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.

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