Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fun Ride: Lookout Mountain to Morrison to Home

It was 3:30 and I was ready for the weekend. Should I leave 30 minutes early or should I stay till 4? I wasn't getting anything done anyway, so I decided to head out. I had no plans for the night, so I needed something to do with my time. So I opened up Google maps and drew out a bike ride.

I had tons of time to spare, so a 30 mile ride was definitely doable. The route went up Lookout Mountain, then at I-70 it takes a mountain road to Bear Creek Canyon and heads down to Morrison. It looked awesome. It was mostly a gradual downhill from the top of Lookout Mountain, just more scenic than the usual way I get down from Lookout. Normally I'll take highway 40 along I-70, then follow C-470 down to Bear Creek. This seemed like a much better option with just an extra 5th category climb (easiest classification).

So I packed up my stuff, filled up 2 water bottles, prepared a peanut butter bagel for a snack, and headed out. All the road cyclists must think I'm some inexperienced nerd with my single pannier on one side of my steel frame bike. But I took pride in the fact that I wasn't passed a single time on the uphill even though I was carrying extra weight. Lookout mountain is such a cool ride. It's a 6.6 mile climb, but it's not super steep. What makes it great is the views. You get the amazing views of Golden, Denver, and Clear Creek Canyon without having an extremely difficult time getting up to the views. I was regretting not having my camera the entire time. I'll leave it in my pannier from now on.

Well Lookout Mountain was as wonderful as ever, but when I hit Highway 40, I crossed over I-70 and took Grapevine Road south. This was a very cool road. I only saw 3 cars the entire time and absolutely no bikes. I came to find out that there are no bikes because half of the road is dirt. The uphill was pretty gradual with only one steep section and the dirt didn't start until I got near the top of the hill. Along the road I passed lots of nice houses and crossed over a small pass and started descending to the Bear Creek Canyon. The dirt was a bit scary because I definitely don't have the right tires for dirt. The back tire has no tread, the front barely has any tread, and they are both pretty narrow for aggressively riding on dirt. The road going downhill was super steep at points and the views were very nice. There were spots of trees and open fields so that made for the good views, not to mention the mountains all around me. I made it to a poorly kept paved road and this was the coolest part. There were lots of houses and the road was really narrow. So narrow, 2 cars would have to be very very careful if they wanted to pass each other. The narrow winding road was a lot of fun to ride down and then I made it to Bear Creek Road.

I sped down the gradual descent enjoying the beautiful views. There were steep beautiful cliffs to the left and Bear Creek to the right. Only about a half mile down the road I heard a noise coming from my back wheel. It sounded like something was rubbing on each revolution, so I stopped and saw that it was a flat. I think the dirt road caused some tiny sharp rocks to get lodged into my tire and puncture the tube. 20 minutes later, I had the tube patched and was ready to move on. Upon close inspection, I realized that my rear tire isn't a very good one. It is thicker than the previous tire I had, but not super thick and it was starting to crack. I've been riding on it since Honeyman State Park in Oregon, so it's seen several miles. So I kept riding through the beautiful canyon till I got to Morrison, a small tourist town right where the foothills start.

The rest of the ride was rather uninteresting, but nice. I passed through Bear Creek Lake Park and then went along some roads, stopped to buy new sandals, then went home.

It was a very nice ride and I definitely recommend it to anyone. Lookout Mountain isn't too difficult and the rest is very manageable. The views and fun winding roads are worth the effort. Once again I'm reminded at how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rained Out-an excerpt from A Boring Life

The night I have a softball game is the highlight of the week for me. I get to play a dumbed-down version of my favorite childhood game and I get to see several of my friends.

I got a ride to the game because I'm too cheap to have my own car. I keep telling myself that I enjoy riding my bike and the bus everywhere, but it's not entirely true. It's really great riding my bike and the bus under the perfect circumstances, which is about 85% of the time. The other 15% of the time I'm either not enjoying riding my bike or the bus or I'm getting a ride from someone, feeling like I'm a freeloader. But I ignored my feelings of being a freeloader and got a ride to the game.

Driving along the highway we talked about not very much. About the most interesting thing I had to say was that it took 4 hours for my model file to open that afternoon and then my computer ran out of memory. At least I got lots of blog reading done.

