Taking California from the bottom up
We're heading 'North to Alaska'.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Today 26 miles, Total 3,853
Rise and shine. It is time to head north. We stash our things as good as it gets in the trailer. We are leaving with more things then we came. The box with journals and additional tools we shipped from Slaton Texas to here, will now be going with us. Somehow we find place for it all. Then it is time to say goodbye to Todd. Thanks for opening up your new home to us.
Group picture at Todd's house. Ready to depart on our journey north.
We travel the same way as we came. We have to deal with a couple more overpasses then on our way in. After all, it is easier to take three right turns then it is to take three left turns. Eventually we are back on Mission boulevard. It takes us to La Jolla.
Today feels like a donut day. We keep our eyes open for a donut shop. That turns out to be much more complicated then anticipated. We see a bagel shop, but no donuts. We see a coffee shop, but no donuts. We see a store with a donut sign, but no donuts. We ask the girls if they want to give up finding donuts. 'No' is the definite answer. 'Can we find them? Yes we can!'
We arrive in La Jolla at a little market place. We still haven't found donuts, but we take a break anyway. We park our bicycle and sit down on the little patio. It's a beautiful day.
We fit in well, between the BMW and Rover on the left and the Mercedes and Lexus on the right.
With this break we are ready to climb up La Jolla Shore boulevard. It's a steep climb, which we take with many breaks. We look back where we can, to admire the distance we've come and the height we climbed. We arrive at the top where we are awaited by a news crew from Channel 8 out of San Diego. They are going to follow us today.
While we ride towards Torrey Pines, we see a helicopter. It keeps hovering above us. When we read the name on its side 'Channel 8', we figure it out. It is part of the news crew. They are taking shots of us riding. This is definitely a first! Check out the video.
Our route takes us through Torrey Pines State Park today. It's a hiker-biker trail. vEry peaceful and pretty. The view of the cliffs is amazing. We slowly work our way down to the parking lot where we meet up with Doug and Johnny of Channel 8. Cheyenne loves camera's and gets a chance to hold the big one for a while. She is a pro. It does take an extra hand to keep the camera on her shoulder. It is very heavy.
Cheyenne the camera girl.
We're still on the hunt for donuts. No luck sofar, but we know there is one in Encinitas. And we're really close now. From the park we're there in a wink.
We've finally found a donut shop! Kids to play with.
The quest for donuts is over. We've had our fill. We didn't give up and we succeeded (even something as trivial as finding a donut shop can be quite a challenge, but with the result in our bellies, can be quite fulfilling...).
The final miles into Encinitas take us once more back to the home of Kevin and Melissa. We move back in. The kids continue playing where they left off.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Today 14 miles, Total 3,867
With a short day ahead of us, we have the time to go to the skate park. Cheyenne is delighted. She's fallen in love with the skate board and can't wait to test in in a real skate board park. We load the kids in the car and head out. The park is designed for smaller kids. Since it is still early, there is hardly anyone there. Plenty of space to practice.
Cheyenne keeps on practising with the skateboard.
We enjoy another morning together. Then it is time to head out again. We are going to Oceanside, where we have a place to stay. Kevin is going to ride with us again today. He is taking Mae with him in the trailer. We take off with a little head start and keep looking back to see if Kevin is catching up. We ride the final mile together.
Back on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway).
The PCH will take us as far north as we want to go. From time to time we will have to get off the road, because it turns into a freeway every now and then. But our general route will be the PCH.
The weather is so delightful. We travel without heavy clothing. It almost feels it is spring already. It is a strange thought to know that in Kentucky, and many other eastern states, the snow keeps falling. And here we ride without a coat, soaking in the sun, along the beach.
Just before Oceanside we meet Bob, our host for tonight. He's on his bicycle too. He will guide us through the town. With Kevin and Mae, and later Bob's wife Vicky, we have quite a following.
Traveling with Bob through a palm lane.
We spend the evening with Bob and Vicky. Their son James is a bike mechanic and is checking out our rig. He knows how to adjust our rear derailleur and do several other fine tunings. We've had quite some adjustments on our bicycle while we've been in the Encinitas area. We are testing a new chain oil; our gears have been adjusted. James is now doing the final touches. The bike stays a work in progress.
The girls are playing with all the toys they can find in the house, whether it's a train track, chalk, drums, colors, or a play phone. They are having a blast.
'Hello? Hello? Anybody there?'
In the evening we go out to eat. It is like a sushi bar, but has several other things too. Amarins is trying something new today, a tiny piece of calamari. With Alaska in our scope, it's time to learn to eat sea food. It tastes good, but one piece is enough for now. Learn to crawl before you run.
A Pacific Sunset.
Today 20 miles, Total 3,887
Why be at the ocean, if you don't enjoy the beach? Well, we're going to do just that. We're enjoying the beach with Vicky and Bob. From their house we walk to the beach. We have to walk quite a bit to find a nice sand spot to play at. It is right next to the playground.
Walking to the beach with Vicky and Bob.
Take off your socks and shoes, roll up your pants legs and have fun. Getting wet is unavoidable, so just enjoy. With shovels, rakes and buckets the girls go to town in the sand. Digging holes, filling them with water. Digging some more. We're enjoying a beautiful morning at the ocean.
When they've had enough of the sand, the playground gets a turn. Vicky and Cheyenne play a game of paddle ball. The ball goes all over the place. We're glad we take the time to enjoy where we are. It is 10am when Bill and James arrive with the bicycle all loaded. Perfect timing to get on the road.
Vicky gets a shot at riding the bicycle. Ready, set, go!
After a milk shake it is Amarins' turn to be back on the bicycle. Bob is riding with us today. He knows the route through Camp Pendleton. Vicky will catch up with us later. It is very enjoyable to ride together.
The route through Camp Pendleton is very pretty. It has the most beautiful flowers alongside the road. The terrain is hilly, but it gives us a pretty view of the ocean from time to time.
