Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 36. Sunday September 20 - Summerland to Malibu, California

Another morning of heavy fog/mist, but comfortable. Sunday mornings are a great time to ride, no one's on the road and the whole area has a sense of calm.

We biked past acres and acres of nurseries, grandiose entrances to estates
and the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club where thoroughbreds dined on lush green grass behind ten foot tall thick hedges.......oh, my!
Somewhere along the way we took a quick trip to the North Pole
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and then back to the coastal highway where they a have designated bike lane
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on a 65 mph highway. But who's paying attention to the cars when the coastline is so interesting?
Typical California in that nothing is typical (to us east coasters, anyway). All along the coastal highway, where there is enough shoulder, miles and miles of RV's park
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with no room to spare.
We were blessed with cloud cover until mid-afternoon,
again, not great for bright sunny pictures, but it helped our stamina.
looks like a great time, crawling with people in spite of the overcast skies. Oxnard and the Channel Islands, though, is one of the wildest things we've seen yet. Miles and miles of million dollar homes on man-made channels,
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plus extra harbors for more floating $$$$.
By lunchtime, we'd done just under 40 miles, too few to stop, but the next hotel was another 30 miles away. With the wind at our backs we decided to continue. It seemed to take us forever to get past the immense Ventura County military bases. Once we did we were once again dropped onto the Pacific Coast Highway; two lanes
chiseled out of the Santa Monica Mountains
before they dipped into the Pacific.
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With the sun up in force, the ocean once again was aglow.
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Even with the wind at our backs, we were happy to see the sign for Malibu after 50 miles. Several miles down the road we saw another sign for Malibu mentioning something about 27 miles of something. Maybe it ws 27 miles of ridiculously large homes;
we saw nothing other than '27' miles, apparently the hotel was on the south end of town. Jerry tired to get these guys
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to park his bike, but they just wanted their picture taken. Malibu, lots of money,
crazy money, stupid money.
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At Pepperdine, we did see a fabulous sight
they filled an entire hillside. Finally, after 73 miles, our hotel.
A shout out to Austin!

Day 37. Monday September 21 - Malibu to Newport Beach, California

We climbed out of Malibu along the PCH (Pacific Coast HIghway) for about ten miles along with all the commuters this morning. Still amazed at shanties hanging over the water by a thread with very high end cars parked in the driveways plus the opulent money on the cliffside.

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In Santa Monica/Venice Beach our course turned us on to a boardwalk,
away from the noisy street to an almost deserted beach,
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of course it was only 8 am.
The rest of the morning we spent paddling into the wind, but along a flat bike path that divided the extremely wide beach from the very expensive homes.
There were areas we would not want to pass at night, or even after 10 am in the morning when the "characters"
started to stir, but we made it through without incident. Bordering these areas is more money, more boats.
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Tried to sign up to the UCLA bike club,
but they didn't bike hard enough for us! There were a few volleyballs being tossed around, Jerry swears this is Kerry Walsh,
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and an what we'll be like in a couple of years,
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waiting to watch the youngin's. Still can't get over the homes.
In the middle of the Redondo Beach bike path the course turned us directly east into Los Angeles to avoid a huge climb. Not sure the climb wouldn't have been better. This young (80 year old) man
caught up with us and made sure we were on the right course. The first 10 miles was great as the southwest wind was at our back, but we had at least five miles directly into the wind on the unprotected top side of an aqueduct
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that we are sure is where they filmed Grease among others. Our direct westward course took us past the Port of Los Angles, home of the QU II.
We stopped for lunch and a breather in Long Beach and by the time we finished the wind had picked up (as predicted) but had turned from the northwest, perfect.
One more ridiculous home
on the beach. We biked through one beach town after another,
but there was no one on the beach; turns out it's "off season". Hard to believe 85 degrees and sunny is off season. In Huntington Beach, we met Alex (east coast transplant)
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who helped us with places to stay and eat in Newport Beach, our final destination. Even though today was our very first day since the beginning we were on flat terrain, after 67 miles we retired to the evening..

Day 38, Tuesday September 22 - Newport to Carlsbad, California

Apparently, yesterday was our only day of flat travel. We had a two hour California commute along with others

this morning along PCH through Newport, Laguna Beach and Dana Point. But PCH becomes main street with bike lanes as it hits the towns. We didn't ride close to the beach in Newport, just miles of creative
and expensive shops and restaurants. Once again, homes too large
to fathom.
Just south of Laguna we took a half block detour to catch a glimpse of the beach.
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We got our last glimpse of the beach this morning
before we turned inland to get around Dana Point and once again along the highway.
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In San Clemente we rode up and down every neighborhood street, which was a great way to see the town, but the short hills were tough. Then we took the long, but flat, ride past the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, a State Park and Camp Pendleton, which has to be this country's largest (land mass) base.
We dropped out of the dessert of Pendleton into the cool air of Oceanside
and once again along a palm lined boardwalk.
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Gotta love California.
Once again, or still, beautiful beaches
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and incredible homes.
Done for the day at 60 miles.

Day 39. Wednesday September 23 - Carslbad to Downtown San Diego, California

We had a delicious (yet not long enough) breakfast with Betsy this morning and got out of the door into sunshine. What a fabulous morning,

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what a fabulous day. It was so incredible to be able to bike areas we've walked or, in our much younger days, run.
Couldn't believe we found a Tour De Bocrie Store
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get it? Somebody please tell Jerry you get it.
As many times as we've been to southern California, we are still amazed at the "in you face" contrasts......
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Our bikes and the Duckies wanted to take a break
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to watch the surfers.
Job well done, we moved on to Del Mar; one of our favorite spots to visit. Once again, homes too cool to believe
and of course, the beaches.
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Past Del Marl and Torrey Pines, we biked through the incredible beaches and
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homes that line the beaches and hills of La Jolla. We must say, it is a lot more fun to ride down the steep hills going 40 mph, then it is to walk them.
Dropping from the hills of La Jolla, we paddle along the boardwalk of PB (Pacific Beach),
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made even more special this trip by our reunion with Nick (and his incredible power shake)
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whom we'd met in Astoria Oregon.
After Pacific Beach, on to downtown San Diego,
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still love this place.
Tomorrow we do our obligatory ride to the border then back home.
Anybody for a Sunday morning bike ride???

Day 40. Thursday September 24 - Run for the Border.

There is not a lot of mileage between downtown San Diego and the Mexican border, but it does include a ferry ride and a bike through Coronado and along the Silver Strand.
The ferry ride offers a great view of Downtown San Diego,

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the USS Nimitz
and the Coronado bridge.
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The town of Coronado is another pocket of money: condos, golf course,
expensive homes
and the Internationally famous Hotel del Coronado.
As we left the town to head down the 6+ mile stretch of the Silver Strand a thick blinding fog blew in.
Luckily, we had a dedicated bike path away from traffic. The strand ends in Imperial Beach, though we didn't see much of the area other than commercial streets. The Tijuana River Valley lies between Imperial Beach and the border. Not much there but lots of corralled horses
and a couple cowboys.
We were a bit disappointed in the area of the border our course took us,
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but we made it and that was our goal.
A little bit of traditional Mexican/Patron celebrating tonight,
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then on our way home tomorrow.
We are sad to see it end and to leave San Diego, but the Duckies are tired and want to go home!
Thanks for following, hope to see you all soon.

Week 6 (and the trip) Complete

Summerland, California to the Border of Mexico!

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274.71 miles.