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  • Writer's pictureAlana

5. Paso Robles to Pismo Beach, CA

Spent the day wending my way through storybook vineyards, charming country lanes, showstopping superblooms, and then, finally, the salty neon fun of Pismo Beach.

After scarfing an Old West cinnamon roll, I rolled into an extremely plush California State Park for the evening. My welcoming committee was a Tom Waits ringer named Paul who offered me a cold Squirt from his solar-powered cooler while showing me a painting he was working on. He has already bicycled all over the world, and shared tips and compared notes and flattered me with all sorts of unearned praise for my current escapade. He made me feel even more at ease in the world and reminded me of why I prefer to camp when possible: you just can't beat the company.

Paul convened a group of us merry travelers, including Jana and Cam, and shared, yes, stories, but also his insights from what he calls his "Book of Goo-Ga," his philosophy of life. The one that stuck with me is this: The first rule of travel is to return home safely.

I know y'all are all worried about me out here doing the damn thing I'm doing, but please know that am being so very careful, not least so that I may comply with Paul's first rule.

Miles: 60

Climbing: 2.7K feet

Song: "You are the Everything" by REM


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