Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Santa Monica to Laguna Beach December 4-5

December 4.....71.56 in 6:14....Once again, I woke up expecting to feel the cold that is making news everywhere. On the news last night, they were telling people to cover their plants and bring their dogs in because it was going to be near freezing. At 8AM it was above 50 degrees and sunny with a nice tailwind. I was out the door at 8:30, two quick chocolate donuts at 7-11, and it was through downtown, through Palisades Park, where people were working out, amongst the homeless, some of which were still snoozing, wrapped up like cocoons. I rode down the Santa Monica pier entrance ramp, and onto the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, where I left off yesterday. My new gear system was working fine, except for that middle sprocket in the front. It was skipping pretty good, but as long as I have my highest and lowest gears, I'll be fine. Like old school, only 20 gears.
The first 20 miles were bike trail, wide, new concrete, winding through a quarter mile wide beach, working around parking lots, lifeguard stands, volleyball courts, restrooms, changing stations, food stands, and sometimes the trail seemed to wind for no apparent reason at all. On winter mornings, the only beach goers are doing yoga, skateboarding, running, working with personal fitness trainers, biking, and feeding pigeons. Huge numbers of transients and homeless, sometimes in groups of 10-20, were congregated in the grass areas and under palm trees. At one point, I had to ride through a flock of pigeons, and as they took off, two of them touched me with their wings as they flew. I've never been hit by a flying bird before, let alone two at once. The trail went past Venice Beach, and with all the wild stories I've heard about that place, it was quiet, like it should be on a morning in the dead of winter. I then turned inland a little, to go around Marina Del Ray. It's the largest marina I have EVER seen, and I've biked all three of the American coasts. You could take the town of Houston PA, and set it right in the middle of the marina and there would still be room for some yachts. There were thousands of yachts and other boats, private and commercial. There was even a guy who had a shingle out that said he specialized in burials at sea. The trail then took me past Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, to Redondo Beach pretty quickly. Each place looked as nice as the other, no wonder they are so famous and hot spots to visit.
At Redondo, I turned off the trail, which ended very shortly after my exit point, and headed inland, around what looked like a mountain, filled with homes around the edges. I stopped at a Subway, and it was about 11:30, so I was hitting the city at a pretty good time, as far as avoiding traffic. I was soon in a business district that I think was Torrence, and the ACA map got me off the main road and into a nice residential area. It was nice, clean, and fashionable, but not in an aloof way. Just middle class Cali. When I came out of the residential area, I was in Carson, in a business and industrial area that was paralleling Interstate 405, which is the way Pam came through I believe. There were plenty of trucks getting on and off the 405, as well as train tracks and terminals. I came to a huge canal, as wide as a football field, that was the Los Angeles River. I got on a bike path  that ran along the south edge of the canal, heading west, right into the wind. It was the only bothersome wind I had all day, and it only lasted 5-7 miles. I was then back on the coast, south of the city of LA, and I never did see the 'big city'. 
 The river empties into the San Pedro Bay, very near Long Beach Harbor, which is a really nice tourist area, with decorative  brick trails that I shared with pedestrians, the Queen Mary, which was in sight, and Lighthouse Point. The trail continued along the coast to Alimos Bay, where I had some roads to ride and some bridges, back to Rt. 1 thru Seal Beach, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. The these places are very populated and all run together. Newport Beach stood out to me because there was lots of water and many beautiful people had their boats or yachts parked at their private docks in their back yards. Newport Beach ran right into Laguna Beach, and it was all getting busy because it was getting later in the afternoon. Laguna Beach was another very long town, wedged between a mountain range and an ocean. It reminded me of an overcrowded Malibu, as the houses were much closer together. The road got pretty narrow, and heavy traffic, along with parked cars put my focus on safety, not scenery. It got very hilly, and it looked to me like Laguna was built on a cliff, with very few places to access the actual beach. Riding in Laguna was the worst traffic area of the whole trip through the LA area for me. 
I was getting close enough to Pam to have it be worthwhile for her to come get me, saving me Laguna Beach Motel prices. I had thought that maybe I would spend two nights in a row in motels, but an early start today, and a nice tailwind helped me make good time. Pam was awaiting me in South Laguna Beach, right on the side of the road, right at sunset, which happened at about 4:45. She knew her way home, and did a fine job getting me to the RV safely through rush hour traffic. We decided on a meal of Church's Fried Chicken and a Black Russian to wash it down.

The forecast for Oceanside Beach called for an "astronomically high tide" this morning, so I decided to go down to the beach to check it out.  It was high, but I've seen way worse on the Outer Banks of NC!!  Anyway, I walked the beach, checked out the pier and then returned to the RV park via the beach.  On my way back on the beach, the tide started going out and low and behold, there was a car in the water!  There were tow trucks, a front loader and lots of people trying to figure out how to get it out!  They think someone drove it onto the beach, left it and the high tide hid it!  It's crazy here in California!!  Right after I got back to the MH, I got the call from Mike to meet him in Laguna, so off I went!
Marina Del Ray

Excellent bike trail

Marvin Braude bike trail from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach

Hermosa Beach

Manhattan Beach Pier

Volleyball nets and lifeguard truck by the water at Manhattan Beach

Volleyball lessons

Waves building up due to wind

Redondo Beach Pier sign

Business district in Torrence

The Los Angeles River

Unique bird feeding in river

LA River bikeway

Lighthouse Point in Long Beach with ever present homeless person catching afternoon Zs

Queen Mary at anchor

Harbor Islands off Long Beach

Harbor Islands off Long Beach

Huntington Beach in ritzy area

Casting a long shadow in winter sun

Looking back at Oceanside Beach from the Oceanside Pier

This car was exposed by low tide!

They couldn't figure out how to pull it from the water since it was partially buried by the sand

Bird of Paradise flower


Dec 5 - Took Mike to the Buccaneer Cafe (little hole in the wall down by the Oceanside beach) for breakfast.  Afterwards, we walked along the beach down to the pier, spent some time on the pier, watched the surfers and the pelicans, then strolled around the town, hit the Thursday morning farmer's market.  Then we went home for awhile.  Early in the evening we went back to the sunset market and also caught the Christmas tree light up celebration.  We ate some good food and did a little Christmas shopping at the sunset market.


Mike the rock star with his own bench!!

Cool looking ducks? that were swimming in the creek near our campground

The Buccaneer Cafe where we had an awesome breakfast



Walking along the beach in Oceanside

Lots of rocks to keep the ocean back from the houses built next to the beach

Lots of surfers were out

Oceanside Pier

Kelp floating in the water

The pelicans were hanging out on the pier

Sign next to the bait shack on the pier



This piece of art was hanging above the bait shop


California Surf Museum in Oceanside, CA


We were standing on the pier when Mike took this video of a surfer and the local sites

1 comment:

  1. Hi. It's me your neighbor Cyndi. Everything sounds like a great time. For some reason I stopped getting e-mails about your travels. Tried to re-submit e-mail address but it said I was already subscribed. Just thought you may have some idea why. Hope I start getting them again. Thanks. Stay safe.

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