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March 28, 2016

By meriwether, Apr 3 2016 04:37AM

I’m going the wrong way. Ask any cyclist from these parts, and they will tell you that you should be heading south - not north - along the California coastline. This is something I knew, having bicycled from San Francisco down to Los Angles 35 years ago in 1981 . . . going in the right direction. But I pushed it to the back of my mind with the thought of dealing with it when I got here. Well I’m here, and the winds were formidable yesterday. I made the almost 50 mile ride from to San Luis Obispo to San Simeon battling 30 to 40 mph gusts that jockeyed me from one side of the road berm to the other. I actually feel a bit trapped here in San Simeon - Monterey is over a hundred miles to the north with the rugged and spectacular Big Sur coastline in between . . . but not much in the way of services along the way, and more wind advisories for today. And then there are the temps hovering in the low 60’s and upper 50’s - the wind makes it feel like the 40’s. I’m taking a rest day here in San Simeon to contemplate my next move, or whether to move at all.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed about this journey is being able to reconnect with people along the way that I haven’t seen in years. I was able to that with fraternity brother Rod in Granada Hills who I hadn’t seen in 40 or so years. We were pledge brothers in our Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity back in 1968, so we did a bit of reminiscing about those long ago days.

In spite of the wind, it’s nice to be cycling along the coast once again. I think my ride down the eastern seaboard from Maine to Florida has been one of the best parts of my journey . . . with the Atlantic Ocean and its myriad bays, coves, and inlets quite often in view - and mostly favorable winds it seemed. I was hoping to recapture that feeling with my ride along the Pacific Coast, but the wind and now cooler temperatures are making it hard to appreciate all this natural scenic splendor surrounding me. Although . . . camping at Carpenteria and El Capitan Beach State Parks provided some wonderful ocean vistas blessed by some photo op sunsets. And I’ve so enjoyed the green of coastal California compared to the browns of the desert lands. The hills and mountains that seem to always be my companions remind me of soft, undulating pillows with pillow cases of varying shades of green.

In San Luis Obispo (SLO) I took a day to volunteer with SLO Habitat For Humanity at their Restore where I met a great group of as always dedicated staff and volunteers. Close by were Warm Showers hosts Greg and Christine who provided a comfortable haven for the night. Yesterday morning Brook Martell of KSBY TV - the NBC affiliate in SLO - came out to do a very nice interview with me which aired last evening on their 6:00 p.m. newscast. Brooke is just getting started in newscasting, and did a fine job on the piece. Here is the link to that interview:

As always I would like to acknowledge some folks who made recent donations in support my ride to Habitat For Humanity and/or Save The Children: New donors David Bodenmiller, Louise Amber Olson, Jan and Tom Weitzel, and Greg and Christine Scott. Also repeat donors Tom and Lisa Hoersten, Tom and Patti Lammers, and Beth and Bruce Miller.

Thank you so much!

Trying to Proceed On, if it weren’t for the wind,

Al Thompson

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