Friday, November 5, 2010

Heat Wave, Surf's Up, Made it to San Diego

We finally made it to San Diego!!!! and what an amazing journey it has been.....

Corona Music Garlic in Santa Barbara. With winds alas at our backs, we ride south from Gaviota, through citrus orchards that fill the warm air with fragrance of sweet blossoms.

Surfing Rincon! The warm eastern winds begin to blow again, just like on our September 25 wedding day. Below green hillsides terraced with rolling acres of avocado trees, the first signs of an ocean swell from a storm in Alaskan waters begin to peel into the pointbreak of Rincon. At this world famous surf location, Kati lounged in the drift-wood supported hammock and Pete borrowed a board to ride a few fun, gentle waves.

Poison fields and headwinds. Day 27 from Oxnard to Santa Monica was the most difficult 50 miles of the journey. The day began before sunrise, with an easterly wind that smelled of a rotting carcass. Then we caught a glance of our camping neighbor, and we convinced ourselves he was one of Ventura County's most wanted, so we broke camp in silent, record time, and were on the road by daybreak. With no bike shoulder and semi trucks gusting wind bursts with each pass, we rode with pure concentration. Hundreds of acres of parsley and strawberries stretched towards to coast dunes. Men in white haz mat suits drove tractors that sprayed a mist from a container of neon green liquid. The winds blew this mist onto some crops, but mostly into the air. We covered our faces and rode with determination.

Out of the agricultural fields and back to the coast, where we took a rest and were gifted a bag of cashews from a bouldering climber.

Then the Santa Ana winds began to howl down the canyons, spraying offshore mist hundreds of feet into the air. The gusts were sustained 30 knots, and we had to dismount the bike and walk to avoid getting lifted off the cliff and out to sea.

Perfect waves in Malibu. The northwest swell arrived at County Line, where waveriders found warm offshore winds, head-high surf and ideal conditions. Onlookers watched the sets roll in with amazement.

Bay Watch dreaming.... Lifeguard Pete keeps the Malibu shores safe as he watches surf at Zuma Beach.

Malibu's beach estates hang on the cliffs behind this honeymooning mermaid. We swam beneath the waves like dolphins, the ocean's salt and sand scrubbing away any pesticide residue and highway grime. The toughest riding day became a warm, beautiful beach day, and we set our compass for the northern shores of L.A.
 Our voracious appetite is symbolized by this burrito stand art piece. We eat six super burritos for every 50 miles we ride.....each.

Santa Monica gifted a colorful, gentle welcoming to the L.A. area where we met up with dear friends Amanda, Jamie and Kendra for a few sweet meals, lifeguard truck posing and a visit to a community garden.

Venice Beach was alive and well, with street performances, a Go Vegan march and a Halloween costume volleyball match. Pete watched a pick-up game, and waited for someone to hustle with, White Men Can't Jump style.

Biking L.A. was the easiest, safest leg of the coastal journey, with huge wide bike paths winding through the sand and hundreds of feet from the nearest autos. We made our way to the home of Kristin and Gene, parents of winemaker Colin McNany. A delicious meal was prepared, halibut, mashed potatoes and an apple crisp tart. Living large with the McNany's of Palos Verdes.

Kristin took us to Colin's old stomping grounds of Rocky Point, where we walked Nanuk, searched for seashells and then went for a zippy Sunday drive in a brand new convertible.

On Halloween we carved pumpkins, planted garlic cloves and by nightfall scared so many Palos Verdes kids into screams of fright. We passed out candy and Kati brought a new spin to the streets of PV, when she insisted the kids must tell a joke before receiving a Butterfinger or Whopper Balls. Carrying on St. Louis Halloween traditions, and confusing the trick or treaters, who walked up the steps in search of free, no hassles candy.

Would you trust your children with these freaks?

Kati bonds with Nanuk, a kind-hearted dawg that reminded Kati of her beloved childhood puppy Brooks.

Honeymooners enjoy sweeping vistas of the L.A. harbor, industrial park and power plant facilities.

To the canyon views of Laguna Beach, where fall monsoons brought green sprouts to the often parched chaparral of southern California's coastlands.

Amazed to find Plumeria trees in full fragrant bloom, preparing us for the tropical scents to come in Cuba.

As the sun lowers on day 34, hundreds of wave-riders search the oceanic horizon for their perfect wave. Pictured here is a break named Trestles, where turquoise waves shimmered in the golden hues of fall.

San Onofre state beach, our last campground before the final push into San Diego, represents our strangest camping experience. We woke numerous times in the night, thinking a Boeing 737 was about to land on our picnic table. It was the CoastLiner Amtrack screeching to a halt just across the street. The northern view from our campsite revealed the Southern California Edyson Nuclear Power Plant, illuminated like a space craft by halogen flood lights and responsible for supplying much of Southern California's huge energy supply. To the south, we are warned of the bike path that passes through the Camp Pendleton Military training grounds, a road that was closed to bikers earlier in the week because they were exploding deadly ordinances. BlackHawk helicopters circled in training missions day and night and swiftboats whizzed around the aircraft carrier just offshore. San Onofre and the southern coast highlighted the contrasting forces which California is home to, military and navy training grounds, nuclear power plants, world class surf locations, glamorous estates, turquoise waters filled with dolphins and whales.

Thirty five days of adventure along the California coast by tandem bike. Our potential as a couple has deepened as we understand the skills of patience, communication and trust. We love our Turquoise Tandem, and we prepare now for leg two of our Honeymoon travels.

Swami's surf break.... Dear Moms and Dads and family and friends. Thank you for your love trust and support. Continue to send us love and safe travel vibes. We'll write soon from Cuba!


  1. Nanuk is such a cutie! Loved your Halloween costumes! This was hilarious! “We passed out candy and Kati brought a new spin to the streets of PV, when she insisted the kids must tell a joke before receiving a Butterfinger or Whopper Balls. Carrying on St. Louis Halloween traditions, and confusing the trick or treaters, who walked up the steps in search of free, no hassles candy.” Go Kati! Make ‘em work for the candy. Love it! Beautiful collection of pictures guys…we’re living vicariously through you. Sending our love. T.J. and Salem.

  2. What a wonderful adventure! I love your photos and look forward to more from Cuba. Keep on having fun!

  3. that is so funny...i have received the same response about my halloween traditions here in the northeast. i guess st. louis is the only place where you have to work for your candy...a joke, trick, or some kind of performance was always required. love reading your updates!

  4. what an amazing journey it looks like you guys are having so far! I can't WAIT for the images and stories from Cuba - as well as the information I can learn from you guys when you come back! In the meantime, travel safe and enjoy the ride!
    Love, Ty

  5. Kristin and I really enjoyed meeting you guys. Your stay with us allowed a peak into your wonderful adventure and all that life has in front of you. We wish you great fun and love on this exciting chapter in many things to come together.
    Captain Gene and Kristin