The actual riding part is almost nonexistent, with seldom hills and mainly trying to manage our way through fickle city stop lights. It took us longer to bike through Santa Barbara and all it's lights than bike to Oxnard. Actually it's pretty crazy, but we did 68 miles that day in 4 hours and some change which is pretty nuts but the thing is, it really didn't feel that long or like we were riding very hard.
Santa Barbara is uber nice; Ventura is it's younger brother; then Oxnard is like an extended cousin, still nice, but definitely lacking in certain niceties and flash that SB and Ventura posses. We planned on staying in Oxnard for the evening, but after getting into town and eating the best fish tacos I've ever had, we still had no response from anyone willing to host us so we kept riding towards a state park.
Along the route, an Air Force base randomly has an exhibit showing off numerous types of missiles and projectiles that are means for death and destruction. Facts and figures fill the plaques with estimated aircrafts they've destroyed and tallies of wars they've been used in. I naturally found it to be utterly absurd and sickening that we were celebrating inanimate objects that were the means of ending so many peoples' lives. I kept muddering to myself, 'Lord, have mercy on us' as well as repeating the words from Holy weak, 'teach peace to the ones we salute.' One day there will be no more war, violence, hate, or missiles with absurd names. I cannot wait for that.
Unfortunately we rode in the darkness about 8 or 9 miles along highway 1 before getting to the campground where they were trying to charge us $20 for a hiker/biker site and the most we'd ever pay for was $12. Thankfully the ranger worked with is so it was just $10. The site was sandy and hard. Setting up a tent via headlamp isn't the easiest or the most fun, but thankfully I've set this tent up so many times that it wasn't too bad.
The next morning we had a shortish 40 miles to ride to Santa Monica with a stop at the Getty Villa Museum in Malibu. Our tickets were for 1:30 and we thought we were gonna have so much time to kill in Malibu but in fact the Getty Villa is a lot closer to Santa Monica than Malibu so we were hauling it up and down the Santa Monoca hills to get to the Getty Villa to find out the time was irrelevant.
We caught the shuttle and took in the gorgeous architecture, sculptures, and other ancient relics. Meandering around the museum in our spandex biker shorts and black tuxedo jerseys always draws the wandering eye so sometimes I felt like we were an art piece being studied and understood.
Been staying with my step-sister, Kim, in Santa Monica which has been wonderful, her, Jonathon (her bf), and Nina (her roommate) have been so kind and accomadating to us. We've enjoyed meals together, story telling, and much laughter watching tv shows.
Evan and I went and saw '12 Years A Slave' one afternoon which was great but very heavy and left you solemn, teary eyed, and full of moral questions. We walked back from the theater fighting tears and minimally speaking to each other. Was very impactfull and tense.
The rest of that evening we went to a sports bar to watch our two hockey teams battle each other.
The other day off here, we biked to the main Getty Museum. There were some exhibits of stain glass from a few English cathedrals, pages from the Psalter, other books and art pertaining to the saints and church, a piece of video art by Werner Herzog (one of my favorite documentarians), some wonderful Impressionism from Monet, tent camera obscura, and much much more. We spent several hours fascinated at the variety of art on display.
The rest of the day was spent finishing planning our last few days of the trip, finalizing housing arrangements in San Diego, reading, chatting with Kim, and catching up with the wildness of the internet. That evening we all enjoyed heckling a tv show then Evan and I watched a fren film, 'The Intouchables' before retiring to bed.
Just a few more days of riding and this tour will be complete. Very exciting and crazy how fast life goes by. Live in the moment. Soak up your opportunities and surroundings whatever they might be.