Monday, June 23, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
1632 miles in 32 and a half days.
Seattle to just south of L.A. (Harbor City, CA).
The Cruising the Coast 2008 extravaganza has come to an end.
We hope you don't mind, but Zo and I refuse to ride our bikes any further. It has been an unbelieveable adventure, and we are so grateful to have had this opportunity...
and how sweet it is to be able to complete the journey at the door step of my Uncle Per and Aunt Renee's home.
Today's Monday, June 16th, and we've decided to fly back to Seattle and ship the bikes rather than rent a car or travel by train. Thanks to Aunt Renee, who discovered a sale with Alaska Air, we were able to grab some great fares.
Ok, Below is a catch-up of the journal so please enjoy, and again, if you have any questions. Let us know.
This was Day Off #2 since Crescent City...we took B.A.R.T into town with Alec, who took time off of work to be our tour guide. Very cool. He first took us to see the Japanese Gardens - you can see us up on a funky bridge. We then walked to Stow Lake, where Alec treated us to a row boat around the lake...well, it was more like a moat around an island. We enjoyed some excellent rowing technique along with several lazy turtle, sunning themselves on a log. Alec dropped us off in the middle of the downtown area, Union Plaza, I think, where we wandered around for a bit until finding a quaint, little Italian restaurant in the North Beach neighborhood. The owner was outside on the sidewalk trying to sweet-talk pedestrians into coming in and trying his wife's homemade pasta. We were overwhelmed with all the different restaurant choices, so his sweet-talking was just the ticket. We walked through Chinatown and then hiked to Cloit Tower to watch the sunset - decided that we needed another day in this great town.
Day 2 in what's become my favorite city...next to Chicago, of course. At this point, we realized that we didn't have any civilian clothes to wear, so when Alec dropped us off at Berkeley, we went into a drug store and bought some clothes. Took B.A.R.T into the city and walked around quite a bit - visited Mike's Bikes, among a few other cool shops. We were trying to figure out what to do/where to go/what to see - when we were just about to hit up the MOMA, we called the symphony only to find out that the concert was not only an aternoon performance, but it had also just started! Better late than never - we ran, took a bus, and ran some more to the Davies Symphony Hall to catch the second half - Sibelius 2nd Violin Concerto and Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin - unbelieveable! The hall's located in this great area surrounding the City Hall - the opera house and the Asian Art Museum are also there. After the concert, we met up with Alec at his gma's house and then hit up a local Chinese Restaurant - served by a waiter who was rated the nicest waiter in S.F. 10 years ago - cool. He was nice. Alec took us to the Sutro Pools/Ruins on the coast, just outside of the city. You have google them - pretty cool. Headed back to the pier for ice cream at Ghiradelli's. All this time, we didn't get to spend much time with Mary as she was busy with work and a conference - bummer, but next time for sure.
Alec and Mary insisted that we get dropped off south of this nasty part of Hwy 1, called "Devil's Slide." Yes, thank you, again, to Mary and Alec for all their generous care and hospitality! We were treated just like family and that's the best in my book. We hit the road around 11am, stopped at El Gran Amigos for a couple extra large burritos. Continued on into Santa Cruz. Our timing was impeccable as we got to witness a demonstration put on by the university service workers. They were demanding better pay and benefits - not too much to ask, I think. Met Emerald, who offered her place for us to crash. We decided to find some brews and then stay the night at the New Brighton Beach State Park. Zo met an old classmate, also riding her bike down the coast - S.F. to L.A.
Santa Cruz to Andrew Molera State Park - however, we didn't quite make it to the park. We had lunch at Moss Landing and spent time in Monterey, writing postcards and eating candy at Old Fisherman's Wharf. Our pit stops were a bit too long as we ran out of daylight and had to pull over to ask if we could use a front yard to pitch the tent. An kind chap named Jim let us use his front yard - very cool.
Next morning, very wet thanks to the ocean - rode to Kirk Creek, this beautiful campsite located on bluff right on the shore. We had trouble deciding whether to keep riding and gain more miles or cut our miles short and stay. We couldn't pass up the view. The sunset photos are of Kirk Creek. Again, another very wet, foggy morning.
