We planned to get going at 10:30, but by the time we finished the laundry and cleaned up after ourselves, stowed the items we were leaving behind, etc. etc... it became afternoon. Our planned destination is only 25 miles so we had the time.
Mary, the neighbor, came by to see us off at 10:30, then noon, then finally, at 1:30. We were ready. Mary gave us each an American flag and asked us to plant them on beach in Mexico and waved us goodbye. Somehow last minute items added up and our bags and bikes became overloaded. As we rolled off our thoughts immediately changed to ridding ourselves of non-essentials ala the character in Bill Bryson's book, Do Bears Shit in the Woods. They were hiking the 2600 mile long Appalachian trail. Bryson's novice hiking buddy showed up at the trail-head with every high-tech item from the camping world loaded into his enormous backpack. As he slugged up the first mountain he began tossing non-essential gear and food out of his pack.
We are entertaining similar thoughts and deciding what we will mail home and what to toss.
Our route this first day is a flat bike lane along the highway.
We passed the Magu Naval Airbase to highway 1 and and climbed some hills as we approached Malibu. We where doing well considering eight weeks of Dr. ordered rest with very little time on the bikes. We rolled into the campground and were told the hike/bike site was full and we could not stay. Riding back on road, we chatted with a pro photographer who was shooting his client surfer with his giant telephoto lens. He suggested we camp on the beach. Just find a secluded spot, pitch our tent at dark and be gone by 8 or 9 in the morning and we would be fine. We decided to do just that. And within a mile, we found a bluff top spot that was perfect. Hidden in some trees, we found an unoccupied tent surrounded by tarps, a hammock strung in the trees, cooking equipment, etc. We lounged a little bit away from that camp on a small couch 5 feet from the edge of the bluff overlooking Meyer? beach park 100 meters below. We enjoyed cheese and crackers for dinner and watched the hawks and gulls ride the air currents along the bluff. A guy in a van showed up and parked behind some trees. We thought we surprised him. But no, he parks there often when he wants to get out of LA and sleeps in his van. He knew of the surfer camp, the couches and told us that even day laborers often camp here. We more confidently pitched our tent with a magnificent view of the Pacific ocean out the door. We have our 6#+ 3 person tent which is bigger than our backpacking tent. We got this size on Aldrik and Sonya advice and we were able to keep all 12 of our cycle bags inside and have plenty of room to sleep. We slept like babies.
After an unforeseen 3 month delay, we were chomping at the bit to get going. We set July 4th, American Independence Day, for our departure. We decided that would be most auspicious day to start and also 8 weeks after Michelle's surgery.