Enjoying the balancing beam during our picnic break.
We enjoy the company of Vicky and Bob. We talk as we ride. We een have the chance to make a picture of us riding. That doesn't happen often!
When we get to the north end of Camp Pendleton we say goodbye to our new friends. Thanks for opening up your lives to us, thanks for being a part of our journey! Bob and Vicky continue to San Clemente, while we call our host at Camp Pendleton.
Robin and Amarins.
Jeff takes Amarins and the girls to the house, then brings George with him to help Bill ride the bicycle up the hill. When they arrive we notice the strange way the trailer is connected to the bicycle. The hitch has broken in half. The trailer is only connected by the pin. How this has happened is quite a mystery.
An amazing discovery. The trailer hitch has broken in half and has worked its way into the brake disc. It must have broken just as we pulled up the drive way.
Bill's foresight can quickly solve the problem. He's kept our old trailer hitch and can easily change the broken one for the new one. What a relief.
Our arrival in the cul-de-sac does not stay unnoticed. Little by little, more and more children arrive in the street with their parents. It's time for Bill to take them all on a ride. Load after load they pile on, everyone getting a new experience to take home with them. It's quite a circus. A very enjoyable one.
Bill gives rides to the kids in the neighborhood.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Today 0 miles, Total 3,887
We think we're going to ride today, but we are not. Amarins and Robin feel down with a cold. It is time to take a day off and to get over it. We're thankful that Jeff and Erin are okay with us staying an extra day. The girls are tickled. They have lots of fun with Jeff and Erin's kids, as well as many others in the street.
A moment of peace with eight kids around the table.
They play games, build forts, play kick-the-can and many more things. Bill and Jeff go out for a tour of the Camp, but return with something surprisingly different...
A surprise early birthday party for Amarins!
Thanks for your hospitality Jeff and Erin!
Today 33 miles, Total 3,920
The rest has done us well. We are ready to continue north. We say goodbye to our new friends and make our way down the hill, back to the ocean, back on the PCH. It takes us straight into Orange county.
We have to keep our eyes open for the correct turns to take. The PCH turns into a freeway from time to time, and we're not allowed on those. Once we finally discover that when we have already bypassed the turn to the boardwalk. It is very confusing. With the help of a real estate office we find our way back.
Bill posing with a car similar to the one he once had.
At South Laguna we find a playground at the beach. A perfect place for a picnic. There are lots of children to play with. It is Presidents Day, so there is no school today.
Enjoying the playground at South Laguna.
When we are back on the road, we keep our eyes open for Jim. He is going to ride with us today and guide us into Huntington Beach. We don't have a place lined up for tonight, but Jim knows where the more reasonable (cheap is a nonexcisting word here) motels are located.
Who hasn't heard of Long Beach in western L.A.?
As soon as we've passed the sign, Jim joins us for the remainder of our ride today. Right inside the Huntington Beach town limits there is another boardwalk. Jim takes us right over there.
Jasmine is checking out the beach. It's probably the widest beach we've seen on our journey sofar.
After the pier we get back on the PCH to find a motel. The first one doesn't have electricity, but the second one is just right. We say goodbye to Jim and settle into the room. But only for a moment, long enough to get ready to go to the beach. The sunset is waiting for our arrival.
Chasing the gulls.
Chased by the waves.
Robin admires the sunset.
A beautiful ending to another birthday.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Today 26 miles, Total 3,946
We wake up with the bicycle parked in the middle of the room. That is a funny sight. We have not done it before, but we are near L.A... To make space, Bill moves it outside immediately. We're going into the mouth of the lion today, so it feels. We're heading for Lomita, where we have a place to stay tonight. Bill has called several times to confirm, but to no avail. Without internet here at the motel, we can't drop her a line either. Let's hope she calls us, because we don't have an address. Things have a way of working out though, and so will today.
Almost 4,000 miles...
We start out on the PCH. Traffic is light, so that's not a problem. We didn't have much for breakfast, so we keep our eyes open for options. We also need to fill up water. We drink a lot of that.
We've had amazingly little wind here on the coast (knock on wood). So far so good. We still have almost 2,000 miles of coast to go. We have decided to ride roughly between 20 and 30 miles a day. The coastal route goes up and down and that takes a lot of time. It feels like a good estimate.
We find a supermarket on our right and a McDonalds a little up the road. That worked out good. The bottles and our camelbaks are full again, so are our panniers with snacks for on the road. At the Mac we have a brunch and bathroom break.
Cheyenne and Jasmine are taking turns at the entertainment center.
A couple of miles out of Seal Beach we arrive in Los Angeles county. Way off in the distance we can see the snow capped mountains. It is a strange sight, with the ocean on our left, our coats on the trailer and the snow on our right.
In the outskirts of Long Beach we meet Robert (cousin of Mark) and wife Carrie. They ride a quint bicycle too, although not today. They brough lunch, a fresh box of strawberries and snacks for on the road. It was very nice meeting them and we hope we can get together again sometime. perhaps then we can both ride our quints.
A strawberry, sandwich, salad lunch. With Carrie and Robert. They are quint riders too!
It is way in the afternoon and we have not heard from our host yet. We're calling in the troops - Kevin - to see if he knows a solution. It doesn't take long for him to call back with a place for us to stay in Torrance. We're thankful that we have found a place on our route, although we're sad we can't keep our word to our host in Lomita.
With the directions of John we find Torrance park. John's home is easy to find after this. The girls enjoy having new friends to play with. It keeps amazing us how adaptable children are to a new situation. We can certainly learn our lessons from it.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Today 25 miles, Total 3,971
With the girls as our alarm clock, we wake up bright and early. They run off to play some more with Shane and Nanami. We get ready for a busy day. Our route is going to take us past Los Angeles. We're a bit anxious about the traffic.
