Earth, Wind and Firefighers

Trip Start Aug 14, 2012
Trip End Oct 25, 2012

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, October 3, 2012

We left Gary's this morning to bike along The Strand. We hopped on our bikes, but didn't get very far. Before we could even pedal once, Erika fell over in front of all the beautifu Californian's who were out for a morning jog. She caught herself halfway down on a wall and scraped up her leg and elbow, but the worst injury was to her ego. We have made it a point to leave out all of our falls (the worst of which occurred on our very first day of biking), but it has gotten to the point where we can no longer hide our lack of coordination. Oh well, we've made it this far.

After assurring onlookers that Erika would survive, we actually took off, in a very graceful manner. The first half of our day was a beautiful bike ride along the coast. We passed by Santa Monica Pier and got really excited when we remembered that part of I Love You Man was filmed there! We walked along the pier quoting the movie and looking at the stalls. We would have loved to continue biking along the shore, but we were headed to Thousand Oaks. Eric, our friend from Oklahoma, used to live in Califonia and told us to stop by his friends' ranch in Newbury Park. He said that Dar and Robert, the brothers who run the ranch, would let us ride horses and give us a place to stay for the night. He also mentioned that Dar and Robert were driving up to San Luis Obispo for a cattle roping event on Friday and would probably give us a ride. Amanda got ahold of Dar a couple days ago and got everything figured out for us to make it the ranch by 6 pm tonight. We were really excited about the prospect of seeing a cattle roping and about riding horses!

The bike ride inland was much more difficult than we expected. Turns out Thousand Oaks is on top of a mountain or something. We biked up Malibu Canyon Rd, which is very accurately named, over the hills and through the tunnel. At 5 we realized we were not going to make it to Thousand Oaks by 6 pm, so we called Robert to let him know. The conversation was confused and scattered, it was clear Robert didn't know what was going on, but he said he would tell his worker Lupe that we were coming. Dar told Amanda that he would inform Robert about our plan, but we gathered that the communication didn't happen. We kept biking until Westlake Village when we realized that there was no way to make it to the ranch before night fall. We hate biking at night, so we set out to find a place to stay in Westlake. We remembered that a couple bike tourists we met along the way had recommended staying at fire houses, so we looked up the closest one and called. Luckily, it was only 2 miles down the road, and the captain, Terry, who answered the phone told us to come on down. All the firefighters, Pat, Lynn, Clay and Terry, were very nice and accommodating. They even fed us left over enchiladas that Clay, their resident chef, had made.

They pulled two mattresses out of the dorm and set them up in the garage so we could have privacy while sleeping. We spent the night next to the fire trucks, and lucky for us they didn't have any calls that night. We woke up to coffee being brewed and after eating some breakfast, headed on to Thousand Oaks. During breakfast conversation Terry mentioned that he lives in Santa Barbara and that his family would love to host us if we were biking through. We got his information and told him we would be in touch.
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