Wednesday, June 25, 2014

day 40: long beach to encinitas

"it's freezing. i never come here this early. i usually come at 2 or 3 and it's never this cold." 

(said by attitude-y teen girl in bikini at huntington pier around 11am, temperature in the 70s. samuel and i were sweaty and hot after riding about 15 miles.)
i got a pretty good chuckle after i heard her complaining of the cold, especially now that i really know what "freezing" means since moving to montana in the winter.

in other news, it's our second to last day before reaching the border. we rode 92 miles in 8 hours, our longest day on this whole trip. 12 miles were on accident, 17 miles were on the 5 freeway, AND we ended by finding out there were no more campsites left and had to ride in the dark to the crappiest $110 motel room. (don't worry, we had some lights/reflectors.) it was a CRAZY way to end our 40 day trip, but looking back, it made the journey even more savory, even more memorable. (i'm writing this on my third day off since completing this journey, by the way.)
we left lindsay and chris' home and said goodbye to the sweet leila joy, hopped on the san gabriel trail (aka: la river) down to seal beach. this portion reminded me of the time roy, cindy, sammy and i biked down the same path during high school. i remember it was a hot summer day and it was the furthest i had ever biked at that age, no doubt a grand adventure. it felt like a lifetime ago that i was in high school, most of it a blur, but how is it that this memory came back with such clarity? because adventures are almost always unforgettable. 
along the coast, some older surf dudes were cutting up a watermelon so naturally, i asked for some. they gave us large slices and flocked around when we told them we had biked from canada. disbelief and amazement was their response. to be honest, i really enjoyed their reaction and decided to milk the next two days by telling people where we've come from and where we were headed. my guess was that we would get a lot of oohs and ahhs in so cal. (haha, it turned out to be true.)
orange county, by the way, was exactly as one might imagine it to be. we zipped through as quickly as possible, except for the one stop where i found an older woman with a gash on her forehead and helped her until the paramedics came. 
and then there was the extra 12 miles we rode which aren't worth discussing further except that it happened and we had to accept our mistake. what a cost to pay for not being precise with our questions and not questioning our assumptions! 
then there was the eight lane freeway (the I-5 to be exact) that transitioned us from orange county to san diego county. "head down, pedal fast, and just get through this!" i told myself. although there weren't any massive hills to climb, cycling on the freeway demanded more than i hoped. it was exhausting to my senses!

but the best part of the day? 
finding out we had nowhere to stay for the night. samuel and i stopped at a store to pick up some breakfast food and got a call from m&m telling us that the south carlsbad campsites  were all full AND they had no hiker-biker sites. ??!?!?@&$?! that was a first! we desperately sought out cheap places to stay and m&m found the closest and cheapest option. 
samuel and i were further north than m&m, so we cycled into nightfall down the coast while they checked in and prepared our final dinner. our headlamp batteries were fading, and our backlights weak, but we finally rolled into encinitas after 7:59:59 of cycling and the longest mileage we've ever ridden in one day. (m&m ended up cycling 100 miles that day! wow!) 
what a day.
at least we got to shower and get cleaned up for our final day of this 40-day cycle tour of the pacific coast. we all fell fast asleep, letting our slumber wash away the intensity of the day's affairs and prepare our minds for our journey's end.

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