CLC #3 Ride- The Big Bypass as in Big Sur

Yesterday we loaded the bikes and headed down to Fort Hunter Liggett. The base is 180,000 acres once as large as 200,000 acres. The land was originally owned by William Randolph Hearst. He had a small home there that is now a hotel open to the public.

Hunter Ligget is just one exit north of King City. Monterey County is very large and Our round trip was a little over 190 Miles. On the drive down we passed through the Salinas Valley your salad bowl and Monterey Wine Country the Santa Lucia Highlands. We even passed the vineyard where my Morgan wine comes from. You’re in for quite a ride…get comfy and enjoy!

We were also looking for the notorious Nacimiento-Ferguson Road which is the Bypass Road for the Big Sur Slide at Mud Creak. Adventures await! If you are not familiar with the Mud Creek Slide here is a very good article.

Old fence that drives Carmel Valley folks crazy!

When driving out of Seaside on Hwy 68 we pass this old red fence from a long ago dairy farm that people constantly write editorials about in the paper. They want it down. Seems the ritzy golf courses and gated communities there now can’t afford a new fence. I kinda like the charm.

Laguna Seca Raceway is just up the road.


Spreckles Road gateway to Salinas Valley


Welcome to Farm Country not small family farms. Large, large commercial farming.
Wine Country
Soon we’re entering Fort Hunter Liggett Don’t Get caught with your pants down! I didn’t even see her until after I took the photo. Jack noticed right away.


Who told you you could ride here? Wrong not allowed…guys with big guns will ask you to leave!

With that idea foiled we head on over to the San Antonio Mission….it’s about a half a block from the hotel.


We took a little walk about the grounds then paid our $5 to enter so we are an official CLC ride! This is very much like the other California missions I have shared with you however since there was much more land around it was spread out quite a ways. We also got a 1.2 mi walk!

Horse powered Grist Mill.
Jack contemplating walking in circles for hours?!
Native American Cemetery. The natives were held as captive workers for the Spanish and Father Junipero.
Water tank building. They had quite a water system.
Water trough system.
Inside the Mission.
I always appreciate the wall art in all the missions.
Old and new technology!
Last of the original grape vines from 1770’s. Now that’s Old Vine Wine!!
Native American Grinding stones.
Time to head back to the car grab some lunch and hit the road.
Outside the base the land becomes the Los Padres National Forest. There are amazing oak trees and some pines. The oaks are Blue Oak and Valley Oaks. I can’t tell the difference but they were all amazing! Huge 60-100 ft tall and wide! Just beautiful. They can live to be 800yrs old.
We followed the trees West towards the Ocean!!
Up over the mountains!!
We saw a few other cyclists today some loaded some not.
It’s 28 Miles from Hunter Liggett to Kirk Creek. 28 Miles of very, very steep and windy road. More steep from West to East way!! This is the view coming down from Nacimiento-Ferguson Rd to Hwy 1. We have cycled the coast and Hwy 1 route many times and it isn’t flat by any means but this work around is really a challenge.

ok…for open transparency we are invoking the Goddesses rule that you can take your bikes in the car. We did read that somewhere. By the time we finished the Mission Tour, had lunch it was well past the time we should have been on our bikes – so we wanted to check this out and decided to just drive it. We are very satisfied with that. I for one have never been so frightened coming down a steep cliff in a car! The west side is soooo steep, narrow and windy and today full of holiday drivers that I think I would have never made it on my bike. Maybe I would but you know what neither of us has the need to find out. We are ok if we never go there again.

We much prefer the calm retreat at the River Inn. We stopped for a quick rest stop and walk around then headed home. The restaurant there is pretty good we go down once in awhile just for the drive out of town.

So that was our day. We were both exhausted when we got home. We were disappointed that we didn’t ride but decided that it was way better coming down that steep hill in the daylight and we’re glad we were home and I thought you might just enjoy the ride.

Janet here of Jack and Janet in Seaside, CA. We just love to ride our bikes and share and read stories from other such afflicted souls.

5 response to "CLC #3 Ride- The Big Bypass as in Big Sur"

  1. By: Bill Stone Posted: March 29, 2018

    Hi Janet,

    Sorry you didn’t get to ride, but thanks for the tour, especially the first-hand look at Nacimiento-Ferguson Road. I think my days of doing a road like that on a loaded bike are behind me.

    PS: Great tank photo! When nature calls while we are hiking, my ace support crew has a very, very strict rule that all my cameras must be locked away and out of reach. 😉

    • By: Seasidejanet Posted: March 29, 2018

      Yep…..think I’m on the side of being to old for some things but just young enough for others. Still great places to ride!

  2. By: Suzanne Posted: March 29, 2018

    Good you checked out that scary road and now know you don’t want to cycle it. You did imagine what it would be like to cycle down so that counts as cycling I’d say.

    • By: Seasidejanet Posted: March 29, 2018

      I am very glad we weren’t on our bikes and discovered how steep the down would have been! I may have had to turn around and go back from wherever I came from. I have huge respect for those that have taken this detour……and zero for those that are sneaking across the construction site at Mud Creek. They put themselves and rescuers at risk by doing so. I hear that they wait until dark then ride the cliffs.

  3. By: Kathleen Jones Posted: April 5, 2018

    Janet dear,

    Yes, you went on a ride with your bikes, so this counts as a CLC ride. And we approve your contribution to the mission so perhaps they can improve the place. It needs to be preserved so we know what happened during the mission period. Mission San Antonio is one of the better ones; because of Hearst and the Army it hasn’t been developed right up to its church walls, so you can almost imagine what it might have been like before all the mechanization.

    -Yr Goddess

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