I do a lot of blog reading these days. Blogs are so great because you just hop from one subject to the next. They are short and concise and you get some variety. So much variety, you don't have to sit back and think about what you just read. Move right along to the next, completely unrelated, but inspiring, blog! Give it enough time to let you feel good about it, then make sure you read something else instead of really considering what you just read. I've also started reading lots of books and the same thing happens with them. I was chatting with Justin while we were both at work last week.

Justin: maybe do something else besides book studies for awhile maybe if you are doing one after another, it's become as procedural as a day of work or a trip to the gym.

We made it to the softball field and it hadn't started raining yet. The skies looked foreboding. Ten softball tosses with Ken and then the rain started. The girls ran to cover because our softball jerseys are white and the guys joined them soon after. When we decided it wasn't going to get better we all went to Chili's for dinner.

As usual, I complained about their lack of good beer and just ordered food. I should quit complaining about that. Lots of chips, a hatch chili burger, and a molten chocolate cake I shared with Liz 1. My internal commentator noticed that the burger was awesome yet messy and that the cake was tasty, had lame texture, and was too strong. Next time I'll get the cheesecake.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Best Grub In Denver

The Mile High City is most known for its lack of oxygen and stuck-up residents who inwardly look down upon anyone who's favorite state isn't Colorado. However, this wonderful city has several other wonderful aspects that are often forgotten, such as skiing, outdoorsy stuff, and 300 days of sunshine every year. Much like any large city on planet earth, Denver needs plenty of food options to support its thriving metropolis. I've taken it upon myself to perform a 6 year study on the eateries, restaurants, and grub joints in town so that I could provide a good survey for those with high food standards such as myself.

During year 1 of this study I discovered Denver's pride and joy when it comes to restaurant chains. No, not Quiznos, that place that refuses to make a cold sandwich. Denver's pride and joy is Chipotle Mexican Grill and I found it at the end of a 10 mile walk to the Denver capital. It's the best cheap mexican food out there and really should never be compared with places like Taco Bell, Del Taco, and Wahoo's Fish Tacos. I often look at the keywords that people use to get to this blog and I saw this today while looking at the keywords for the week:

Somebody had the audacity to seriously compare Chipotle to taco bell. I made the comparison a long time ago, but only in jest. One might compare Chipotle to Qdoba, however, thanks to Qdoba's queso burrito, but the simplicity of their menu, the lack of sticky rice, and the lack of sticky tortillas sets Chipotle far above their "rival."
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Best Dish: Steak burrito with black beans, fajitas, rice, pico de gallo, red salsa, sour cream, cheese, and lettuce.

Year 2 was a restaurant drought for me because I was poor.

Year 3 I was rich again and was introduced to Lebanese food for the first time. My roommates at the Den first introduced me to this wonderful restaurant called Ali Baba's after we stayed up all night working on a cardboard boat and then sank it in the morning in the frigid waters of Clear Creek. Their gyros and hummus were a great pick-me-up as we were all depressed about losing the race.
Alibaba Grill
Best Dish: Gyro with a side of hummus and pita bread.

One Sunday afternoon during year 4, my food research partner Jelly Roll and I worked up the courage to try the Asian restaurant next to Chipotle. This was very difficult since we loved Chipotle so much and we had become accustomed to frequenting it every Sunday for lunch. Nevertheless, we did try out Pei Wei Asian Diner and were pleasantly surprised. They have an amazing selection of asian food including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and, my favorite, Thai. I've tried several of their dishes and most of them are phenomenal. Now James and I go to Pei Wei as often as we go to Chipotle, which says a lot about how good it is.
Pei Wei Asian Diner
Best Dish: Thai Coconut Curry

Eventually I made it to year 6, which was the best year for discovering new restaurants in the Denver area. I moved to a hispanic neighborhood, which is guaranteed good food, and my research group started going to lunch together every week. I found many new restaurants and loved most of them, but I'll only talk excessively about one of them. That one is the restaurant I fondly call "That One Mexican Restaurant On 1st and Knox." I've recently found out that it's actually called Los Molcajetes Tacqueria. You know this is a good Mexican restaurant because you have a 50/50 chance of needing to order in Spanish. It's exciting to try your luck! Their food is amazing and it's a nice, quiet, relaxed, family-owned restaurant. They also have several items on their menu that I've never heard of before, so there are plenty of opportunities to try your luck at this autentica tacqueria.
Los Molcajetes Tacqueria
Best Dish: Tortas

There are many more delicious restaurants, but I don't have the energy to write about all of them. Here are the honorable mentions.

