by not getting a spot on Rincon Parkway was being able to walk on the beach every day.....with this cool discovery we can take a 10 minute drive and get our beach fix........

.......and, of course, we did indeed walk on the beach...............you can almost make out the fence marking the end of the public beach in the distance......

The sun came out occasionally and I loved how it seemed to dance on the waves

......pretty soon the bottle of Pinot gave up the last sips of its lovely elixir, and it was time to head back home.....the marine layer was rushing back in with a vengeance and the air temp was cooling quickly.  We were home about 5:15 with smiling countenances.......on the drive home we marveled at how blessed we are to live this nomadic life, and how precious these moments are in our lives.  We are so grateful that all the choices we made last Thursday resulted in us landing here in Lompoc, and finding out what a hidden treasure this little community is.

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  1. Now that was a wonderful productive day, nothing quite like a good beach fix.

  2. Hi Clark, I know this has nothing to do with the current post, but I thought you might be interested to know where you can get a replacement tube for the Trailer Valet. Found it at Harbour Freight,don't know if they're are any out west(we're on the east coast) Greg

  3. Thank you! Good to know of the need arises.