Shane, Robin, Cheyenne, Nanami, Jasmine.
With the directions from Yumi we head west. After a couple of miles we meet Mark. He's going to ride with us this morning to help us get to Venice Beach. A couple more miles and we arrive at the boardwalk at Redondo beach. It is a bit of a puzzle to get on the boardwalk. Without Mark's help it certainly would have been a whole lot harder.
The boardwalk is very nice to ride on. Traffic is little. Bicycle traffic that is. Cars are not allowed here. This allows us the enjoyment of the beach and the ocean.
Entering Marina del Rey with our guide Mark. With his help we work our way through greater L.A.
We exit the boardwalk at Marina del Rey. Mark takes us left and right, through the harbor, through the town, back to the boardwalk north of Marina del Rey. Phew. How thankful we are we have Mark with us. This boardwalk will take us all the way to Santa Monica, then back into the PCH. We pick up our lunch at Subway, then head to the beach for a picnic.
Lunch at Venice Beach.
We take a minor detour into Venice Beach, to take a picture of us under the banner. Then Mark needs to head back to Redondo. We continue north. We're on the right path and we don't have to worry about which road to take. Thanks Mark! Thank you too for the input in our journey. It sure has put our minds to thinking.
Santa Monica on the cliff.
At Santa Monica we get back on the PCH. From a store parking lot we arrive on Sunset Boulevard. This takes us back to the PCH. If we had taken it the other way it would have led us to Hollywood and Beverly Hills. This is to much for us today. Perhaps we can do it one of these days that we stay in Malibu. That is our destination for today. We're going to meet Todd's friend Eric. He has a place to camp for us.
From Santa Monica we ride due west. Straight into Malibu...
Bills mission is complete: Riding into Malibu in his Redwing workboots and with our porcelain wash pan.
Malibu is 27 miles long. Homes on the ocean, homes in the Santa Monica mountains. Big homes, huge homes. It's a very long town, without a real town center. Near the Pepperdine university we meet Eric at his office. He is going to ride ahead of us to the campground. It's a couple of miles from his office, with a steep incline to the campground area.
When we arrive, Eric is still talking with the secretary. The plan is to wait here with the kids, while Bill and Eric go and get the camper. Amarins and the girls will wait in the campsite. Sounds simple. But nothing is further from the truth. Eric wants to pay for our site, but he is not allowed, since he is not going to stay there. We cannot wait, even if we pay, since the camper is not here yet. We cannot put our tent in the campspot, since that is not allowed in an rv spot. Since we're here already, we're getting a tent site. Then we'll deal with the camper in the morning. All this took about 30 minutes to figure out.
Eric helps Bill with the final yards.
Our site is overlooking the ocean.
Setting up camp. Our tent sure can use some airing out.
When camp is set up we go with Eric and his family to restaurant Spruzzo. They have a fundraising supper for the Malibu school.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Today 13 miles, Total 3,984
We enjoyed sleeping in the tent again. Eventhough the rv park is located at close distance to the road; it is very quiet at night. We look forward to staying here for a couple of days.
Sunrise over camp Pedouin.
Bill takes Robin for a walk. Cheyenne and Jasmine are busy with cutting and pasting and making drawings. The picnic table overlooks the ocean. What an inspiring place.
Eric arrives to pick Bill up. They are going to get the camper, so we'll be all set before check out time. In the mean time Amarins will get the site packed up. Bill comes back with the most amazing news. We can not put up the camper until after 1pm. Our check out time is noon, thus this means we have to be off the campground by 12, wait at the road for an hour, then bike back up the steep incline to the campground. Eric then has to come back with the camper, because he can't leave it there till check in time either...
That is just the weirdest set of regulations we've heard of, and that on top of the baloney of yesterday. On principle sake, we're moving out and will ride 12 miles down the road to Leo Carillo State Beach.
Waiting for Bill to return, so we can head further down the road.
Bill and Eric drive to Leo Carillo, set up camp and then come back so Bill can ride with us. Quite a hassle, but we're flexible and it will work out this way.
Although not anticipated, we enjoy the ride. It is hilly, but not too bad. We keep looking at the ocean to see if we find a whale, but none yet. Half way to the campground we take a lunch break at Spruzzo. We enjoy a fine hot meal and the warm athmosphere. Thanks for the dessert Spruzzo! It was all very delicious!
The girls immediately claim the trees as soon as we arrive at our site. The campground stretches into the canyon. We can't see the ocean, but it is in walking distance. We'll check it out tomorrow.
"This tree is our dominion! It is hereby claimed for the remainder of our stay."
Friday thru Monday, February 19-22, 2010
Today 0 miles, Total 3,984
A weekend in pictures.
A lot of rain has been forecasted this weekend. We're going to stay put in Leo Carillo, enjoying the pop-up camper from Eric.
Friday is surely overcast. Since it is not yet raining, we decide to talk a ride to the beach.
Taking the tunnel under the highway to reach the beach.
Jasmine and Cheyenne overlooking the ocean.
It's Robins turn to chase the sea gulls.
In the afternoon we take a hike deeper into the canyon.
We can see the ocean from high on the trail.
With rain at night, Saturday morning is a bit muddy. We play in the trailer, doing games, reading and math problems, to let the area dry out a bit.
Cheyenne is working on math problems.
It doesn't really dry out till noonish. Just right for Kevin, Melissa, Kai, Mae and Sullivan from Enicinitas to arrive. They are here to camp with us! Also important: they brought us yet another rim with new hub for the rear of the bike!
The kids are ready for the beach.
The night stays dry. A good thing, because we weren't quite sure the tent for the kids was water resistant. The four oldest kids had a blast 'sleeping' in the tent. We all slept fairly well, until a very early bird decided to chop some firewood at 6am...
Manpower needed to haul fire wood!
So, that'll keep us warm for a couple of hours.
The camp area is enough fun for the kids to play today. Especially the tree stays popular.
