Finally we got to camp! We found a nice nook in the sand dunes on Seal Beach. Just hidden enough from the houses behind the dunes and out of sight to any regular beach goers. It was a great spot and I was happy to be stealth camping, however there were a couple problems with the spot. There must have been 1000 seagull squeaking and squawking continuously throughout the night, the light from LA kept the sky as bright as just after the sun went down, and the “regular beach goers” for whatever reason were wandering around the vicinity of our tent till 3 am! Either way I slept pretty well.
We woke up to the tent being quite wet after an early morning shower but it looks like this will be the last of the rain for a while. After we packed up our wet and sandy camp we rode to the beach park, which was in site of our campsite and went about drying and cleaning our gear and cooking breakfast. With our new (lesser) mileage goals, we get to enjoy the mornings more and take our time cooking breakfast and taking in the surroundings. It’s also nice to not feel as rushed riding throughout the day. After breakfast (you guessed it, oatmeal!) we started along for another day of riding on beach boardwalks and bike paths. As the morning went on the weather continued to clear and it became a really nice sunny day. The boardwalks we rode on were much more lively then the last few days. We passed a beach volleyball tournament and a couple very busy strips of shops and restaurants. It was great slowly meandering between walkers and bicycles in no hurry, just as if we were out for a cruise. Of course it was obvious for everyone to see we weren’t quite riding our beach cruisers and we got the typical questions as we passed and exchanged short conversations. Where did you come from? How far are you going? etc. At one point we crossed paths with our first fellow tourist on this route. He has just finished his cross-country ride and this was his first day at the beach!
As we came into Santa Monica we stopped at a coffee shop to catch up on the blog and figure out our plan for the evening. After realizing my cousin Margarett lived in LA we decided we would head inland and tack the extra 15 miles on late in the day to stay with her and hike the Hollywood sign tomorrow for my birthday. We left Starbucks and headed inland along a drainage canal bike path. Luckily we had a tail wind and made quick time. As we came within 1.5 miles of our destination we were riding along a road that faced the Hollywood sign and framed it perfectly above the road and between the palms. Oddly enough Google said we still had 45 min of riding. Shortly after we encountered the hill that would extend our evening ride. 1 mile took us about 3o minutes. It was pretty grueling with our gear.
Now we are staying with Margarett and plan for a break day tomorrow to hike!