TRAIN SLO to SAN DIEGO, ROLLER COASTERS AND FRIENDS

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                                                               ARLENE AND KIETH
KIETH WAS ONE OF MY FIRST EMPLOYEES OVER 30 YEARS AGO!

     The advice from cyclist was to skip riding through Los Angeles,    (Hell-A).  Then one bike shop owner said riding along Venice Beach was super cool. It was a tough choice, but the train won.  I was told the train went along parts of the coast that had no roads.  The train reminded me of the train from Barcelona to Colera, right along the beach, good choice.

I wanted to stay right in Ocean Beach in San Diego, mission accomplished.  We all stopped at the hostel after dinner.  Arlene told me I couldn’t stay there and had to come home with them.  They only live 4 blocks from the hostel, but I really wanted to live the “OB” lifestyle, for a few days.  There were 5 brewpubs in OB!  The farmers market happened too.  I was wearing my Turkey T-shirt and a food vendor was from Istanbul.  We laughed and took photos of each other.  I left with a free plate of Turkish delight.

                         THE OCEAN BEACH LIFESTYLE

I signed up for a bike tour at the hostel, using my bike.  The ride leader would ride against the arrows in the bike lane, listened to his music and didn’t say a thing about the area.  He missed a huge opportunity to make some extra money with tips.  I broke off from the ride and did my own thing.  I saw amazing houses and dive bars (literally).

I stopped at the Mission Beach “old school” Roller Coaster.  People who know me, know I wash windows for my hosts, no different here.  It took me 6 hours to wash Arlene & Kieth’s windows, but they really appreciated it.

I want to come back to OB, as soon as possible.  Arlene & Kieth are super hosts.  They had a little bedroom with bathroom in the garage, worked super for me.
I rode my bike to El Cajon to catch the bus to Anza Borrego.  The homeless scene in El Cajon was over the top, I felt somewhat unsafe.  I got to Anza Borrego in time to watch my Seahawks play NFL football (we won!).  I’m glad to be camping again.

Thanks for reading,
Jeff
NEXT: Biking around Anza Borrego and to the Salton Sea,
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ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Finish driving to San Francisco, Biking SF to Monterrey.

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     I brought another cyclist I met at Manchester Beach to Stinson Beach.  We partied all the way, too much fun.  We stopped at one beach and the perfect California lifeguard was there.

I finally made it back to Russ and Jill’s place in Tomales, to drop off my car. My first night, there was another football game with the crowning of the Homecoming queen.   Of course I got a photo with last years queen and other Tomales High Celebrities.
Russ always talks about how lucky he is to have a steady stream of spring water, especially in drought ridden California.  Russ may have stopped milking cows years ago, but if you live on a farm, there’s still farm work.  I wasn’t much help because the doctor said I could only lift 20 lbs.  The yearly task is to scrap out the built up muck, out of the spring water box.  I tried my best to help Isabella lift out the heavy buckets.

     Russ drove me to San Francisco and dropped me off.  I was so excited and somewhat apprehensive to be on the bike again.  I thought Sunday traffic would be somewhat quiet, wrong.  Highway 1 was lined with Pumpkin patches and corn mazes.  I booked 2 nights at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel.  I took a day and rode to Ana Nuevo Reserve, where as kids we camped out with HUGE bonfires, illegal now.  The beaches were covered with seals and I saw probably 150 Pelicans too, super cool.

 I contacted an old high school friend in Santa Cruz, I gave it 50/50.  He called back! and we met for lunch and a couple beers.  He’s quiet the craftsman, he made the beer taps at the SANTE ADAIR BREWERY.  Part of my farewell America tour is to visit my old schools, the house I grew up in and the downtown area.  As kids we had only one store downtown that was 2 stories.  My brother and I use to bike downtown just to ride the elevator up one level.  I stopped by the library too, where my first & favorite bike was stolen from.  It was great to see the new bike facilities.  Known as Silicon Valley, it’s home to the most famous tech companies: Apple, HP, Google, Facebook, Netflix and many many others.  The Apple campus was HUGE.

I take the bus out of Santa Cruz to Watsonville, to avoid all the cars and traffic. I ride past acres and acres of strawberry’s (strawberry fields forever).  I ride to Monterey and stop for a beer at the American Legion building, it’s Thursday night football- cheap beers and free burrito bar, killing it.  It’s dark & straight up to the campground, I opt for sleeping behind the building.

Sorry to my Facebook friends for using some photos twice, (but they’re good!).
Thanks for reading,
Jeff
NEXT:  Big Sur, Sneaking around the Slide, Morro Bay! and San Luis Obispo

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AS SEEN AT THE AMERICAN LEGION

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Driving from Portland to San Francisco to go finish the bike tour. (part I)

The injury is healing fine ( though somewhat painfully).  I’m taking a week to get to San Francisco and hopefully heal more before biking again.  First heading to Bend Oregon for 4 days.   But first brunch at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood.  It’s snowing and my car won’t make it up the hill.  I must park and take the bus up.

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1 MILE FROM THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

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This has definitely been the micro brewed beer tour.  Lagunitas  brewery was a must visit for me in Petaluma.  I pinched the bus from Bodega Bay to Santa Rosa.  I called an old acquaintance (friend?) that I grew up with, in Sunnyvale.  I called him so I could come visit his winery.  He said he was too sick to see me, yet he wasn’t sick enough to go to work and meet with clients & interact with his coworkers.  He mentioned he read my blog when I biked across Europe, yet never posted a message to me?  The moral of the story? The rumors I heard 40 years ago were proven to be true. So Fuck You Bob F., I wouldn’t walk across the street to your funeral.
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BIKING HIGHWAY 1 ON THE CALIFORNIA COAST, LIVING THE DREAM

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I started riding on Highway 1 and just 10 miles from Fort Bragg I was run off the road
twice.  If your thinking of trying bike touring? “ALWAYS” use a mirror they’re lifesavers.  I stayed at Mackerricher State Park, quail visitors for breakfast and whale skeletons.  There is a 3 mile bike path to Fort Bragg.  A great little town, organic breakfast, fun shops, good cards and a super rock shop.  I got my shredded shirt repaired by Sew & Sew, which was just bought by 3 lovely ladies a week ago, so I suggested it should now be Sew & Sew & Sew.
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MEYERS FLAT IS WHERE IT’S AT: REDWOOD TREES & MARIJUANA

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Ryan was our trusty park ranger.  He worked 4 miles from Myers Flat and hadn’t seen the bumper sticker yet, yep I bought him one.  The saying was so true yesterday but not as much today, if you grow marijuana.   10 years ago marijuana grown here sold for $5,000 per pound, today it can be bought for $600 per pound on CraigsList.  The growers or ex-growers…..
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