The tree is fun for all.
It's been a fun and very enjoyable weekend in the company of friends. Eric stopped by several times, as well as our new friend Emmett, the Malibu Poet. Thanks everyone for making Malibu unforgetable!
Monday is an office day for Amarins. Without electricity and internet reception on the camp ground, it is time to do some catching up. Bill and the girls enjoy another day at the campground and on the beach.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Today 33 miles, Total 4,017
We double check our home of the past days. It looks like we have everything we came with. Eric and Christy are here to wave us goodbye. We've been spoiled by Eric's visits with Starbcuks coffe, oatmeal and 'Zen' muffins. We're going to miss his visits as well as the treats. Thanks for everything! It's been a pleasure being with you. Thanks for letting us use your camper. It's been a great home to us.
Saying goodbye to Eric & Christy and to our home for the past couple of days.
It is very peaceful in the park. Only a couple of spaces are in use. We slowly ride out the canyon, into the sun. At the entrance we meet Emmett once more. He's been visiting with us several times over the weekend. Very enjoyable.
We've enjoyed your visit Emmett! Thanks for sharing your work Malibu Poet!
It is a beautiful day to be riding. We have a nice pace. The road rolls gently with only one climb sofar. We keep the ocean to our left, the cliffs to our right. Very pretty. The ocean is calm, there is little wind.
We ride, we stop, we enjoy the area. Several miles past Neptune a biker passes us and signals for us to stop. He's seen us on tv. When his buddies told him they saw us pass Neptune, he decided to come chase us down and provide us with lunch money.
Amarins has been to town this weekend with Melissa and knows exactly what we'll have for lunch: fresh strawberries! We arrive at the southern part of Port Hueneme in the late morning. We have to leave the highway; it's turning into a freeway we can't ride on. We take Las Posas northeast, before we can take Hueneme road west; the direction we want to go. The route takes us through a big agriculture area. Sod, celery, strawberries, flowers, cabbages. A lot of products are grown here.
Fresh strawberries!!! Look at how big they are! They are delicious.
It is in Port Hueneme, around lunch time when we mark our 4,000th mile. It feels like any other mile. Just another thousand added to the total. It is only when we look on our master map when we can really tell how far we've come. The journey has become us. It is our lifestyle now. And it fits us well.
Clocking our 4,000th mile in Port Hueneme.
In Oxnard we have a burrito meal. It feels as if we're already at our destination for today; Ventura. But we are mistaken. We've pedalled more then halfway, but our hosts live in the foothills and that means a lot of climbing. A whole lot of climbing. Each turn we make we need to climb some more. Half a mile shy of the house Steve and son Alec find us struggling our way up the hill. The invitation to put the kids in the car is quickly accepted. They lead us the remainder part of the road. We decide to walk the final 100 yards. It's been a good day.
We feel very welcome in Steve and Morna's home. It's as if we've been friends for a long time. They have a surprise for us. Of course we're curious, but as it goes with surprises, we don't find out until the surprise arrives. It is Byron Cherry aka Coy Duke aka the cousin to Bo and Luke Duke of the Dukes of Hazards! And he didn't come alone! He brought the General Lee with him!
Bill and Steve with Byron Cherry, aka 'Coy Duke'.
Amarins in the General Lee of the Dukes of Hazard, with Bo and Luke cousin Coy Duke.
The inside of the trunk is covered with autographs of the original Dukes of Hazards cast.
Byron Cherry makes personal appearances upon request. You can contact him via email: email@example.com to find out where he's going to be next! If you're interested in purchasing the General Lee, it is for sale, just contact Byron for details by email.
We have a very enjoyable evening.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Today 0 miles, Total 4,017
Jasmine is enjoying the doggy carpet.
Yes it's raining! We get to stay today. It suits us all well. Cheyenne nestles in on the couch, she feels warm and seems to enjoy the rest. Jasmine and Robin pull out all the games they can find. Morna is the chosen one to play with them.
In the afternoon it is time to bake some cookies. Jasmine helps Morna mix the dough from scratch.
Making + checking cookie dough.
It's been a very rainy and fun day.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Today 23 miles, Total 4,040
We'd love to stay another day and wait for the weekend rain to pass. But we can't. We can't wait for a week of sunshine. That's not how we got this far. That's not how we're going to make it to Alaska. We know that we will have a share of rain going up the coast. It is a part of the journey. With flexibility we will make it through it.
Riding clothes are organized and ready for use. Each of us has one compression bag of spare clothing.
The loading up is quickly done. It is just a simple routine. Bill has the bike already in the street. It is pointing downhill. With everything loaded, we invite Morna to ride down the hill for just a bit. An invitation she gladly accepts.
We're taking Morna for a ride.
Then it is time to really say goodbye. At least for this time. We know our paths will cross again one day.
Morna gets a bearhug from Jasmine.
We wave and wave until we can't see eachother no more. We're riding down the hill. Hands on the breaks it is going so fast. Down down down we go, all the way to main street. We find it just right with the directions of Morna (eventhough we forgot to take the written route description, your explanation worked perfect! Thanks!). We stop at Blooms, a shop that sells used-as-new clothing and toys.
The ladies at Blooms have invited us to do some shopping for the girls. With the limited space we have available we only replace what is worn and outgrown; a pair of pants and shoes for Robin. Thanks Blooms!
We stop by Blooms on Main Street in Ventura. Robin receives a new pair of pants and a new pair of shoes. She'd love to take the car too, but there is a limit to what we can take with us. Thank you ladies!
It is as if we say thanks all the time. We have so much to be thankful for. We can never say Thank You enough. So to catch up on the times that we didn't say it Thank You Thank You Thank You.
We continue down Main street, turn on Santa Clara and arrive at Great Pacific Iron Works, also known as Patagonia. We stop by to see the store, which is located in a rebuild meat processing plant. We receive the grand tour of the facility. Very nice. We were hoping for some sponsorship, but they can't do that. When one comes knocking... many more will follow. And we understand that.