The Alley, D' Deli, Woody's, The Sherpa House, Tuk Tuk, Paris on the Platte, Jose Oshea's, Tacos Y Salsas, and Tommyknocker Brewpub and Restaurant.

View this map for restaurant locations. You should try them all out and tell me about your favorite Denver restaurants.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pacific Tour Reflections (I have 20/20 vision, so hind-sight is 20/12)

It feels really really good to be home again. I landed around 8:45 last Saturday, assembled my bike, disposed of my cardboard boxes, and caught the bus back to Denver. It just felt good to see familiar sights--the airport I've been to a million times, the downtown area, the pepsi center, Invesco Field, my bike route I take from downtown to my house, my house, Javier who was inside watching tv when I arrived, struggling to speak to him in spanish, my own bed, a good shower, all those little details that I take for granted when I get them every day.

Anyways, I felt like it would be appropriate to reflect upon my tour as a whole.

It was really cool to see how I transformed physically as I moved south. A great part about touring is that you get in better shape as you progress. My attitude towards hills shifted greatly as I progressed. I was afraid of them at first, not knowing how well I would be able to ride them, but eventually I started looking at hills as something that I just didn't like doing. I knew I could do them, but just didn't want to. Then my attitude completely shifted to actually enjoying climbs, churning along in first gear in order to conquer the hill. I started seeing them as a challenge that I wanted to test my body against.

After having some knee pain myself, the most important thing I would tell someone who is thinking about touring is to make sure your bike fits you properly. Cycling is very low impact, so it's really hard to injure yourself and it's incredibly good exercise for your knees...if your bike properly fits you. My seat was too low to start with and I ended up having some pretty bad knee pain before I got to Oregon. I lifted my seat little by little until the pain went away, but it would have been better for my bike to have been set up correctly before I left. You can really kill your knees if you don't make the adjustments you need to make. Another piece of advice I would give is to make sure you train. First of all, it will just make everything easier, but it will also prevent knee injury. A guy I rode with for a day named John didn't train at all. He exercised regularly, but his knees were not used to the kind of work out they get when riding a bike. He started his tour with a 100 mile day and had excruciating knee pain the next day. For the most part, knee injury is one of the worst things that can happen on a tour and it can be prevented by training, correct fit, higher cadence, and lower gears.

Before the tour, I wasn't a huge fan of camping. It was always cold, uncomfortable, and annoying to set up and take down camp. All the inconveniences of camping made me not like it that much. But after I got used to sleeping in a tent every night I started loving camping. It's pretty much awesome. There's something cool about carrying your house with you, knowing that you could set up camp anywhere. The cool temperatures at night are actually awesome as long as you have a good sleeping bag and warm clothes. The noises like wind in the trees and waves are wonderful to fall asleep to. The sun's schedule forces you to go to bed early and wake up early, giving you the perfect amount of sleep. After getting used to it, all the great things about camping blinded me to the inconvenient things about camping. So now I love camping.

If you asked me what my favorite part of the tour was, I probably would tell you that it was meeting so many interesting people. I'm not an outgoing person, but I met a ridiculous number of people in the 40 days I was riding. My favorite people were always the people I met at the campgrounds who were on a bike tour themselves. There was such a good camaraderie between all the cyclists. We always made friends with each other and hung out with each other for the evening. So many people invited me to join them at their campfire. Some people gave me food. One person gave me a chain cleaning lesson. One person washed my dishes for me. Several people joined me for dinner. It was really great. There were also lots of people not on a bike that I met. Some cheered me on from their cars. Some gave me popcorn, brownies, ice cream, waffles, bananas, sandwiches, carrots, and a yard to sleep in. Some gave me wine and a 2 hour conversation. Most of the people I saw were very nice and I liked them a lot. There were very few people who were rude or mean to me.

Even though the tour was a fantastic experience, there are some things that I would do differently. Here's a list of technologies that could be improved upon: More comfortable saddle, more waterproof and smaller tent, and a better sleeping pad. My route that I took was pretty awesome, but if I did the tour again, I would probably cut over to Olympia National Park instead of going through the boring part of Washington to get to Portland (I'd just make Justin meet me in Tillamook or something). The last thing I would do different is to bring a friend. It was a great tour, even by myself, but it would be a cool thing to be able to share the memory with someone else.

