Pannier Tour: Paso Robles to PCH Loop

On Nov. 4 three of us left Paso Robles at 7:15 AM and rode the highway between lakes Nacimiento and San Antonio to Lockwood. From there we connected to the Nacimiento-Ferguson road which runs through the Hunter Liggett military reservation, then continues through a section of the Los Padres National Forest and crosses the coastal mountains and connects to the Pacific Coast Highway. Virtually no traffic and delightful scenery all the way. We ate lunch at a Forest Service camp and replinished our water supply. The only problem we encountered were Mike’s flats which cost us nearly an hour. The result was to make us a little late (5 PM) getting to Plaskett Creek camp on PCH. We had ridden 78 miles and done 6000 feet of climbing, so we were more than ready to eat our snacks and drink two beers (hauled from the little Lockwood store). After dark we enjoyed a tasty hot meal prepared by Mike. On Sunday morning I had an expensive breakfast at Gordia; Mike and Ellie joined me and later we stopped briefly to observe the elephant seals near Piedras Blancas. About noon we turned northward through Cambria to the Santa Rosa Creek road, a back-country lane which ascends the coastal mountains. One of Ellie’s derailleur cables broke and we had to improvise to get a limited gear range. Our route joined Hwy. 46 and we reached our van in Paso Robles before 5 PM. We had covered 70 miles and climbed 5100 feet that day.

The timing of this trip depends on the weather. Those interested in participating in the future are invited to contact Mike Wolf (That's him in the picture).