With the directions of the workers at Patagonia we arrive on the bikepath next to the beach. It is below the highway and will take us for several miles. There are beautiful picnic areas along the way.
Picnic with fresh strawberries and a warm home made brownies! Thanks Morna.
When the bikepath stops things are getting confusing. Signs are sporadic. Do we continue on the dead end road, or should we follow the road under the highway?
The proper route is sometimes hard to find. This time the wrong turn leads us to the ocean. A good place for rock climbing and a break.
We back up a little, follow the dead end road and find our way onto the freeway. We need to ride here for almost two miles, before we can get off again. The shoulder is very wide, so we have plenty of space to ride. The girls are being as quiet as can be so we can put most of our energy in pedaling. We take the Bates road exit and are clueless once more. A couple of horseback riders point us in the right direction, as does a couple with a GPS. We can't go wrong now.
Bates road goes up a steep hill, and disappears around the corner. We are surrounded by the peaceful ness of nature. No sound of cars penetrates. The ocean feels miles away. What a pretty ride. Bates road takes us to 150, which leads straight into Carpenteria.
Arrival in Carpinteria.
As we get ready to enter the town things go wrong. Out of a stand still the wheel slips out of Bills hands. The bike leans over and there is no holding it. Once more we hit the floor. No bruises, just the scare of the fall. Number 6 is added to the list.
With our hearts back in check we try it once more. We cross the highway and meet with a young man from the press. He's going to bring the photographer out to meet us. She'll take pictures of us riding as she sits on the back of his Milan150 scooter. While we talk our reflection shows.
Our reflection in a Milan150 scooter.
On our way into Carpenteria the reporter joins the ride. She tells us they've arranged the Holiday Inn Express for us. A warm welcome from the town. It reminds us of the warm welcomes we've received in Woodbine, Georgia and Natchez, Mississippi.
We do our interview in the hotel. We have a giant room with to big beds and even a couch. Behind the hotel is a heated pool and a hot tub. Cheyenne discovers all this by looking at the map of the hotel. She immediately makes a list of 'stuff' she's going to do. Going to the fitness room is not one of them.
Cheyenne has not forgotten how to swim.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Today 21 miles, Total 4,061
We take turns going to breakfast. Bill first with Cheyenne and Jasmine, since Robin is still sleeping. For Robin they take breakfast to the room. A coffee for Amarins is not forgotten. Amarins gets to go by herself. It works out well. When we're all back in the room, we know what to do. Swimming! There is no stopping the girls. They're already in their bathing suits, ready to go. Bill takes them swimming as Amarins cleans up the room.
With the manager of the Holiday Inn Express in Carpenteria.
Mid morning we are on the road again. We ride through quaint downtown Carpinteria then find our way to the north side of the highway. With a couple of twists and turns we find Via Real. It runs paralel and takes us to Summerland. from time to time we ride on a cross town bicycle path. We want to ride through State street Santa Barbara. Asking directions a couple of times we make it there by lunch.
Riding through State Street in Santa Barbara.
State street goes up the hill from the moment we are on it. It is a nice road with lots of shops and large sidewalks. The side walks are filled with shoppers. Halfway up the road we find the place for lunch: McD. We ride the bike up the sidewalk in front of a vacant building. A bench provides the perfect place to sit. We enjoy our meal as the swarms of shoppers passes by. From time to time they'll stop to look at the bike and hear the story. Very enjoyable.
Looking north we see clouds packing together. Another rainstorm has been forecasted for tomorrow. The weather men have been right when it comes to forecasting rain, ever since we've been in California. So we take it serious. Time to move on and find a place out of the rain.
Moving on is quite a task. The road keeps going up. When we eventually make it to the top we have a nice view down the street. Then we turn the corner and glide downhill into Goleta. Not without a stop at the donut shop. In Goleta we find the Motel 6. With the help of Morna and the desk clerk, we arrange two small rooms adjacent to one another. A door takes us from one room into the other. What luxury.
Robin enjoys the downhill coast into Goleta.
We put the bicycle and trailer in one room. Bill and Amarins will sleep there too. The girls are having the other room. They enjoy having their own room again.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Today 0 miles, Total 4,061
Indeed the weather man was right. Rain and thunder. We also have some sunshine from time to time. but it is not enough to warm up the water of the pool.
Brrrr. This pool is way to cold for swimming. Even for Cheyenne.
Just another day of hanging out together.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Today 32 miles, Total 4,093
Alright! The sun is up, the clouds are gone. Moving further north! It takes us anywhere from one hour to one and a half to get ready. No matter how much has been unpacked. Ready for another day on the road.
We ride Hollister Avenue out of town until we reach Calle Real. A sign point us in the right direction. We're on the Pacific Coast Bike trail now. That sounds promising... Until the road dead ends.
San Francisco is on the sign!
The freeway is less then 10 yards next to us. We decide to push our bike over and continue on the shoulder. Seeing bikers riding the shoulder on the other side looks promising. We ride the shoulder for many miles when we see a bikepath on our right. But no access to it. We must have just past it.
We can see the bikepath goes to El Capitan State Beach. We figure it will continue a while, thus we follow it down the hill into the park. Upon entering we ask a park ranger. The bike path indeed goes further, through the park to the next beach, one mile up the road. Where it not that part of the path has been washed away... Time for a picnic.
Robin cleans up the area. She just can't stand garbage.
Time for a kiwi!
We ride back up the hill and find a frontage road. we enjoy it for as long as it lasts. Then it's back on the freeway, which is now a highway again. It changes every couple of miles it seems. It does go in the right direction. The scenery is beautiful. We're getting closer to Gaviota. From there we're going to look for a place to camp.
Even Bill enjoys the lemon grass. The flower look cute in his helmet.
