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One Year Ago

I’m a total bum, and didn’t say a peep about Joel’s and my anniversary, but this past Sunday, it was a year since we did our “I do-ing.”
We went out to dinner on Friday and took Joel’s mom out and had a joint celebration, since her birthday was on Saturday.

One year ago yesterday, Joel and I rode out to Santa Cruz from my aunt and uncle’s house in Ben Lomond, CA, and stuck our feet (and my head) in the waters of the Pacific. We took off on our coast-to-coast adventure the next day. From my short-lived paper journal of the trip:

Yesterday (9-24-08) we rode from Ben Lomond to about 10 miles beyond Hollister (just short of  Los Banos, I think). The countryside was mostly agricultural CA, so not very scenic. We passed by the turn-off for a town called Aromas, which amused me at least.

We found a great camping spot last night behind an abandoned house. Actually we had found an even better one earlier in the evening, but it turned out to be part of some sort of ritzy exurban development and we were gently nudged along by one of the residents.

Now the sun is up and we will be eating breakfast, breaking camp, and getting back on the road soon. I’ll take pics of the site before we go.

Okay, so this morning we were nowhere near Los Banos (no ñ).  We were about 30 miles from there.  We went on to Casa De Fruita, which is this big produce outlet/farm/event facility which is wher eGene, the man from the night before, had suggested we go.

We got coffee there and were considering our route for the day when Gene ambled up with a gift card to the fruit stand and apologies for the previous night’s gentle chivvying. Apparently his wife chastised him for not suggesting that we camp at the playground like we’d been preparing to! So, we got some grapes, nectarines, dried fruit mix, conr-nuts, and a seasoning mix for our future cooking, all courtesy of Gene.

We rode away from Casa de Fruita out toward San Luis Reservoir (which had been our original destination for the night before but was scrapped due to impending sundown).
As we came upon the reservoir, the scenery, especially the contrast of the colors of trees, grass, water, sky, and sand was so striking I had to stop and snap a few pictures. The Louis Armstrong song, “What A Wonderful World” popped into my mind:

Over all, getting to Los Banos involved a LOT of climbing…about 1000 feet over a stretch of about three or four miles. Yikes! That actually kind of sucked, but at leas tthe shoulder was wide and the winds were gentle. We stopped in Los Banos to eat our lunch and have a wee siesta.

I guess I got a little carried away with my nap as it ended up being about 45 minutes – but it felt so good! The ride from Los Banos to Merced totally blew. Once we got off HWY 152 and on to 59, there was no shoulder and a lot of traffic, most of it semis and large farm trucks. Luckily there was a dirt frontage road that largely paralleled 59 and we mostly rode on that. The going was a little rough and harder, but at least we were dicing with semis. We ended up stopping at a little motel in Merced for the night as this area seems pretty inhospitable to stealth camping. So we had showers and washed clothes and anticipate a full and peaceful night of sleep.

2 Responses to “One Year Ago”

  1. Jules says:

    That Los Banos through Merced stretch is my stomping ground. I wish I’d known you were going through so I could have brought you a treat!

  2. Meetzorp says:

    Well, we didn’t plan things too close other than a general direction. We’d basically plan a rough route, subject to change if necessary.

    If you ever find yourself in the KC area, though, give a holler and I’ll take you to the best ice-cream place in town.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

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