Day 43

Wednesday , November 6, 2013

Pacific Beach, San Diego to The Mexican Border

30 plus 6 MAGICAL Miles

Sit down and put everything that comes into your head and you are a writer. But an author is someone who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it. 

SG Colette

Every journey must have an end; my West Coast adventure reached its Finish Line today. 

It is yet another gorgeous sunny day in Southern California.  

We start along the ocean eventually moving over to Mission Bay Blvd. I am improvising the route as Adventure Cycling chooses some obscure border point near the ocean, dependent on a ferry to Coronado Island, scenic but time dependent. I have also already been on the Silver Strand Bike Trail south of Coronado. 

I choose to follow Harbor Ave with a spectacular view of the Downtown San Diego skyline.  We quickly reach the working part of the harbor and begin to shadow Interstate 5 going south through Chula Vista and then finally San Ysidro.

I point out the distant hills to Joe, “Mexico”.  I then see a massive Mexican flag flying proudly; again I signal to Joe.   The search for the border was nonetheless circuitous, to say the least. Ultimately the border was obvious by the scores of people walking,  carrying and pulling huge packages to the Other Side.  We joined the mass Pilgrimage with our bicycles in tow, our ultimate destination finally in sight after 1,775 hard fought miles. 

I smile; I grin from ear to ear; I am beyond elation. I have reached the final goal after 43 days of every type of weather and terrain. 

I see the trolley and realize there may be an express route home for $2.50 per person rather than enduring 30 miles of headwinds back to Pacific Beach. 

We take the trolley and get off near the University of San Diego; I take a route familiar from two years ago on the Coast2Coast back to Pacific Beach. Life has come full circle. 

Paradoxically, I am not ready for the bike ride to end as I ride on Ingraham Road across the gorgeous Mission Bay.  I feel as if I could ride forever. 

I reach Pacific Beach far too soon.  

The ride is over. 

I see a sign for pedicures across the street from the cottages.  The massage chair and the foot and leg massages are wonderful; I add a manicure along with the accompanying neck and arm massages. I had no idea my muscles in my neck were sore. Yes, I can accustom myself to this life. 

I view the spectacular sunset, a gift in itself. Today’s final gift: dinner at Isabel’s Cantina, my favorite restaurant in this area, first discovered with my daughter Rachel six years ago. I use their cookbook faithfully in Mexico; tonight‘s dinner did not disappoint. 

Buddha in the corner was an apt closure to this journey. 

 

So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, good night,I hate to go and leave this pretty sight.

So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, adieu,

Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu.

So long, farewell, Au’voir, auf wiedersehen,

I’d like to stay and taste my first champagne

So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, goodbye,

I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye,Good bye

I’m glad to go,

I cannot tell a lie.

I flit, I float,

I fleetly flee, I fly.

The sun has gone to bed and so mustI

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye,

Goodbye,

Goodbye,

Goodbye!

From “The Sound of Music” (1965). Sung by “the children.”

 

Addendum:

Surfers and paddle boarders look like little ants on the aquamarine ocean below me. It is a vision I will keep in my mind forever. 

See surfers of every age. 

Does anyone work here or is it one grand glorious party?

Day 43

Sunday

November 3 

Redondo Beach

Today we had an extra hour as no more daylight savings time.  From Santa Monica on,  most of the ride was on a bike path along the beach. The wind was in our face at the end; not pleasant.  It was a long mileage day, 64 miles. 

JPH 

Sunday

Day 38

Santa Barbara 

60 miles

Initial hills for 14 miles and then the terrain flattened out. Now in an area that is populated and it appears that it will be like that for the rest of the trip. It is also terribly expensive. 

JPH 

Day 38

Day 36

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cayucos to Pismo Beach

33 SMOOTH Miles

Today’s options are 30 miles or 80, based on towns with accommodations and depending upon the wind and the reality of the terrain.  We have a headwind, however as the hills are gentle grades all is well. 

The terrain is fine as we stay on One, where possible, and avoid some unpleasant hills. After San Luis Obispo, yet another charming town, the “No Bicyclists, No Pedestrians” signs appear and I route us on a side road that parallelsOne/ 101, probably the original Coast Highway. 

One is no longer the Cabrillo Highway; it is now designated the Pacific Coast Highway or PCH.  For awhile the PCH is also the El Camino Real or The King’s Road, the original route of the 21 California Spanish Missions established by Father Junipero Serra starting in 1769 with Mission San Diego de Alcala. 

As a bonus we are also on the San Luis Obispo Wine Trail with signs leading to the famed Edna Valley. 

I haven’t even started to describe Pismo Beach, “The Clam Capitol of the World”, though it is now illegal to go clamming here as the sea otters have first dibs. 

Pismo Beach is yet another classic California beach town. Highway One runs right through the city along with every version of lodging imaginable. The 101 Freeway runs 2 blocks East and bypasses the town, thus most people probably no longer see the town, the pier or the incredible beach. 

The air is crystal clear thanks to the strong wind; hopefully that same wind will be in our favor in the morning when we make the run inland to Lompoc. 

Many thanks for another safe successful day. 

A bit more about Cayucos:In October 2009, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel Magazine listed Cayucos as one of the “Coolest Small Towns in America”. I would tend to agree. 

Day 36