Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Two Wheeling: Friday on the Central Coast

Truth: Planning a birthday celebration for myself is only slightly more difficult than learning calculus in a foreign language. Having not been raised in a family that was big on celebrations and such, it's not a natural act. (Taking the day off is a good first step!) I gave TG carte blanche to plan the day and didn't ask about wheres and whys. I just put on my gear and away we went. Good call on my part.

Destination: Watsonville, Moss Landing, Santa Cruz
Mileage: 125 miles, round trip
Route/Map: Over the hills and through the woods

Part 1: Escape SJ, Find Pie
First leg of the journey was through the Almaden Valley to Highway 152. After abruptly leaving the confines of San Jose suburbia, you find yourself in the middle of fields that could be in the middle of any number of nowheres. It's a quick out of the mayhem and into rural territory. After meandering to and along Calero Reservoir, wind along in oak trees past Uvas Reservoir, jog right and find yourself at a T with Highway 152. Head west through redwoods, up and over Hecker Pass and suddenly it's a bird's eye view of patchwork farmland all the way to the coast. Find Carlton Road to navigate to a very specific piece of that patchwork called Gizdich Ranch, where they wrangle some better-than-pretty-good pie.

Central Coast: Food & Stuff to Do

Notes from stops along the way on the Central Coast...
Food: Gizdich Ranch 
Moss Landing
Food: Phil's Fish Market
Santa Cruz
Relax: Well Within

55 Peckham Road, Watsonville, California
It's all about the pie. Yes, they have sandwiches, but how on earth do you expect me to focus on some bread with stuff in the middle of it when the air is aroma-fied with apples, cinnamon, ollalieberries, and other good things? Here's a hint. Don't expect me to focus on the sandwich or even remember it exists. 
The first time I went, I had straight-up apple pie. These things are so loaded with apples that the crust is probably eight inches high at the middle, the crown, the summit, the apex of pie-ness. Most recently, I had the apple-ollalieberry pie. You can do the whole a la mode thing, but I don't like to dilute my pie with unnecessary dairy products. It's a personal decision. Respect or don't. It's my pie, not yours.