March 6 - 11: California

3/6 - San Diego (0 miles 0 total)
i'm starting to get a bit nervous. having done a long ride or 2 before doesn't seem to assuage the jitters when a new long ride is about to start.
the day started off with laundry. since bikewear is the only wear i brot, i needed to wash the things i've been wearing this week so they're ready to go on the road with me.
the laundry accommodations available to me here are certainly much more commodious than i'll find for another 2 months, as you can see by this photo. from here on out it's going to be a matter of dodging dripping duds every evening in snug motel rooms, especially since i've chosen triple occupancy. & our bikes will usually be in the rooms with us, too. very cozy.
after breakfast & hanging out my wash, sari & i took my bike case & a box of extras to UPS. this time i had UPS affix an extra mailing label to the outside of the bike case with their institutional-strength tape. the tag i took off the case when i got here on saturday showed the case had ended up in salt lake city before it finally made its way to san diego. i'm hoping the route to st. augustine will be more direct!
then sari drove us down to point loma & cabrillo park, where we enjoyed these magnificent views of san diego bay. the motel where the rest of the womantours group is staying is on the other side of that bay. much of the area in the foreground belongs to the naval base.
we stopped to share a fish sandwich at a very popular seafood shop on the bay's shore near the womantours motel, where we were headed for the 1 pm riders' meeting. at the meeting, each of us introduced herself & told a bit about her motives for doing this trip. several of the riders have ridden x-country before, some on camping trips. others have done shorter bike tours. one of the riders is still awaiting delivery of her bike! one of the staff people has just returned from 2 months in africa; she says she's particularly excited about our indoor overnight accommodations....& running water!
a high point of our get-together was a surprise birthday cake for bev anderson, one of the riders, who turns 70 today! here's bev cutting her birthday cake.
after returning to sari's from the meeting, i did some packing & repacking. i learned at the meeting that i won't need my thermarest after all, so i will be sending yet another package to my house....that is sari will send it after i leave. our only indoor camping overnight will be at a christian camp (i think somewhere in texas), but they have bunk beds, so i won't need the sleeping pad.
sari & i took a last walk down along the ocean near sunset. isn't this a neat sand castle...a real condo!
the colors in the sky, water & sand as the sun dipped below the horizon were so beautiful. those are still some surfers out in the waves.
tonight was the send-off banquet, attended by not only all the riders, but by many friends & relatives, as well, who wanted to join in the send-off festivities, making a total of 60-some at the banquet. some of the relatives had traveled quite a ways, one daughter from hawaii. here sari & i met up with patty fainer, one of our close friends from the 2000 x-country. many of you who watched us pedal the transamerica trail will remember patty. she joined our group in chester, illinois, after finishing chemo treatments, which followed a double mastectomy.
you'll see in this photo that patty has lots more hair now than she did during the 2000 trip. the REALLY exciting tidbit of the evening was that patty surprised us with the news that she'll be joining us at our overnight stop near austin in april for the rest of the trip. we're ecstatic!
our adventure begins at 9 a.m. tomorrow, when we dip our tires into the pacific at dog beach in san diego, then head eastward. it's going to be hard to get any sleep tonight.
If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, feel free to e-mail my son Mark with your request. Stay tuned....

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