Even with all the detours we're much further then we thought we would be. There is a rest stop a couple miles further, so let's go there. The road curves inland, away from the ocean now.
Where does the road take us now?
The road takes us to a tunnel. Time to think this over. How can we make it safely through the tunnel? The answer is there already.
At the rest stop before the tunnel we try to figure out how to get safely through it. This couple turns out to be our guardian angels. They are going to ride their 18-wheeler behind us through the tunnel to keep us safe. Thanks so much!
Riding safely through the tunnel.
Robin in the tunnel.
The end of the tunnel is in sight. What an experience!
Up we go again. Into the hills. Highway 101 will take us to Santa Maria eventually, but we decide to take the scenic tour. This takes us to highway 1. When we reach the exit a couple of guys are waiting for us. They are wondering if we have found a place to camp yet. If not, we can put our tent up on the ranch they live on.
We gladly accept the offer. Eventhough they warn us that the first two miles will be a steep road up the hill. It is going to be another 4-5 miles. Can we make it? Yes we can!
What a hill. It's a 6 or 7 degree grade. Amarins is going to count how many stops it takes us to reach the top, but looses count pretty soon. Our hearts jump out of our chests. Our legs start shaking. Until there is that point that it doesn't seem to matter anymore. We keep on going and going, well, stop and going actually. We worked through a physical barrier. We still stop a lot, but catch our breath much quicker. Then we're finally there. We've entered a beautiful fairy land country side. How stunning.
The first 2.5 miles of hwy 1 are up, up, up and up.
Another couple of miles, this time basically down the hill, and we reach the turnoff to the ranch. Another quarter of a mile and we find a beautiful camp spot at the bottom of a hill. As we set up camp, Cheyenne and Jasmine race to the top.
Cheyenne and Jasmine are racing to the top of the hill. They have so much self confidence.
Arrival at the top of the hill.
Robin rather helps daddy with the tent.
Today 17 miles, Total 4,110
The moon rises over our tent as we sleep in our tent in the cow pasture. It's a bright night. The sun wakes up to clouds on the horizon. It has to work hard to shine its light through them and wake us up. It is seven when the first bright rays reach the tent. The girls slowly wake up, Jasmine being the first like usual.
Thanks for the breakfast treat Chris!
A car drives up. It is Chris. He brings hot chocolate and different kinds of cookies for breakfast. Quite a treat. As we wait for the hot chocolate to cool down some, we slowly start getting dressed. The girls are ready to get up the hill again. They have to wait a while for the sun to clear some of the dampness. They wait and get their turn. This time Robin goes all the way to the top too.
Our camp at the bottom of the hill.
Once we're back on the road, the road still goes down hill. The climb of yesterday was well worth it. What a payoff we're having today. It gives us plenty of chances to look around and enjoy the scenery. This is by far the most scenic route we've been on. Our timing couldn't have been better. Everything looks lush and green andis full of flowers.
Mile after mile we're getting closer to Lompoc. It is less then 20 miles from where we camped. The ride goes very smooth. That is, until it doesn't. Jasmine screams that her pedals don't work anymore. Her chain has come off.
Bill has figured out what caused Jasmines chain to come off. She's been pushing the pedals hard, which caused the stoker kit to slip to the left. This loosened up the chain.
Shortly after the stoker kit is fixed we find a wide spot in the road for a real break. The trees are covered with Spanish moss. We're amazed by this. We didn't think this grew here. It gives it an even more fairy tale look.
We're rolling down the hill, deeper and deeper into fairy tale land.
On our way down we see a couple coming up. They are riding recumbents. Time for a chat.
Theresa and husband Carl have been pedaling from Spokane, Washington. They are biking for peace. Check out their site: Pedaling2Peace.org and you can support them!
They continue their climb as we continue our journey into town. A little restaurant catches our eye. Time for lunch. As we pull up an older gentle men pulls up iin his car. We strike up a conversation about our journey. When he settles down at the bar, the girls come and join him.
The girls eat lunch in the company of Jim.
When we're pedalling through town, we see Jim again. He knows we're looking for a place to stay and he offers us his home. Thanks Jim!
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Today 0 miles, Total 4,110
No day to take our chances with the weather. It is raining, then it is not. Perhaps we could have made it to Santa Maria, perhaps not.
While we're here Bill fixes the drain to the washer machine and helps Jim on some projects. The girls read, color, watch tv and do stunts on the couch. Amarins heads for the library in the afternoon to check out the weather and to update the site.
Making good use of the rainy day!
Just an Alley in Lompoc. Dark clouds to the North.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Today 22 miles, Total 4,132
The sun is up. The sky is blue. Not a cloud in sight. Time to load and get on the road to Santa Maria. More rain is forecasted this weekend. It will be a good time to do some brainstorming.
Robin gives Jim a big hug.
We're ready to do some climbing. Up and up we go towards Vanderbilt AFB. From time to time a car honks by. They must have read about us in the local paper. Fun. When we can we wave back. Robin just waves at anybody whenever she feels like it. The cutesy factor at work.
We pass the middle school where a group of boys have physical education. They cheer us on, or are they jeering at us? It's hard to tell, so we settle for cheering.
Looking down into a creek bed.
We're pushing hard to beat the afternoon rain. Clouds have rolled in, but it doesn't look like it's going to rain yet. We still have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and share nature with the girls. If we miss something they'll point it out to us. Especially the hawks are a very interesting subject. We're all just amazed to see them hover in one spot. Taking full advantage of the airstream.
As we climb the last big hill, a car pulls over. A familiar lady gets out of the car. It is Suzanne. We've briefly met in Mountainair, New Mexico, in December. We have stayed on their ranch between Yeso and Santa Rosa for a couple of days. This time we're staying in their home in Santa Maria. Suzanne encourages us that the top of the hill is near. She also instructs us of a nicer route to take to her home.
A road side break provides the chance to draw in the sand.