I don't think I gained any huge revelations through my tour, but I did learn some things. Washington made me realize that my circumstances are completely at the mercy of God. I have no control over the rain. I have no control over whether the wind is a headwind or a tailwind. I happen to think that those things are God's decisions and that the only reason there is ever a break in the rain or a lack of a tail wind is because of God's grace and has nothing to do with anything I could ever control.

The tour has also made me want to be a better steward of the things that God has given me. I had to be very intentional about the things that I bought. Every item that I acquired added more weight to my already heavy load, so I tried to just use what I had and not buy extra stuff. An example of this would be my desire I had to buy a frying pan. It would have been pretty nice to have one to cook fresh meat in instead of always eating the canned stuff. But my insight came when I sat there and thought about it. How much would I use it? How much enjoyment would I get out of it? Do I need it? Do I really want to have the extra weight? I decided not to buy one and was just content with the tall, skinny jet boil pot. This is kind of a stupid example, but because of my limited capacity and limited budget, I realized that at the time it was just a luxury that I'd be fine without. Back home, I realized that riding around the city without a load was super easy compared to with a heavy load. Why don't I just ride my bike everywhere? This would be easy compared to riding 50 miles per day with a load. So I decided not to buy a bus pass. God gave me a bike, which works just fine for transportation, so why not just use what I have and save the money I would spend on a bus pass?

So I can't say that my tour really changed me as a person, but it has given me a different point of view on some things. The tour has made me love cycling more though. I'm already thinking about what tour I want to do next because this one was such a good experience that I wouldn't want to leave my touring career and call it good at a tour. I'll definitely be doing some very short bike camping trips and some long tours in the future. Who wants to come?!

This concludes my Pacific tour-related blog posts. Stay tuned for my normal blog posts about random things that I feel like writing about.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 40

July 1, 2011

Here it is, day 40, my very last day on the road. If you had asked me a day ago (before the world's worst hostel), I would have told you that I had mixed feelings about today. After 40 days I've become accustomed to camping every night and riding every day. Not only am I accustomed to it, I love it. This is really an awesome way to live life for a while. Everything that comes along with it adds up to an amazing experience and every day is an adventure waiting for me to jump in. But reality calls. Bank accounts drip dry, and separation from friends and family becomes difficult. As I was sitting at Starbucks I was talking with a man who asked me, “Would you have done it any different?” I told him no, but thinking about it again, I realize that I would bring a friend with me. You get used to sleeping in a tent every night and you get used to riding your bike every day. It's not that different from life at home, but it would really be difficult for me to be away from friends forever. So that's why I'm excited to be done. I'm loving living off of my bike, but I'm also very excited to come home.

In an attempt to get away from that darned hostel as fast as possible, I woke up at 6:00 and was gone by 7:30, my all-time record. It was so nice to have that hostel to myself this morning. It's not that bad of a place when there's nobody else there. The ride started out on the beach trail in Pacific Beach which was pretty pleasant since there were few people on it and the ones that were were mostly runners. I made my way towards downtown San Diego via some main roads with bike lanes and got slightly lost along the way. My route had me take a pedestrian/biker ferry from downtown San Diego to Coronado, so I waited at the ferry station for 20 minutes and took some pictures of the aircraft carrier.

After a quick ferry ride, I made it to Coronado and jumped on the bike again, heading across the Silver Streak which is a very narrow strip of land with a road and a bike trail on it. It was a pretty fun section of the ride because I had a very nice tailwind the entire time, so I averaged around 15mph for about 7 miles.

The route I'm following takes you to a state park called Border Field Park, which is pretty much the perfect place for a Canada to Mexico Pacific coast tour to end. It's on the Pacific and Mexico is right there. However, in order to get to the park I had to go out of the way to traverse some federal land, which was either a wildlife reserve or military land...can't remember. Anyways, I was getting closer and closer. The hills in the distance were getting closer and then they were right in front of me. I turned right and soon enough I entered the park. It is only open on Saturdays and Sundays to cars, but has a place where pedestrians and cyclists can go through. So I passed through the gate and rode along the half dirt, half paved road until I reached the border. I could tell it was the border because there was a 20 foot tall fence with a big city on the other side. It's such a stark contrast right there at the border. Tijuana is this huge, tightly packed city and the California side has a few small ranches and empty public land. The majority of Tijuana is hidden behind the hills, so I couldn't see that much. But the next day when I flew out of San Diego I could look out the window and see a clear line where the city starts. The Tijuana side was very very hilly compared to the California side and houses are crammed everywhere on the hills, making it look like ocean waves of buildings as far as the eye can see.

