Yesterday we were too tire to celebrate. It was hot, we were sweaty, we had challenges finding the actual border and then packing up the bicycles and gear took some time. Angela (Paula’s daughter) and Rob (Paula’s future son-in-law) met us at the border. They allowed us to stay at their home last night. Great to enjoy a real shower, quite rooms, great conversation . . . Thank-you Rob and Angela for your hospitality.
Today we started the drive home and took time to celebrate two wonderful events. First was for completing the Pacific Coast Trail bicycle ride yesterday. Second, Francis turned 70 today (UK 7-16 translated to California time 4:00 pm on 7-15). Francis is truly inspiring, not only for riding his bicycle at age 70 across American twice and not for just completing the Pacific Coast Trail yesterday, but for dealing with his Type 1 diabetes. Francis would monitor his blood glucose levels throughout the day with a mechanic device attached to his arm. When needed he would inject himself with insulin. Paula not only secured campsites while providing more than a dozen other support functions, but she also carried Francis’ insulin. Thank you Francis and Paula for sharing so much with me for the last 41 days (33 riding / 8 days off-travel).
We did it. After todays final 50 miles we completed our adventure that started in Port Angeles on June 5th. We rode for 33 day over about 1,700 miles. Took time off for 5 days in Santa Rosa and took off another two days in San Simeon. This adventure was complete with rain, heat, hills, flats, headwinds, tailwinds . . . through some of the most incredible and breath taking landscape from ocean beaches to towering giant redwoods; from rain forest to desert.
I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to ride my bicycle from the Canadian Border to Mexican Border on a good bicycle with appropriate gear including: a tent, sleeping bag, food, rain gear, riding gear . . . and incredible SAG. However, there are many in our community who don’t have the basics essentials to survive in our community. In Sonoma County there are approximately 3,000 homeless people who don’t have many of the things I take for granted. I hope that each of us will be inspired to think about those less fortunate than ourselves and consider volunteering their time or provide other support including donating money or other items like items no longer being used from jackets to spare tents. I’m a supporter of Catholic Charities, but there are hundreds of other wonderful organizations that continue to serve our community. Please consider one of these amazing organization and provide your support to improve the lives of people in our community. Thank you and I hope you have a great day.
Left Doheny State Beach hoping that Paula’s luck would continue by landing another campsite near Encinitas at San Elijo State Beach. Not to be on this day, but there were hiker/biker camping available. Unfortunately, check-in wasn’t until 4:00 pm. We were in Encinitas for lunch and decided to ride a bit further to reduce tomorrow’s final day ride to the Mexican Border. Unfortunately, there are no close campsites after leaving Encinitas. Paula secured a room for us at the Hampton Inn in Del Mar/San Diego. We rode 49 miles with a nice tailwind, no major climbs, smooth roads, smooth bicycle paths/trails, nice ride through Camp Pendleton, cooler temperatures . . . just a very enjoyable day.
We rode out of Long Beach for a 55 mile ride to Dana Point – Doheny State Beach. We followed the coast along several wonderful wide paved bicycle paths, then turned inland for a detour along a large lagoon before returning back to the Pacific Coast. Southern California has a robust network of wide paved bicycle paths. Paula did it again, she waited for 2 hours and 17 minutes to try her luck in the campsite lottery and won a campsite right on the beach next to the ocean.
Today ended up being a travel day as we got stuck in several traffic jams as we made several efforts to make it back to the Pacific Coast. After taking several detours, we ended our drive in Long Beach, CA. There is a big ship called the Queen Mary that is dock there and she became our campsite. It’s amazing that this 1936 ship still shows her beauty and grace. She has a history and served Britain and the United States very admirably. We stayed in a wonderful room with a large bathroom. This was a very enjoyable experience.
Paula’s sister – Tami offered us a wonderful campsite that was just a few miles inland. Tami said that all we have to do is ride just a few miles down Highway 1, then turn left on Highway 23 and go over the hill to her home. Tami doesn’t ride a bicycle and her travels have always been by car. I didn’t know that they paved cliffs and called them Highway. It was a very hot humid day as we climbed up the cliffs that had no shade. I ended up walking my bicycle and gear a few times as we climbed. Paula got back on the bicycle and joined us on the last half of today’s ride which she was able to enjoy some climbing with a rewarding steep downhill. Tami and Scott provided us with five star accommodations . . . it was well worth the short hilly ride from the coast. Thank you Scott and Tami.
Today it was still warm, but we rode only 46 miles along the coast on some very nice bike paths. Paula’s sister came out and joined us. Then she suggested that we should ride over the hill and stay the next night at her home (Thousand Oaks).
Completed 49 mile ride along the coast through Santa Barbara to Carpinteria State Park. The campsite was easy to locate since it’s the only campsite that has a large stuff phone in the tree next to the redwood panic table. The campsite was a bit crowded with many campers jammed into what appears to be large parking lots with the friendly train running on schedule at 11:30 pm and again at 6:30 am.
Completed 67 miles with two good climbs (3,400 feet). Harris Grade was the first good climb with no shade and temperatures in the high 90’s. Our second climb out of Lompoc to Gaviota State Park was longer but much more gradual and manageable. This was also our last major climb for this year’s Canada Border to Mexico Border Code Blue Bicycle Ride to Help End Homelessness in Sonoma County. There are no major hills to climb from Gaviota State Park to the Mexican Border.
We left San Simeon State Park for a 51 mile ride in 98+ degree heat with some strong head winds near Morro Bay. But the head winds turned into a wonderful tail wind from Los Osos all the way into Pismo State Beach – North Beach Campgrounds (1,200′ climb). We thought we would beat the heat when we arrived, but it was still 98 degrees when we arrived. Paula secured another wonderful campsite but unfortunately she was bitten by a dog and will be off the bike for a few days.