Morning began with immediate packing. I woke around 7 am. Mickey needed to be out of the room by 8:30 in order to grab a quick breakfast and make his flight from LAX to San Francisco. He is traveling there to work one full week before returning home to West Virginia. Part of me wishes that I could head to San Francisco with him. The fourth round of Supercross was going down in Oakland, the city adjacent to San Fran, that night and I would have loved to watch it. As reality would have it though, we had to part ways. He was heading off for business and I was heading south for, yet another, familiar face. This time the familiar face is Brittany, my ex-girlfriend. She is flying into San Diego on Sunday to see me and do a bit of vacationing. She’s planning to stay with me for a week. Being our first time in the far south-western city, we will have to do our exploration of its attractions together as newbies.
Leaving Manhattan Beach and heading south to San Diego is pretty straight forward. You can take the fast road, the scenic road, or the Pacific Coast highway, the middle road. My plan was to try to really hug the coast as long as I could before having to travel inland. That worked pretty good from Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and to Rancho Palos Verdes. This stretch of the coast is like the first world of the first world. My worn gear, stickered up bike with a ripped seat, and holy jeans did not fit in well. No worries though, I was taking the snooty route to check out the best views of the coastline, even if it took twice as long and I had to deal with glares from the locals. This sort of coastline is what I’ve been waiting to see. Crumbly cliffs halt the oceans forward progress. Magnificent homes dot the rolling, green, hillsides and jagged rocks poke up out of the surf. It really is a sight to see. I’ve heard that it gets way better as you travel north into Oregon though, and hopefully my journey can last that long.
Just as I was reaching sensory overload I came across the Port of Los Angeles. This stretch of the coast forces a driver inland and onto the Pacific Coast highway or what I’m calling the middle road. It wasn’t to fun riding around the Port of Los Angeles and the Long Beach area. For one, I couldn’t see the ocean anymore and two, it was sketchy people-ville again. I wouldn’t say it was the ghetto, but it might be one liquor store away from it. That all changed as I arrived in Seal Beach and started hugging the coast line again. I followed it tightly down through Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach, where I stopped for lunch. Jack in the Box looked to be the cheapest place around to grab a quick bite, so I grabbed a number three and recharged the body. These beach towns along the coast are just hard to imagine. They are so clean, full of the coolest shops, the weather is unreal, the people are fit, and it’s so close to heavenly that I really can’t relate to it. I’m from a completely different world compared to the Californian coast. I do like it, a lot, but I can’t imagine how these sort of extravagant lifestyles can be maintained for long periods. It’s like it is too perfect. In fact the only blemish that I noticed in the area was a stretch of road that had a warning sign stating “Constantly moving ground next 0.8 miles”. If that don’t throw up a red flag that something may happen to this paradise sooner or later nothing will. (just an observation)
From Laguna Beach I went south a bit and jumped on “the 5” freeway. I quickly got bored with that and went back to riding the coast. Then I quickly got bored with the overwhelming amount of traffic lights along the coast, so I went back to the freeway all the way to downtown San Diego. By this time it was approaching sunset. I did a quick ride around the airport to familiarize myself with it before I had to pick up Brittany the next day. Then I tracked down the cheapest motel closest to the airport. Can you guess what I found?…. Good guess. Motel 6 is correct. Brittany is “sponsoring” our lodging expenses this week, so I got it for two nights. After unloading the Goose, I scrambled my way to the harbor for some shots of the sun before it went to sleep beyond the horizon. It was back to the room after that for a long evening of fighting off the desire to go out on the town.