I couldn't believe that I had made it to Mexico. As tears gushed from my eyes I tried to restrain the sobbing for long enough to take a few pictures. It was kind of interesting that the fence just stops out in the water, making it very easy to just swim around. But then I noticed that there was a border patrol officer sitting in his jeep only 100 feet away from the border, keeping his eye on the end of that fence. I think that Mexico has a border park too because I saw people on the other side of the fence looking at the border just like I was doing. I saw a sign that had rules for the “Friendship Circle.” As I read it, I realized what it was. It was a little area right on the border where 25 people could go inside and chat with people from the neighboring country. I really wanted to go into the friendship circle, but sadly it was closed.

After a snack and a break at the border I got back on my bike and headed back north along the same route I had followed before. I stopped in Coronado for a pizza lunch and then stopped near the airport to figure out some logistics for my departure the next day. I arrived back in Pacific Beach and the day started to dwindle to a close. I cooked my dinner next to the beach and went on a walk along Mission Blvd before heading back to the hostel for sleep. The hostel was having a deck party tonight, so I had the opportunity to end the trip “with a bang." But the party wasn't exactly a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey kind of party, so I went into loner mode, inserted ear plugs, laid my sock across my eyes, and tried to drown out the noise of the music and the loud drunk people with positive thoughts about my adventure.

A really depressing end to my bike tour, I admit it, but as someone I met several days ago pointed out, When it's all said and done, the memories that will stick will be the good ones, not the bad ones. And as I write this post the next day I'm looking back on my tour with fond memories, excited for my next one. Who knows where it will be and what kind of things will happen to me along the way, but I'm looking forward to it.

Day 39

June 30, 2011

Today was a fun day because the ride was nice and I made $100. The agenda for the day was to ride from Doheny State Park in Dana Point to Banana Bungalow Hostel in Pacific Beach, San Diego. I left moderately early (8:30) and started heading south along the PCH. Only a few miles into the ride some ladies on the sidewalk motioned to me asking if I had a phone. One of them had injured a tendon and needed to call her husband to pick her up. Only a quarter mile down the road I saw a phone on the ground. It was a MyTouch (fancy smart phone) and it looked like it had been thrown out of a passing car. I imagined that some guy's girlfriend got mad at him for texting, took his phone, and threw it out the window. I picked up the phone and since it had no reception at that spot I kept riding hoping to find some reception further down the road. As I rode through the side roads of San Clemente, I kept checking the phone for reception and never found any--stupid T-Mobile. So I finally decided to just call someone using my phone, hoping they would know the person who had lost their phone. Luckily the first person that actually answered their phone knew the guy who lost his phone and 20 minutes later the owner pulled up in his fancy sedan to get the phone. I couldn't believe how happy he was to get his phone back. He was just ecstatic. "Jon! I don't even know you, but I'm gonna give you a big hug!" His name was Kevin, I think, and he had just gone on a trip to New York and had taken all his pictures with his phone. He hadn't loaded them to his computer yet, so the pictures on the phone were very important to him. "I want to give you $100 for returning my phone. Not too many people would have done that." I couldn't believe it. We chatted for a bit about my tour and then I left to head down the road, $100 richer. As I left, Kevin motioned his arms like he was bestowing good karma to me and he said, "You have no idea how much good karma is coming your way, man. Thank you so much."

The rest of the day was a nice ride. I passed through Camp Pendelton, a Marines base, rode up a big hill at Torrey Pines Reserve, and then I arrived in the San Diego area. The first area of town I passed through was La Jolla, which seemed like a very cool place. I rode along the beach road traversing the hill and saw some very beautiful beaches. They had lots of big, smooth rocks and areas with sand. There was one spot that was particularly awesome at Ellen Browning Scripps Park, which had a sandy beach, bordered with smooth rocks where lots of sea birds were perched alongside s a few seals. There were lots of people swimming in the water, snorkeling, which looked like a lot of fun because the water was very colorful, indicating something very interesting underneath.