We're off the major road. It's nice to be on a lesser used road (taking the road less travelled on... it made quite the difference... sounds familiar).
The route meanders through Orcutt then takes us into southern Santa Maria. On the way we are filmed by the local tv station. We'll be on tv once more tonight. Tonight we'll actually get to see how it looks like.
Not ten minutes after we pull into the driveway the rain starts coming down. Slow at first, hard later. We're glad we've been pushing. We're dry and warm and comfortable.
The girls are all over Lucie. She's been staying here with Suzanne, while Jon is working on the ranch. We believe that Lucie actually remembers us! It is as if she smiled when she saw us.
Thursday thru Saturday, March 4-6, 2010
Today 0 miles, Total 4,132
Heavy raiins this weekend, so we're staying put till it passes. This is the season we have to work our way around the rain.
There are lots of things to do for the girls inside the house; color, read, practising with the math flash cards and of course playing with Lucie. That is if Lucie comes out to play. When it's dry, which is actually quite often, they go outside and play with the neighbor girls.
Robin is doing exercizes.
Jasmine and Cheyenne are drawing beautiful pictures.
On Friday Amarins and Jasmine bring Suzanne to the Amtrak station in Santa Barbara. She's going to New Mexico for a couple of weeks. Amarins and Jasmine will meet Morna and Harry at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.
Jasmine is gently brushing the sand of the bones. She is very meticulous.
There is not as much rain as forecasted. Thus the rainstorm weekend turns into a brainstorm weekend. We're getting closer to Alaska with every mile. What are we going to do when we get there?
We know we're going to stay in the Fairbanks area for about a year. For the experience of living there, to see the northern lights. We're coming up with a couple of ideas over the weekend.
Anything is possible. It's what we make of it.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Today 27 miles, Total 4,159
We've got some ideas on paper. Things we can work on on our way up.
The girls say goodbye to Lucie, then we hop on the bike. Amarins makes sure that everyone is buckled up properly, then we're on the road again. We're going through town and will take the backroads towards Guadelupe, before continuing on highway 1.
Just a mile on the road when we get our 20th flat tire.
While Bill fixes the tire, the girls work on making a grass garden. They put a lot of effort in it. They find sticks to dig with. From time to time a small group of flowers gets added.
The girls are building a garden.
It isn't long and we're back riding. It is not very busy in town. We can find our way easily. Then we ride through the vegetable fields. Fields full of brocolli, cabbages, cauliflower. What a lot of products they have here.
A giant cauliflower.
In Guadelupe we find a little chinese restaurant. Lot of variety. A good place to have lunch. We park our bike right in front, it just fits in the parking spot. As we finish lunch, two patrol cars cross the road and park right next to us. Are we in trouble? No we're not. The officers heard about us going to Alaska and would like to hear some more.
The Guadelupe K-9 unit stops by for a chat. The girls get a couple of stickers and a card with Atza's information on it. Atza is the newest police K-9 (kanine) in Guadelupe. "Atza loves to catch the bad guy!"
The officers escort us out of town across a very narrow bridge into the next county. Thanks officers! We appreciate it.
The girls are truly amazing. Always ready to ride. They keep their eyes open for what ever moves. We look left and right to follow what they are seeing. So full of life and enthusiastic. This time Cheyenne makes us stop. She has spotted a giant tortoise in a field. We all get off the bike for a closer look.
Cheyenne spots a giant tortoise in a field.
Robin is trying to lure the goats to eat her flowers.
We ride along the eucalyptus trees. The wind in the dry leaves makes it sound like it is raining. The road is gently rolling. We're a bit away from the ocean, but we can smell it. And to our left we can see the sand dunes. The wind has free play with the sand.
In Oceano we pick up a couple of trays of fresh strawberries. That will be nice for supper tonight. Now all we have to do is find a place to camp. We're thinking about going to Pismo Beach, but decide to stop at a campground in Oceano. Let's see if they allow tent camping. Amarins walks in to find out that yes they allow tent camping. If we don't mind sharing a spot, we can go right on to the site. Of course we don't mind sharing. When we get to the site, the biker is not yet there. Strange.
Strawberry time. We picked up another fresh batch this afternoon.
After a strawberry snack we set up camp. The sun reaches our side. The girls enjoy playing in the warm rays. They are always full of energy and full of ideas. Today they have gardening on their mind. Also here they work on a garden. Robin has her nose right on the grass and shares the discovery of a ladybug with mommy.
Robin shares the discovery of a ladybug with mommy.
Giving the flower garden the final touch.
As we finish supper with sandwiches and get ready to go to bed, our site sharer has not yet arrived. We settle down for the night anyway.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Today 22 miles, Total 4,181
Twice we wake up because of a train running through the campground. Well, that is how it feels. The campground is located on a narrow strip right between the train tracks and the highway. Thus the trains.
We're riding the California 1. It will take us towards San Luis Obispo, before we turn west on Los Osos Valley road to Los Osos. From time to time the 1 joins the 101 freeway, but we don't have to be on it. There are several frontage roads to take.
Riding the California 1. Robin recognizes the 1 every where.
As we enter Shell Beach we see a play ground. It obviously catches the eye of the girls too. Several times we've come across a playground in the morning, only to tell them we'll find one later this afternoon. Not this time. Today we're going to enjoy the one we find here. It has seals and an orca and a couple of swings.
Enjoying the seal at Shell Beach. Bare feet, but with a hat on...
Crowding the swing.
The road calls, but not for long. With a late start, and the time to enjoy the playground, it is nearing lunch time. The smells from a bakery draw us in. We have a very fancy grilled cheese sandwich; to fancy for the girls. All those different kinds of cheeses are to much for them. They will have to settle for a chocolate milk and a fresh pastry...
Like yesterday, the wind seems to pick up a bit in the afternoon. It is coming from the north. We're picking up a trend. Tomorrow we'll have to leave a bit early to take advantage of the wind free mornings.
