PCH Tour: Hello La Jolla and San Diego

San Diego Skyline

Day 59 – The train was still loud in San Elijo, but I was exhausted from the lack of sleep the night before, so sleep came easy. I woke up feeling rested. The sun was already out. I took my rain fly off and made sure it dried before packing it. I knew I wouldn’t be using it for a while, and I didn’t want any mold growing in there.

Michael and I took our time getting ready. It was only a 26 miles to San Diego. There was no rush. We stopped at a store in the camp and grabbed some coffee and cookies. They had a nice little patio area that was shaded and overlooked the ocean. It was the perfect spot to start the day. We took an hour to drink our java and watch the early morning surfers hit the waves.

Off we went toward La Jolla. There were a ton of cyclists on the road that morning. We came to the base of our last big climb of the trip. A nice 500 footer. We shifted into low gear and began our ascent. About a quarter of the way into the climb, a group of cyclists started passing us. One of them came up next to me and asked where we were coming from and going too. He said he made the same trip some years ago. He kept talking and asking questions, and I wondered if he noticed that I was carrying a hundred pounds of weight up a mountain.

Instead of telling him that I’d like to make the climb in peace, I took it as a challenge to hold a conversation while lugging my bike uphill. It actually made the time pass more quickly, and I was surprised with how well I did. At the beginning of this trip, I would have been out of breath and on the roadside chugging water. I’d come a long way.

We made it to the top and the guy took off with his group. We found a nice beach in La Jolla, where Michael and I took turns swimming in the ocean. We dried off in the sun, then made a little climb back up to the town center. It was a nice touristy area, full of shops and restaurants. Michael stopped into a visitors center to look for a map of things to do in San Diego. The woman at the counter talked to us and gave us some tips. She even asked us if we wanted to go to the last Padres game of the season. She had some free tickets that she needed to get rid of. Michael had never been to a baseball game, so I told him we should go so he could get the full American experience. We took the tickets and made our way out of town.

There were beautiful mansions on the cliff side as we weaved through southern La Jolla. I passed a guy on a bike and he yelled something out at me. At first it didn’t register. Then I realized he asked for a pump. I turned around and we found out that he had a flat and that his air pump broke. We let him borrow our pump and he was back in business. He thanked us and we pedaled on.

When we came down out of the hills we hit Mission Beach. There was a nice bike path on the beach that took us past all kinds of restaurants. We stopped at one and grabbed some grilled Mahi-mahi sandwiches and fries. We also ordered some Pacifico beer. The meal was good and not too expensive. But when we got the bill, we found out that our beers were $8.50 for a pint glass. I think you can buy a six pack of Pacifico for that. Oh well, I guess we were paying for the amazing location.

It was a nice ride into downtown. We passed the harbor and the Midway Museum, a docked aircraft carrier loaded with war planes. It was impressive to see. We got to the hostel and checked everything it. I managed to squeeze all of my gear into my lockers.

We cleaned up a bit and then walked a few blocks down to the Padres game. The stadium was all lit up and the crowd was pouring in. We found our seats not too far up from left field. It was exciting at first. I tried to explain baseball to Michael, but quickly realized that it was hard to follow from the stands and a bit complicated for a first timer. It’s not like soccer, where you can say, “one side is trying to get the ball in the goal on the other side.” It got exciting for a minute when the Padres hit a home run and fireworks and flames exploded around the field. Then it became quite boring again. We lasted a good half hour before we decided to walk around town and look for a place to grab some food and a drink.

We found a sports bar with a good vibe, and sat outside in the warm air. We both ordered fish and chips and split a pitcher of Octoberfest beer. It hit the spot. That night I chilled in the hostel. I did some typing and backed up all of my photos. I even caught up on some Facebooking and web surfing. It was nice to have light and power long into the night. I hit the bed after 1am. My plans for the next day were to type a bit, and do a whole lot of nothing.

(Repost of my 2014 Pacific Coast Tour Instagrams)

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