It wasn't long until i arrived in Pacific Beach where I'd be staying for the night. I found Banana Bungalow Hostel and went inside to check in. As soon as I stepped in the door I was starting to regret my decision to stay there. There were guys sitting around inside drinking Bud Light and who's new motto should be "Bud Light-A Sure Sign of People Who Only Drink Beer To Get Drunk." I checked in with the rude hostess who didn't speak clearly. She gave me a tour of the hostel and showed me my bed in the 12 person dorm, which was coed. I asked where I could keep my bike and she showed me an area behind the hostel where tons of junk was piled. It was at that moment that I spent a lot of time in prayer, asking God to keep my stuff from being stolen. The hostel had 7 blackboards with colorful chalk writing describing the special event for the day. 6 out of 7 were basically different ways of getting wasted. Party Bus, Deck Party, Beer Pong, etc. Tonight's event was a party bus where you get driven around the city to check out all the bars, including 2 strip clubs and a couple places with live music. Why did I come here? I had already paid for the two nights ($40 per night), so I was stuck. I went into loner-mode and didn't really talk to anybody there. One Brazilian guy talked to me for a minute, but that was it. I left the hostel and decided that I would try to spend as much of the evening as i could away from that place.

So I spent a lot of time that evening at the beach, at Starbucks, and at the grocery store where I had the foresight to buy ear plugs, knowing that it would be impossible to fall asleep without them. One pint of Ben and Jerry's, one Americano, and one Passion tea later, I went back to the hostel around 9:00. Still in loner-mode, I got my computer out and worked on a few blogs. As I was working on them, the staff were standing around, talking about how great a community they had there. At 10:00, I headed to my bed, inserted earplugs, and placed a sock over my eyes while the guys in the dorm were standing around chatting, and I was able to fall asleep in about 45 minutes. I was happy enough to fall asleep that fast, given how much music and loud talking was going on out in the common room. I will say that when the guys noticed that I was going to sleep, they left the room and turned off the light, which was much appreciated. What a place though.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day 38

June 29, 2011

Today was day 2 of riding through the LA area. I started the day with a delicious Belgian waffle breakfast at the Long Beach Cafe where the 60 year old waitress called me 'sweetie.' (You know it's a good diner if the waitress calls you 'sweetie.') The day was quite uneventful. I rode through several smallish beach towns, rode along some beach paths for a while and then the highway.

I passed through Huntington Beach, a place that holds a few of my memory files from when I was in high school. When I was a sophomore in high school I did a construction mission project in the LA area and one of the days we visited Huntington Beach. We spent the whole day at the beach and somehow my sun block didn't block the sun like I wanted it to. I ended up having the worst sunburn I've ever had, blisters and all. It was so bad I had to skip out on a baseball game because it hurt too much to move my arms. That day we also went to Joe's Crab Shack where I ate fried clams for the first time, so I had to take a picture when I rode by there today in memory of the good ole days. Ironically, when I was in high school, I bought a shirt there that claimed, "Joe Plays Hardball," even though I was about to NOT play hardball due to the piercing sun of Huntington beach and my pasty white Alaskan skin. No sunburn this time around thanks to Colorado's 300 days of sunshine.

Along the beach path I met a German couple named Patrick and Peggy, who had been on the road for almost a year and a half. They started their tour in Germany, rode to India, took the plane to Cancun, rode through Mexico, and are now making their way to the Oregon border and flying back home to Germany. They told the that they stretched their money out as far as it would go and were finally starting to run out, so it was time to go home. I talk about bikes and touring gear with most of the touring cyclists I see and this couple noticed my Ortlieb panniers. 90% of cycling tourists have Ortlieb panniers, but they especially noticed mine because the orange colored panniers are near impossible to get in the US. They had only seen them in Germany, so I apparently have uniquely colored panniers.

The rest of the ride was nice. Stopped in Laguna Beach for a Clif bar snack and made it to my campground at Doheny St. Pk. in Dana Point. I spent the rest of the evening either at the beach watching surfers or back at my campground eating dinner. The campground was horrible though. Train tracks nearby, bright light shining on the hiker biker spot, and the ground was impenetrable dirt, which made staking my tent impossible. I shan't dwell on the unpleasantries of the campground, but I will say that it was a lame last camping night.