Day 39, Santa Monica to Sunset Beach


The girls and I went out to ‘Simply Salads’ which was right down the street from the hostel and all had nice salads. Wish they had the chain in MSN. Then it was onto the Promenade for some gelato. I had two scoops of tiramisu. Street performers, lots of shops blaring  music and the homeless yelling and screaming at each other  (some have issues) added up to a colorful evening.

I went out for breakfast the following morning, since the hostel doesn’t start serving their PBJ’s, cold cereal, yogurt and granola until 7:30am AND there probably 75 German junior high students who were already seated, waiting, when I got back at 6:45am. The place I went to opened at 6:00am and other than me, it was mostly the homeless already up and wandering the streets, coming in asking for a free meal. Just as I was finishing, a big guy came in yelling and screaming he needed something to eat. He was getting into an argument with the Asian Manager and I thought it was a good time to finish my coffee and, exit stage right!!!

When I got back to the hostel, the van and trailer were parked right in front of the hostel!!! Tom was driving yesterday and once dropping all the luggage at the hostel could not find a place to park. Parking lots do not allow vans with trailers to park in ramps (possibility of illegal camping). So . . . he parked 3.5 miles away from the hostel in a residential area and biked back to the hostel, This morning he biked back at 5:00am to retrieve the van and trailer. Lots of parking spots in front of the hostel at 5:30am!!!

As we exited Santa Monica, getting back on the beach path, we rode onto the Santa Monica Pier. No traffic this time of the morning!!!!


Very quiet at the amusement park, too . . .


We were not too far down the beach before we started seeing the overnight homeless ‘camps’. We have seen LOTS of homeless in cities of all sizes. It is such a problem that the police really don’t roust them out, if they are not causing trouble, because they would just move to some other public space. Really too bad . . .  your whole life in a shopping cart.


Soon we passed through Venice Beach, but at 7:30am  there were none of the famous body builders out doing their thing . . .


. . . which is evidently put on display at certain times in this little stadium donated by Joe Weider, ‘The Father of Body Building’ !!!


. . . there were also some outside hand ball courts available for use . . . great idea during fine weather!!!


The folks of LA, REALLY use their public beaches and today we encountered two big run/ walk fund raisers. This 10K walk had over 3,000 junior and high school student participants. Hard to get down the path on a bike!!!


. . . oh and in Redondo Beach, The Church Beach ceremony was under way. They had a yummy selection of pastries and coffee on the table!!!! The man in the white hat was doing the preaching.


. . . to early for volley ball games . A large tractor with a drag had just smoothed out and groomed the courts. You miss a lot when you start riding too early!!!


. . . down the pike a bit more we started seeing oil tankers lined up for unloading at the ‘man made’ islands. The islands had  LOTS of palm trees to help disguise them!!!


After riding through Torrance and Carson City’s, one strip mall after another, we finally could see Long Beach on the horizon. We rode along this drainage canal for several miles. As wide as an Interstate Hwy and all concrete, even the bottom. mmmmm . . . $1,000,000/mile construction cost!!!


Long Beach was the highlight of the day . . .


A working harbor, you can see the loading/unloading derricks in the distance, and a beautiful marina . . .


. . . where the Queen Mary is ‘docked’ permanently and entertains 100’s of tourist a day, along with Howard Hughes’s ‘Spruce Goose’ which sits in a dome behind the ship . . .


. . . we rode for miles along the beach an the best trail/path system yet. Bikers and skaters on the right and walkers on the path to the left!!!!


. . . there must be 10’s of thousands of boats and yachts anchored in the marinas we biked by . . .


. . . and, in what seems to be  growing annual tradition of Halloween decorations, even some boats were ‘made up’!!!! Supposedly Halloween had surpassed  Christmas  purchasing!!!



After a nice lunch in Seal Beach, the whole gang rolled into our hotel, The Ocean’s Rooms and Suites, at the same time. It would have been nice to have stayed at this ‘room with a view’ home just down the block!!! Rich and I did laundry to clean the three riding outfits we both brought. They will last the rest of the trip . . . only three more riding days!!!

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