Thursday, November 19, 2009

San Diego & Las Vegas

While staying with friends and family in San Diego, we spent most of our time by the pier at Pacific Beach.  James and I took advantage of the 80+ degree days to catch up on some much needed sleep on the beach.

We left Las Vegas a few days ago after staying in the Stratosphere.  I think Vegas is one of my favorite places in the world.  I didn't gamble much, but I was able to win at the all day buffet in our hotel cafeteria.  I think I have 10 extra pounds right now that I probably needed.  

The temperature on the strip at night was down into the 30s, but we were able to get a little sun during the day when the temp rose to 65 degrees.

One of the best views in Vegas came from atop our hotel.  We could see the whole strip and "Old Vegas" while standing on the balcony, which is 109 stories up.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

California Feels Like Vacation

After entering California, we found ourselves surrounded by the redwood forest.  James and I road through these redwoods for 3 days without being able to see the sun.  The roads through the redwoods are dark and eerie, but at the same time, I didn't want to leave.  We saw a few trees that had to be cut, and counted over 400 rings on the stumps.  Some of the trees are so big that you can drive a car through.  Very Cool!

From highway 101 to route 1, we saw the craziest hills and turns.  We were up switchbacks for 5 miles, then down for 5 miles...Then up for 5 miles, then down for 5 miles.  I would love to go back with a fast rental car one day.  (With the extra insurance)  I think these 20+ miles were the most fun and the least of the entire trip so far. (huge uphills, fast downhills)  I ended up breaking a spoke leaning around one of the turns I was pushing soooo many G's.  Haha.  This was the first time the entire trip automobile traffic had to move out of our way due to the speeds we were traveling down the hills.

Might as well jump...JUMP!
So while we were crossing the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco, we had to stop while the police talked someone out of jumping off the bridge.  We got to the other side, and the person went back and jumped anyways.  The police went back up the bridge and dropped a flare to point where that person went in, but there was no effort to chase.  We later found out that this happens pretty regularly in SF.  If you're going to do it, I guess the Golden Gate is the place.

Wake Up San Francisco
The streets of San Francisco are beautiful.  Lining every rolling street, are these great Victorian homes, each home cooler than the next.  We were never able to get to Oakland, but we did spend a few good days on the west side walking through Fisherman's Wharf and biking by Candlestick Park.

The Jellyfish at the Monterey Aquarium were one of the highlights of the month for me.  James and I spent all day walking through the aquarium, seeing fish and other sea life I never imagined.  Right now, there is a whole wing dedicated to all the types of sea horses.

We are now in San Diego.  We haven't had any real trouble the past few weeks and the weather is great..  Our legs are very strong right now and we found a great routine with our meals and distances.  James and I are taking a week off at the moment to let our bodies recover so we can start our push to the east coast.  The west coast is absolutely amazing to me and I know it is going to be hard to leave.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Am I Homeless?

A few days ago I was standing outside of a Fred Meyer grocery store watching our bikes while James loaded up on produce.  We take turns watching the bikes in some areas, because everything we live off of is on these bikes.  It's all we have. Homeless? Hmm...nah.  Ok, so I'm outside this store on this bench wearing clothes I've had on for 2 or 3 days.  I haven't shaved or cut my hair in 6 or 7 weeks, and I've been tossing and turning in a tent most nights, so I'm not looking too healthy.  Ten minutes go by and a lady in her 40s or 50s approaches me.  There is no introduction.  She is staring at me and looks very uncomfortable.  I look back and say, "hi, what's up?"

Then it all pours out...
"My son, Simon, chooses to be homeless.  He doesn't want to work, and does drugs.  I hope he doesn't do the bad drugs, but I know he's doing them.  I'm not mad at him, but I want him to know he can come back home.  Have you seen him?  I think he's under one of those bridges.  Can you tell him that I'm not mad.  Just tell him that he can come home."

I let her go on and on for around 10 minutes, the whole time thinking about how much pain this kid is putting on his mother and then about how bad I must look if she thinks I know where he is.  I didn't even tell her the bike trip story, I just told her that I would keep my eyes open.

I didn't have more than 5 minutes to think about what had just happened when I was approached again.  This time by a local guy who had been living out of his bike for 25 years.  I think he had one good tooth, and that was about it, but he seemed to be the happiest guy in the world.

It's funny how we judge people by how they look.  I think James said it best yesterday, "the more people we meet, the more we are all the same."  I'm still not sure how to take all of this, but I figured I'd share.

Anyone have any thoughts or stories?