Kirk Creek to Moro Bay State Park. Had lunch at a Point and met a kind tour bus driver who was just dumbfounded of our adventure. Had ice cream, mailed postcards, and had ice cream at the Rainbow Cafe in Cambria. We also stopped in at the Cambria Bicycle Outfitters. We enjoyed "face flies" in Gorda thanks to the nearby fires. This was our last day of the Big Sur area - not without hitting 2 HUGE climbs that clung to the side of the sharp, mountainous shore. It was getting much warmer with each passing day, by the way. Went grocery shopping, enjoyed a beer at Moro Bay Brewery (run by cool dude named John), and set up camp (in the dark) at Moro Bay State Park.
Today was a long miles day - we had to get to Lompoc in order to be in L.A. by Friday. The route took us away from the shore, onto flat farmland. I have to admit, a bit boring considering what we were enjoying for most of the ride so far. The sights reminded us a lot of eastern MT - not that eastern MT is boring, it's just what we're normally accustom to, you know? We rode past more produce growers - mostly lettuce and broccoli. I made another map error that took us on an earlier turn south to Lompoc - a sign that I've been on the saddle for too long? The new route took us past the Air Force base - also a place where teachers go for NASA space camp. We rode through San Luis Obispo. I think our mileage was just over 76 miles. Ate Little Ceasers pizza and a couple beers over a Lakers/Celtic game. Stayed at River Park just west of town. Slept so well - so very well.
Lompoc to Santa Barbara...or just south of Santa Barbara in Carpenteria. We hit the road very early and enjoyed what was to be our last big hill. By this time, the big hills were really not all that intimidating or hard for that matter - a clear sign that we both had grown stronger on this trip. Cool. Ate lunch on a vista on the side of the road. I swapped out the tires in Santa Barbara at a bike shop. Visited the Santa Barbara public library before stopping in Carpenteria. The park was not much more than a parking lot with a bathroom and some grass. It was crowded and the hiker/biker part was almost on the train tracks. We met a couple other folks also riding south and visited with them for a while. L.A. was so close!
Carpenteria to Malibu - had lunch in Oxnard at a Ralph's grocery. Visited on the phone with Uncle Per. The terrain at this point was flat, flat, and more flat - please don't get me wrong, not complaining, but we didn't like it when we left the shore. Stopped at Neptune's Net for fries and ice cream. This is a popular joint that often draws famous people from the Hollywood area. At this point, seeing surfers in the water was becoming a common sight. When we reached Malibu, I realized that our campsite was actually an RV joint. Not good. We decided to check the prices anyhow, only to discover how truly inflated Malibu truly is - $50-60 to simply put up a tent for the night. The folks at the RV place were kind enough to point out the Malibu Creek State Park about 5 miles inland, which we had NO idea existed. This was a huge relief as again, the day was coming to an end and we needed a place to rest. Plus, we enjoyed an added bonus of the ride up into this canyon to the campsite - steep valley with mountain road - my kind of road! There was even a tunnel thrown in the mix. The traffic, however, was unusually busy - I think folks were commuting between the coast and 101 further inland. We stopped short of the campsite and ended up in a day use only site that seemed abandoned. So quiet, so peaceful - a nice reward for our last night on the road. Tomorrow - L.A.!
Enjoyed a lot of beach path riding most of the day - went through Venice Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach - all the greats of L.A. We pedaled 32 miles before stopping for a bite to eat - in Hermosa. The maps led us a little too far south and ended up having to ask some folks walking their dogs for directions to Harbor City. Finally, just before 1pm, we found cousin Christian and the Anderson home on 252nd Street waiting for our anticipated arrival. Yes! Done! Fini!
After much cleaning and some laundry, Aunt Renee and cousin Michelle, her boy, Cameron, took us out for some Greek food. What a relief - took us a few more days for it to really sink in. The next day, Uncle David, picked us up and took us down to Mission Viejo to see the rest of the cousins and Aunt Ebit.
Good Day. Good day indeed.