Just before San Luis Obispo Bill helps two young ladies get back on the road with their car. They had it run out of water. With the water from our cannisters they are able to make it into town to have it checked out further.
We turn west on Los Osos Valley road. We have a place to stay tonight in Los Osos. With the mother of Chuck; who rode with us from Georgia into Florida on September 11, 2009. It is still another 10 miles and with the wind it is not going to be easy. Thinking about it, the journey has not been easy. It is actually a lot of hard work. When we're not pedalling, we're looking for a place to stay, or something to eat. On our off-the bike days we're working on logistics and updating the website. On top of that we also make quality time with the girls, whether it is playing or reading. This journey is certainly not for the faint of heart.
It might not have been easy to pedal the final miles today, but we made it to town, through some beautiful country.
The view from Los Osos Valley Road.
We enjoy the evening in the company of Pat and her friends. Thanks Pat!
Girrlie picture with Ms Pat.
Today 27 miles, Total 4,208
We're ready to go at 8am. Pat has fixed a pancake and bacon breakfast. A cup of coffee and some orange juice to tip it off. We're all set to head closer to the Big Sur wilderness. One more town before it starts. We'r quite curious.
Cheyenne and Robin.
The wind is blowing Jasmine's hair in every direction.
We zig zag our way around the 101. Sometimes we're on the left, sometimes we're on the right. We have to be a bit creative and keep our eyes oen wide to find the next continuation of our route.
Arrival in Morro Bay. We've dressed up a bit more after we started this morning.
The wind has already picked up some speed, it looks to be a stormy day. Not with clouds and rain but with gusts of wind. Regardless of the wind we make good time and arrive in Cayucos by mid morning. We enjoy a snack with cheese and fruit. We pick up some fresh chocolate milk at the filling station.
We stop by the Brown Butter Cookie Company in Cayucos. These ladies must have the best job ever!
We're still going up and down the hills. Although more up then down it seems. It feels like we're climbing for miles, which is true if we look at the mile numbers. Wow, this is some tough terrain. We'e starting to get the idea why most people travel north to south. They still have to do the climbing, but at least have the windin their backs. That makes a huge difference.
It was quite a climb to Cambria. We can't believe it is only 60 feet in elevation. Perhaps that is the elevation where the center of town is located.
We're getting off the 1, down the hill straight into Cambria. We're looking for a place for lunch. Bill is ready for some protein. Amarins would like some hot soup. Jasmine loves soup too. With the help of the townsfolk we are pointed in the right direction. We're taking a nice long break. After lunch, all we have to do is find a place to camp.
A sturdy lunch.
As we walk back to our bike, we get quite a gathering of people. Bill shares the story, while the girls are playing. Amarins picks up some supplies for tonight and the next days. We still have plenty of bread and fruit, thanks to Pat. But water is something we always fill up when we can. When Amarins comes back, a place to camp has been found behind the bicycle store. Less then a mile up the road.
After we get off the big bike, the girls hop on the little bikes at the Cambria Bicycle Outfitter.
Jasmine is riding on a princess bicycle. She put her 'make-up' in the basket.
Bill and Amarins set up camp. As we're getting the beds spread out we hear some strange popping, as if some one is shooting a bb-gun. We can't quite figure it out. We don't think much of it and walk back to the store. As we're talking with Alan, the manager, the girls come running in telling us that the trailer is on fire...
From joy to disaster in one quick step. The trailer has been destroyed by fire. Cause unknown. A devastating moment, especially since we're quite sure that Mr Dog was still in the trailer.
Only a pile of soot remains.
The fly of the tent is damaged by the fire. It's just the outside of the vestibule area. The inside of the tent will stay dry during rain. The holes have made the fly very prone to ripping though.
The Cambria Fire Department stops by with two big trucks, but the damage has been done already. It went so fast. The fire chief is trying to figure out the cause of the fire. We're not totally sure, but it looks like the tracking device got to hot. Right next to it we had our camping stove with fuel and a little pile of lighter knot (fire starter). Once all of this was on fire there was no stopping it.
The fire is out.
Amarins cries with Cheyenne. The loss of her Mr Dog is a big one. Jasmine and Robin scoot as close as they can as we seek comfort in each other.
Out of the devastation we make new friends, Mike and Kathy. They'd offered to bring us supper tonight. Now they're taking us away for a bite to eat and some icecream for the girls.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Today 0 miles, Total 4,208
A rough night sleep. We toss and we turn, wondering why. Not why did the trailer burn, but why didn't we pull out Mr Dog, Rose and Robin's puppy, as we always do. There are no answers.
After a fitful night we wake up to the voice of Mike. He's here to pick us up for breakfast. We're going to eat at their house, while we figure out what to do next.
Alan, of CBO, has found a trailer for us in San Luis Obispo. Mike and Bill are going to pick it up and fix it to our needs.
Amarins and the girls stay with Kathy. We color, go to the playground and soak in the day.
Kathy helps Jasmine on the monkey bars.
Robin jumps from the playground on the ground. Almost three feet off the ground. Wow!
Taking a moment to breath in some fresh ocean air.
We stop by the bicycle store.
The girls each receive a bear from Nora, the daughter of CBO store manager Alan. Thank you for sharing Nora. That is so special.
The afternoon is spend working on the trailer.
Mike and Bill have found a new trailer in San Luis Obispo. Now they are working on the adjustments. Mike is shortening the arm that attaches the trailer to the bike. Bill adds the extra axle point. He saved it from our old trailer. The top rack sits outside in the sun, drying off after a good soot cleaning. It'll have to do for now.
Tada, the new trailer is ready for take-off.
We're very thankful for our new friends. The help we have received to help getting us back on the road has been incredible. We thought it would take us several days to pick up the pieces and put them back together. Thank you for helping us continue our journey.
Continue the journey: