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Honolulu to Los Angeles to San Diego, California
were not enough seats on the early morning flight for all of us and I was one of
those who had to fly in the afternoon on the 1:50 flight. So I had another
leisurely morning. This time I puttered in my hotel room sorting and repacking
my bags and then I fastened a couple more souvenir pins to my hat. Every time I
want to add one it seems I have to move several others to make space. At 10:00
we loaded our bags and at 11:00 we took the shuttle van to the airport. There
all the standard things happened except that I had to eat my big and luscious
Braeburn apple right then and there or it would be confiscated. Then I went
shopping, of course! With that successfully accomplished at last, I went to the
gate to wait. The flight was delayed and delayed, finally we were told we would
board in a super fast manner, all those with seats A through E were to go
through Door A, and the others including Inge, who had the seat beside me, and
myself, through Door B and that way we would save 20 minutes it was explained.
Fine. Good effort. But what happened next? We sat there and we sat there. Every
few minutes we were told it wouldn’t be long, but it was getting that way.
Finally the decision was made to fly without working ovens in the rear galley.
The food service would be slower but all the dinners could be heated in the
forward ovens and distributed, as they were ready. Can you believe it! The
flight was delayed an hour and a half because a couple of ovens didn’t work!
Of course there were passengers worried about making connecting flights. I wasn’t
that happy either because that would make our eventual arrival at San Diego
where we were to sleep even later. And we were losing two more hours as well
because Pacific Time is two hours later than Hawaii Time. Inge said, ‘We won’t
even get to bed. We’ll just have to go straight to our bikes and start
it wasn’t that bad but close. Our plane landed around ten but time passed
while we waited first for our bags and then for the bus. Finally loaded and
underway, most of us tried to take a nap but three people talked which kept me
awake as did the cold. Brr! This isn’t Hawaii! We arrived at the motel about
1:30 a.m., collected our bags and keys and found our rooms. Mine was the very
last one on the top floor. It was strange to tiptoe into that dark room in the
middle of the night, not even knowing who my roommates were. But Dorothy was up
at that moment and said, ‘Welcome’ before going back to bed. That sounded
very nice in my state of mind. I was tired, sleepy, cold and hungry! I could
only guess who the third person was in the far bed. My bed was the rollaway but
it looked wonderful to me. I put my bags down and climbed into bed, clothes and
all, too cold and tired to care about even brushing my teeth. I could have had
four hours of sleep but didn’t because I had to warm up first.
San Diego to San Juan Capistrano
though the rollaway was comfortable, I slept poorly. I was cold and a headache
had come on as I laid there trying to fall asleep, so I didn’t mind getting up
even though I’d barely gone to bed. Denise was the mystery roommate in the
third bed and she is a very early riser. We tried to be quiet but before long
poor Dorothy was awake too. A couple of headache tablets and two cups of coffee
later my head felt better.
was barely daylight and way too cold to be standing outside eating a cold
breakfast but that is what happened next. The motel staff had put a table beside
the tiny pool which was steaming in the cold morning air, and laid out cereal,
milk and yogurt, sweet rolls and muffins, bananas and apples, coffee and orange
juice. It was enough but we were got chilled eating it. I hadn’t expected
sunny California to be so cold.
and I got our bikes ready and started on our way. It was to be an easy, short
day of only 60 miles so we weren’t worried about rushing to get going. I was
soon wishing we had delayed our departure a couple of hours, until the sun could
warm the air, for my fingers ached from the cold. It had been months since we
had ridden in such cold air. But when the sun did get up it was a lovely warm
day, very comfortable for cycling.
was easy to get out of San Diego, I suppose we were on the northern end of it,
and there was a climb right away which helped to warm us. After 15 miles we
joined the Pacific Coast Highway and could often catch glimpses of surfers
playing on the waves. Checkpoint was at the Coast Highway Cafe. Cheryl, the
midday checkpoint volunteer, said that everyone was raving about the
cinnamon rolls served in the cafe. How could we miss an opportunity like that? I
ordered a pecan sticky bun and Joan an enormous cinnamon roll. They were both
wonderful and too quickly all gone.
had to ride on Highway I-5 for about 11 miles but the shoulder was very wide so
the fast traffic was not a worry. I didn’t learn why we took the I-5 rather
than ride through Camp Pendleton on the much quieter roads there as we had done
just a year ago on Day Two of the Odyssey. We also rode on bike paths for many
miles. That was a peaceful interlude from traffic and I enjoyed bird watching.
There were pelicans, cormorants, herons, egrets and ducks.
reached our destination, the Best Western Capistrano Inn, so early that some of
the rooms weren’t ready including mine. But Joan’s room, to be shared with
Inge, was ready and she immediately offered it to me, telling me to go take a
nap. What a gorgeous thing to do! And that is just what I did. Inge was there
and promised to wake me in time for dinner so I was able to relax and sleep for
a couple of hours. Dinner was a variety of delicious Mexican dishes which I
loved and then Inge and I went straight to bed. It was barely 7 p.m. but we both
had been on the late flight from Honolulu and were sleep deprived. I felt a few
twinges of guilt for not making an effort to see the Mission of San Juan
Capistrano but nevertheless had no trouble falling asleep.
San Juan Capistrano to Burbank
impossible, unthinkable was happening, the very last ride of the Odyssey.
Bummers! A few riders who had left in Singapore joined us for the last day or
two of riding in California and it was good to see them again. I had thought
that flying into LA where we needed to be for the Tournament of Roses Parade and
New Year’s party, only to be bussed to San Diego in the middle of the night so
that we could turn around and spend the next two days cycling back to LA, a
pretty dumb idea. And I said as much to my friends. But now that the last day
had arrived it seemed fitting that we should be cycling, cycling until the very
last hour before the celebration party, and I was glad that we were doing it.
had a grand breakfast to start the day. It was at Denny’s which was next door
to the motel where we had stayed, and it was a set meal so all that we had to do
was sit and wait to be served. Something which I have grown to like very much!
The wait proved too long for a few riders who were impatient to be on their way
and they left, expecting to find some faster food along the way. But what a
breakfast we had! A tall glass of real, fresh orange juice, coffee, and a plate
heaped with scrambled eggs, hotcakes and bacon. It was more than many of us
could eat even with our prodigious appetites. We ate and ran for we had an 85
mile day and it would be dark by 5:00. Besides that we needed time to get ready
for the party where we would celebrate the end of Odyssey and the
beginning of a new year.
we reached Huntington Beach I began looking for my sister Lucia, and her husband
Todd, who does this web page. I knew that they were staying in the Huntington
Beach Resort Hotel and I thought they just might be waiting somewhere there
along the route to watch some of the Odyssey riders cycle past. I didn’t see
them but I did see their hotel so I stopped to try to find them and I did! They
were at breakfast and we had a joyful reunion. We could have talked for hours I
think but their breakfasts were getting cold and we still had 65 miles to go so
after taking a few photos Joan and I got back on our bikes and cycled toward
rest of the ride was uneventful and not difficult cycling, but near the end
there were many changes of direction on the DRG. It seemed we had to make a turn
every one or two tenths of a mile. We were lucky though. We came upon Bill Bliss
who is reputed to never get lost and we stuck to him for the rest of the ride to
the Burbank Hilton. He led us straight there without a hitch. It was only 4:20;
we had about 40 minutes of daylight to spare. A group of family members and
friends had gathered at the entrance to the hotel and cheered for each arriving
rider, a happy ending for our last ride. Joan was looking for her daughter,
Susan, who was coming along with her friend Jackie, for the celebration dinner.
There they were! They had arrived at the same moment as we did.
was all hustle and bustle at the Hilton. We had to load our bikes onto a truck
to be carted to the staging area for the Rose Parade, get our room assignments,
get our finisher’s shirts, and get our luggage. Families were arriving and
everyone was excited.
I was very happy to find that I had a room to myself, such a luxury after a year of togetherness. I set about getting ready which included all the usual stuff, plus I had to iron my new red dress. The Hilton makes that easy to accomplish, as each room is furnished with an iron and ironing board. That done I puttered about doing things until I was late going to the party. There I found that Lucia and Todd had already arrived and had been visiting with riders they recognized while waiting for me. Bummers! I should have been there early or at least on time. I was embarrassed. Of course I wanted them to meet everyone and we did our best, but didn’t quite accomplish it.
was served, followed by a program. Tim gave a short address and expressed
gratitude for the efforts made by his staff, the EFI’ers and the riders of
20,000 miles were recognized, and Karen Ann offered her appreciation for
everyone who had worked so hard to make Odyssey 2000 a reality. And then it was
all over but the dancing. We did not stay for that. Lucia and Todd had to drive
to Huntington and I had to get up early for the parade. It was very special to
have Lucia and Todd with me and to meet all my friends. I was grateful that they
could be there. How fortunate for me that the Huskies were to play in the Rose
Bowl the next day!
Tournament of Roses Parade
was at 4 a.m. on New Year’s Day. What kind of a way is that to start a new
millennium! I had no appetite so I skipped breakfast but I did stash a bottle of
orange juice in my bag to have later in the morning.
5:15 we boarded school busses for the ride to the staging area. Once there we
collected our bikes as they were unloaded from the truck and then waited. This
time we were prepared for the cold weather. Everyone had dressed in several
layers of clothing, the better to withstand the cold during the two and a half
hour wait for the parade to begin. We soon realized that the temperature was
much warmer than it had been the year before but even so we were not overdressed
and in fact I was quite chilled by the time the parade began.
6:45 a.m. motorcycle police arrived to escort us to the holding area at the
start of the parade route. On the first hill disaster struck! Danny’s chain
broke and he was without the tools and extra link to fix it. We cycled on
without him while he returned to the bike truck to see whether he could get
another bike or repair the chain. He was able to use another bike and managed to
cycle to us with just moments to spare before the start of the parade.
the holding area we were told to arrange ourselves in rows of six, a better
number than the seven in a row we’d had last year which had been a bit too
close for comfort. Besides, with only six in a row it made our column longer,
perhaps making it look like there were more of us than the diehard 57 who
had continued since Singapore. And there were more of us. There were those 57
riders minus 2 who were in the hospital and several who had already left for
home or were not riding, plus a number of riders who had left in Singapore but
returned to join us for the parade, plus all the volunteer staff who were asked
to join us. They wore finisher’s shirts and enough bikes were borrowed for
them all. So we lined up and waited. Still standing in line until the last
moment! The sun was up, offering enough light for my camera to work well, so I
went up and down the column of riders, trying to be sure to photograph everyone.
I hope that I succeeded.
it was nearly parade time. People who were wearing extra clothes for warmth on
top of the parade clothing had to remove it and stuff it into their jersey
pockets. We were not allowed to have our bike bags or any extra gear, not even
our stuffed animals which had ridden so faithfully around the world with us, or
our squeaking animal horns (mine is a camel) and ringing bike bells,
things which would have made us much more interesting to see. Instead we had to
be like peas in a pod.
Just as last year the motorcycle police, resplendent in their uniforms and riding motorcycles decorated with roses, made us start the parade early. Clearly in their eyes, and almost certainly in those of the parade director, we were not really a part of the parade. So once again we rode past the TV cameras before they were turned on, once again we were not on TV, but this time no one had really expected it and I for one, had not suggested that anyone watch for us on their televisions at home.
in spite of being ignored by the television people, riding in the parade was
almost fun and that was because of the people who cheered as we rode past. Many
of them had been there all night, having camped on the sidewalks in order to
reserve viewing space for themselves, and they were happy to see some action at
last. Some of the riders’ families and friends were there, cheering loudly and
making us feel we’d done something significant. We waved and smiled, and
smiled and waved, calling out, ‘Happy New Year!’ at least a million times,
once for every person in the crowd.
parade ended in a school parking lot. From there everyone went their own way,
all their Odyssey riding and activities finished, forever. There were hugs and
tears and promises to meet again. Some cycled back to the hotel, most put their
bikes onto the truck and were shuttled to the hotel. Joan and I were in that
group. Many people were leaving for home that day and many goodbyes and best
wishes had to be said. It was an emotional and sad time for some.
wasn’t leaving so I did my second favorite thing, I took a nap! After that
came my first favorite thing, food! I went to lunch with Joan and her daughter
and friend but then I had to say goodbye to Joan, my cheerful and witty riding
companion. We are sure to meet again though for she is a good friend and this is
a small world.
I Love You, California (State Song)
Odyssey Riders and Staff
Odyssey Staff and Management
20,000 Milers (I think)
This completes the Year for Odyssey 2000. Thank you for all your kind words this year and I hope everyone has enjoyed the Odyssey 2000 virtual tour as much as I have. Have a great 2001.
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