Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride
Sunday, May 18, 2008
We spent a very pleasant evening with Heather, Kevin and Katie and had a yummy pancake breakfast with them this morning. Somehow, they knew we like pancakes for breakfast; I think we might have mentioned it once or twice in our blog. Then we packed everything back in their truck and car and headed back out to the road. As we drove down the mountain on a mile-long twisty, 7% downgrade, we were quite thankful not to have to negotiate that particular stretch. We arrived at a suitable point on our route, unloaded, said our goodbyes, and were off again by 8:10. Today was a short day, only 36 miles and no hills to speak of, and we were looking forward to having a little more time to catch up on things. We started out going past several fields green with crops. One was a large area growing Driscoll strawberries. Another was labelled Dole 'Oceanview Produce'. Other fields were growing various kinds of lettuce and cabbage, and there was at least one sod farm. It was all very lush.
We were headed toward Port Hueneme (which Heather told us is pronounced 'Way-knee-me' with the accent on the 'knee'), down a wide street with large trees dividing the lanes. Very picturesque, and it provided welcome shade as the day was heating up fast. We turned the corner onto Ventura Blvd. which was similarly lined with trees. We went through part of the town of Oxnard, which also had many fields of crops and then rode along the harbor. There were boats everywhere, marinas chock-full of boats, channels lined with boats, boats out in the ocean. We came up to the Santa Clara River, approaching the town of Ventura and stopped to take some pictures. A man who had been riding behind us for several miles caught up and stopped to chat. He was on a 10-mile ride into Ventura, and said he had started riding after he had back surgery because it was a lot more comfortable for him to ride than to walk. He carried his cane with him on his bike. The river was lovely, and opened out into the ocean. We could also see Ventura a little below us, and the mountains that formed its backdrop. Quite an impressive sight.
We soon came into town and zig-zagged through some streets near the shore until we reached the San Buenaventura Park and got onto the bike path there. We had met up with a guy headed in that direction as we made our way through the neighborhood; he was towing a surfboard on a rather homegrown-looking rig. We had asked him about the surfers who used oars to paddle their surfboards and he seemed quite disdainful of the practice. In any case, he was very helpful as we approached the park - he headed right onto the bike path we we looking for. This bike path was quite different than yesterday's. It went through the park instead of along the beach. This being Sunday, it was crowded with people having picnics or just walking, jogging, or riding through the park. After a bit, the path went along a paved walkway right up next to the shore. The waves were higher than we've seen them as yet and the water was packed with surfers. Then the path turned up and then over the Ventura River and shortly afterwards ended. We got onto Route 1 there, which was also right by the ocean and was lined with campers and vans for most of its length.
After a 5-mile stretch on Route 1, that road ended and we had to get on the freeway, Rt. 101, for another 5 miles. Nice, smooth road but very noisy - it was packed with cars and motorcycles whizzing along. We finally got off and headed into the town of Carpinteria just in time for lunch. The town was a lively little beach town and had lots of shops and restaurants. We continued on until we got to a Motel 6 on the opposite end of town, ariving at about 1:40 - 36 easy miles in 3 hours and 20 minutes. The next 2 days will be a lot hillier though. By the way, we finally updated the May 16th page if you want to check back. Also, we will be camping again tomorrow night, so we may have our usual communication problems. Don't worry though, we should be able to catch up again in a day or two.