Day 116, September 11th 2008, beginning in San Diego, California

The day had finally come. No, not quite the end of the trip, but it WAS time to send the bikes home. After well over 6,000 miles of riding, it was time to send ol' bessy back to the east coast. She had done good by me over the past four months.

Paul wasn't feeling so hot, so he slept in a bit. When he got up, we took that last fateful ride down to a bike shop that was right down the street. It ended up being nearly as much of a production to disassemble the bikes, as it had been to assemble them, way back in mid May. I had to switch my box twice, once because the first was ripped, and the second one wasn't big enough.  There were a few casualties from the trip, namely the effect of Paul smashing into the back of me, braking my rack. If you look closely, you can see the bungee cords that I left on the broken rack that we threw away.  Damnit By box 3, about an hour after Paul was done, I was ready to say goodbye to the bike.

We carried the heavy, awkward boxes over a block and a half to a shipping business. My bike cost another $45 to ship than did Paul's due to an oversize charge. Great. As we were down the street walking away, I realized I hadn't taken a picture of the fully packaged bikes. I ran back and quickly snapped this picture which caused a worker there to look at me with an odd look on his face.

After the bikes were out of our hands, we went to the beach. Paul grabbed some Subway on the way, and we hung out by the beach while he ate it. A homeless guy approached Paul ,while we were sitting there and he had eaten half of his sandwich, asking for the remainder. Paul offered his cookies instead since he wanted to finish the sandwich, and the guy refused. I couldn't believe it. A bum with a selective appetite. He must really have it tough. We had good material from that interaction for the next few days.

Beautiful beach isn't it? 😉

After that unpleasant scene a littler earlier, my friend Paul and I…. walked along the beach like the romantic couple we were. There is a spot in north OB where you step out of San Diego and land in heaven. It's called dog beach, and it's exactly what it sounds like. We spent the next hour or so watching all these dogs playing together with balls and charging out into the ocean against waves that were much taller than they. Man, what a great spot.

When many of the pooches made their way home, we did too. We scooped up some cereal that would double for dinner that night and breakfast the following morning before we left for Phoenix. I got a text message from the woman, Kelly who was driving us the next day asking our full names. I was assuming that it was for security purposes since she had never met us. I responded with humor maybe a bit too son, as I have so many times in the past when it was not necessarily tactful if you will… a lesson I seem incapable of learning. It went something along the lines of "my name is Chris Russo, and his Paul Yovino. If you google Paul Yovino, you may find an axe murderer by that name. Don't worry… it's a different guy" Kelly unfortunately never responded to that one, which was a bit disconcerting as we needed to be in Phoenix the following night. I sent another nonsense message that was just sort of confirming that we were still on, and I never heard back. We kept our fingers crossed.

We got back, had our gourmet dinner, and again watched some movies. The movies Meghan had brought to Oregon on my hard drive had finally paid off, as we watched 4 in the past two nights. The featured films of the night were a not well known, but a gem comedy "Wet Hot American Summer", followed by "Madagascar", the animated movie. Both good selections. I don't remember as I write now, but if history serves correct, I likely fell asleep to the second one.

So the next day we would be saying bye to California. We had been in the state for over a month, and had loved every minute of it. If you haven't been, go!!!! You are doing yourself a disservice if you don't. Better yet, bike there. Okay I'll stop.

Arizona Ahoy!

Life was good.