Monday, November 24, 2008

Arizona to LA.. ok skip LA. Welcome the mountains

Hi Everyone. I know it has been a while. I am in Hollister California. The last 4 days have been nothing but climbing and decending, climbing and decending. My legs are completely worthless and feel like jello. If I saw another hill right now I might get sick.

Let me take you back to Arizona and let you know how things have been going...

I absolutely loved the Arizona ride. It was my favorite. And since I have already seen California, Oregon and Washington, I am going to prounouce Arizone as my favorite part of this tour. I would like to move here.

After staying with Ray and Renee, I went to Surprise AZ and stayed with Mike and Laura Martell for a couple of days. We watched the UFC fights at their friends house, ate some sushi, watched some football and consumed a few glasses of wine. Laura and I are dangerous with a bottle of wine... (scratch that... several bottles). I've known Laura for a while and she married Mike a couple of years ago. They have a made a great happy home and I was sad to leave.

Mike did some good cooking and he sells some real estate too. Laura somehow escaped without a picture for me to post. You are welcome Laura!!!

From Surprise, I rode my longest day to Quartzsite, Az. After 130 miles and some night riding, I gulped a footlong Subway and crashed in the tent.

The next day brought me quickly to California, which really put a big smile on my face. I should see the coast soon and the signs to Los Angeles began to appear. Wow, I started to feel the overwhelming emotions of actually bicycling coast to coast. I am so proud of myself.

And California couldn't have welcomed me better. After a long long long scenic downhill slope to the border, I ate a great buffet and, of course, then got pulled over. I wasn't even a mile into California when the officer stopped me and went over the cycling rules from the CHP. About 3 hours later I was back on the highway (legally) when another CHP pulled me over, just to let me know I needed to get off at the next exit. These cops are all over it... Except he put me on what he called a scenic frontage road that I should use for my safety. By that he must of meant, let me stick you on a road in 95 degree weather, with no services (including use of my cell phone) and challenge you with the worst road you have ever been on. And by the way, some stretched will be just gravel too. I cursed the CHP for 3 hours and only 30 miles as I gyrated my way through the scenic route. I still got in 95 miles for the day.

The following day I rode into Indio and started to feel the massive traffic invasions into Los Angeles. Palm Springs and Palm Desert couldn't be more rude to the bicyclist. Approaching San Bernardino the next day was no different. I have never liked LA anyway, so I decided to change my route and go north through the San Bernardino Mountains...

What an awesome challenge I would put myself through. And now that I have made it. Once again I am so proud of myself. The next 4 days would be nothing but climbing and climbing, over and over again. My mind, emotions and body would go through nostalgic memories of running the 2001 Chicago marathon and my college wrestling days. And now that I am through the climbs (mostly), I feel like Rocky Balboa. But more like the Rocky in Rocky 6. I can say I still have got it. The stuff in the basement.
This is looking back on some of the climb I just pedalled.

At 4700 feet and hidden on the crest of the San Bernardino Mountains is a little town called Crestline. It is a very cute mountain community with all the needs a family could want. Its a lot like Leavenworth for you Seattle folks. And full of the nicest people.
I stopped for a beer and then another. And then the beer stopped me. To the are some of the folks I met and hung out with for the evening. On Craig and Carolyn (the two on the left) offered me their couch for the evening. We ate and drank and then watched Jeopardy and Survivor. But I fell asleep before Survivor ended... Thanks for the fun and great rest Crestline. I hope to see you again...

1 comment:

Shannon said...

I would like to believe that the hill in this picture is like the one we climbed in chelan....that would make me feel good. However, I know the one in chelan probably looked like a bump in the road compared to this one. Oh well I can dream :-) Love you