Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride
Friday, May 16, 2008
Another long day with various problems. Since we were camping last night, without an electrical connection, we couldn't charge up all our electronics. Our laptop ran out of juice just after we finished the web page, but before we could proof it (we've fixed the errors). We weren't able to charge up our camera which conked out on us today. Our GPS conked out on us too, but we had a spare battery for that. The worst part of today, though, was that we were supposed to be on a bike path through a good part of Long Beach and Los Angeles but the path wasn't continuous and we couldn't find out how to get back onto it. This left us scrambling to find our way through some complicated areas without going on the freeways. Our day's route ended up taking a lot longer than it would have because of all that fiddling. We started out late (8:30) and ended up at our motel in Redondo Beach at 6 pm. We planned to meet a high school friend of Pat's for dinner here, as well, so we really only had time to put up a web page and write a short excuse. We have finally caught up, although we have only a few pictures, covering just Dana Point (just outside Doheny State Beach where we camped) to Huntington Beach. However, those were the most scenic parts of the day. After that, things got so frazzled, I was somewhat relieved not to have to worry about taking pictures as well.
The towns and landscape between Dana Point and Huntington Beach were gorgeous. Dana Point had some very pretty park areas. Laguna Beach was a very artsy town, with lots of European-style eateries and cafes, lots of art galleries, pottery, and antique stores, and lots of very fancy hotels and homes. The terrain around it was equally stunning. Between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach was a very scenic area, including the Crystal Cove State Park. There was an information center with lots of instructional exhibits there that was very well attended. We stopped there to use the bathrooms, and I was wise enough to go first. A schoolbus full of kids descended on it just as I was coming out, before Pat got his chance! Luckily, there were a lot of stalls and Pat didn't have to wait as long as he thought. Then there was Newport Beach, famous for its marinas and coves. There were more boat dealers along that stretch of Rt. 1 than car dealers in most other cities! And most of what appeared to be on sale were yachts. There were some car dealers too, and most of the cars were similarly high-end.
Then we came into Huntington Beach, a huge town (about 200,000) and much more industrial than what we had seen in CA so far. There were many large power stations and other industrial plants. It was the only place we saw oil rigs in the ocean. There was also a large tidal inlet right next to Rt. 1 that stretched for miles. It was obviously a popular place for shore, marsh, and migratory birds. It was also a wildlife preserve. The ocean beaches were large and there were several fancy hotels and condos right off the beaches. We saw what looked like hazy mountains out in the ocean at one point, and asked someone what they were. They were on the Catalina Islands some distance off shore. This was, unfortunately, about where our camera gave out. After that, we went through two small towns, Sunset Beach and Seal Beach (we didn't see any seals here), went past beautiful Anaheim Bay, and came into Long Beach, crossing the San Gabriel River and Alamitos Bay. Shortly after that, we got onto the bike path, which started out fine and was a welcome relief from all the traffic we'd been getting more and more of. It went along San Pedro Bay but came into a little shopping area called Shoreline Village and disappeared on us. We finally managed to find it again but it promptly faded out on us again. After many attempts to get back to it and continuously getting to entrance ramps onto freeways instead, we gave up and hit the streets of Los Angeles (or Long Beach, we weren't sure where one ended and the other began). We made out ok, going through some nice little neighborhood streets along the Los Angeles River until we got back on track at the point where we were supposed to cross the river. We did have a flat along the way, just to make things even more interesting, but it was just the trailer tire and we fixed it pretty quickly.
Once we crossed the river, we were on big city streets - dusty, crowded, noisy, and none too smooth. It was still a fairly long stretch to Redondo Beach, which was a very pretty shore town, and we couldn't wait to get the day over with. We got to our motel, showered, and waited for Pat's friend, Mike, to arrive. Mike treated us to dinner at a very lively bar & grill nearby and we had a great time catching up with each other. Then we quickly put up a shell of a web page and went to bed. We ended up at 58 miles in 6 hours of bike time.