Southern California; Last Post

Southern California; Last Post

This will be our last post.  We have made it to Santa Barbara, one of our favorite places.  This piece of coast between San Simeon and Santa Barbara represents all the beauty that California is known for, without the chaos that California is also known for.  I think this is best described by a sign on a surf shop in Pismo Beach.

I’ve had to explain to Jan that this version of travel, in which we stop at every vista point, historical landmark, and botanical garden is just a onetime offering because of her injuries.  After this trip, it will be back to our normal standard of stopping every 250 miles.
We finally had a bit of good luck on timing.  We drove down through Solvang and headed to the coast on 101 to get to SB.  About an hour after we got here they closed that section of 101 because of a wildfire that jumped the highway.  It did make for an interesting sunset.

The looping is caused by the scale of the turbulence in the area.  Of course all you micrometeoroligists already knew that.

I went for a ride yesterday from Santa Barbara to Carpinteria and back.  I was hoping the disagreements between my bicycle seat and my butt would have been resolved by the one week trial separation.  Initially, everything was copacetic but after about 25 miles they were arguing again.  I guess that there will always be issues there in spite of their close relationship.  I think they are going to have to deal with it as I believe we have a lot of good riding left in us.

The picture at the top is of Rincon Point as it was one of our favorite places for the two months that we lived in the area.  One side of the point had a mile-long Beach with very few people.  This is where we would come to walk and let the dogs run. Although their early introduction to waves was a little rough, once they got them figured out they had a blast.  The other side of the point generates these continuous long smooth waves that create a surfers paradise.  There are multiple points to take off, timing is less critical, and plenty of room on each wave for different surfers.  I’ve seen surfers catch rides that lasted for a few minutes.  If reincarnated I hope to come back and try this place as a kid (I will put in a request for the total surfer dude look with thick bushy blond hair, I want tall too).  Last night it seems like it was parent kid surf night with dads and three daughters all in different sized wet suits and boards and a number of what must be the surfer version of the hovering soccer mom who was adjusting her son’s gear and dabbing sunscreen on his face.  His look was easily translated as “come on mom you’re embarrassing me!”  Ah the price you must pay for a ride to the beach.

The rest of the trip we will be visiting friends and family in SoCal and then picking up my car in South San Diego and heading back to Tucson.

I have done much of the riding from here to the border and don’t feel a need to repeat it.  We will consider coming back to do the Big Sur and Central Coast.  This will probably be done as part of a supported ride.  When you are out there on your own with no backup, there is alway stress thinking about what would you do if something goes wrong.  We did feel good after making it through a hard wet day with flats and mechanical problems.  It’s a nice reminder that we are still competent and can overcome difficulties.

The other reason that we only want to do a supported ride is that zen feeling I get when I spinning down the road or climbing a hill and feeling like a young athlete again gets somewhat diminished with a bike loaded with panniers.  I want to be a sports car not an underpowered truck.

So until the next trip when Willie’s telling me to get “On the road again”, I will just close with “Happy Trails to you”.



  1. That is an awesome picture of the red sunset and undulating clouds. A “keeper” for sure.
    I enjoyed your narrative and photos, your wit and humor shines through and I can see you enjoyed writing each day of the journey. Cheers!

  2. Mike and JD – We have really enjoyed your blog – a perfect combination of half wit and half haiku (you know who you are 😉

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