Sunday, May 22, 2011

California RV trip, Day 14

Day 14, May 22, 2011

We woke early to get the RV ready for the road again.  That means flushing out the black tank, empting the grey and refilling fresh water.  If you don’t know what the black tank is –lets’ just say I wasn’t all that thrilled to have to hold the large hose in the ground hole because we didn’t have the right fitting.  I was in charge of making sure we didn’t shoot the shit anywhere but down the hole.  I always have visions of Robin Williams’ movie “RV” – yuk!  I have to say Bob is thorough with the cleaning- we run a hose up through the window and he uses a high pressure sprayer to clean out the toilet bowl – thus I am in charge of turning on the hose and making sure all systems are go from outside.  OK, this is the one drawback in owning an RV – maybe the rich folk have their people do this sort of thing.  After walking Buck and having a bowl of cereal and juice we were ready to hit the road for stage 7.  Stage 7 ends on Mt. Baldy which according to all we read is a huge climb that you had to get there very early if you wanted to park and watch.  We decided to try to watch the start instead.  It was about a 2 ½ hours away.  Well we didn’t make it, and had to abandon that plan.  The highway was under construction so it went from 5 lanes down to two.  A four mile stretch took over an hour.

But not all was lost, in fact it turned out terrific.  Bob’s quick thinking got us on the computer and searching for a part of the race that has a hill climb, and the information said it had a lot of parking.  So we decided to scope it out.  Jack pot!  The town of Glendora was easy to get to, and had signs directing us where to go (not all the towns did such a good job with the signage).  We parked the rig, I made sandwiches and Bob took care of getting the bikes off the back.  The exciting part of finding this spot was that it was a feed zone.  We hadn’t yet experienced a feed zone so we were excited to see how this all worked.  The sign posted said 1 km to feed zone, which meant just a few blocks to bike.  We got to the sign “Feed start” where there were two large parking lots for an equestrian park.  So Bob decided to ride back to the RV to move it to this spot.  We parked again and headed up the hill not really knowing how long the feed zone was but looking for the team support vehicles.  It’s always fun to watch in a feed zone because the riders are not attacking and you can get a good look at them. 

We found the BMC car and chatted with Trudy about how things were going and when she thought they might be coming.  The report was there was a small break-away group and estimated time of arrival about 2:00 – 2:30.  It was now about 1:00 and we had gotten there about noon.   You might think that’s a long time to wait but there is people watching and chatting to do for entertainment. People love to pet Buck and comment on our accent.  What the heck – I thought we sounded the same as everyone else in Ca.  The Europeans ok, that’s an accent if they are even speaking in English.  So the police motorcycles started arriving around 2:00 to say riders coming and clear the road.  Then the police tried to confuse the crowd by telling us to all go to one side of the street but then the next law man said no time to cross so we stayed where we were which was on the hand-up side of the road.  Before the riders come through they have a commentary car in which the gentleman announces over a loud speaker what is happening in the race.  Bob and I had our BMC hats on and were standing behind the guard rail in between the Kenda hand-up girl and the Jelly Belly hand-up guy. When the announcer came by he said there was a breakaway group of nine – no one from Kenda or Jelly Belly but BMC had George Hincapie!  Of course we cheered and rang the cow bell!  We had a nice visit with our new friends from Glendora, Mark and Veronica.  It was obvious Mark was a rider, his legs were tan, shaved and full of crash scars.  Mark had stories about going to the Tour De France to spectate.  The riders came thru looking a bit tired but Mark said if they don’t know what’s up ahead as far as the climbing they were in for a big surprise.

We walked back down the hill, stopping to take a picture of “the tire babies” as Bob named them.  Three guys wearing underwear made out of inner-tubes!  They had a good time chasing the riders up the hill and they were still lingering in their glory when we walked by.

We got on the road heading to Shawn and Mary Ann’s house in Woodland Hills about 30 miles from where we were.  Geez the traffic!  And we were going in the direction that was moving.  Did you really think we could drive across the country without me commenting on the traffic!  I’m amazed really at how everyone drives without loosing their cool.  Of course this was no problem for Bob, he just started taking on a bat man type of voice, when someone would either merge without looking, or change lanes and we had to suddenly break, he’s just say “Bastard” and that was that.  No crazy trying to drive next to them and give them the horn – except one time and then the girl really did deserve the air horns, which she followed with the finger in her rear view.   But mostly Bob thinks it’s a challenge and I try not to look, except when there is great scenery.  Like this morning.  The drive along the coast was beautiful.  Not much traffic at that point, hazy sun, lots of beach camping to see and we blared the CD from “Animal House”.  Life doesn’t get much better!  Bob said we’ll have to come back for the beach camping. 

We arrived at Shawn and Mary Ann’s to catch the last hour of their son Micah’s 8 year old birthday party.  Over the top!  Dunk tank, jumping house, hot dog stand, air hockey and games with prizes we missed before we got there.  Cupcakes were being consumed and then the candy lei necklaces given out to the 21 guests as they departed.  Mary Ann was exhausted!  We, as in Bob & I, Shawn and his dad watched the final 15 minutes of the tour.  We came back out to watch the equipment being taken down and sit and chat with their friends and family.  We decided to walk back to our RV, parked down the block by their school, to have some Mac & Cheese while Micah and his family opened all his gifts.

We came back to sit for a bit and catch-up, talk about how their kids loved having Eric’s big semi cab in their driveway, besides his Corvette for a month. 

Mary Ann announced to Shawn that she needed to go get a massage before she went to work tomorrow.  Mary Ann is a nurse at UCLA hospital.  She asked if I wanted to go also.  My first reaction was now!  She said it’s the greatest.  It’s right around the corner, the massages are done by Chinese who speak very limited English and for an hour it’s only $25.  It’s in one big room.  I said sure, why not and asked Bob if he wanted to come.  So she called and all 3 of us got 9:00 pm appointments.

I have to admit it felt great.  I even heard Bob comment to the woman doing his massage how strong she was.  It probably would have felt a bit more relaxing if I didn’t have sun burn on my shoulders and arms but it was still great.  They used some knee walking technique up the back and at that point my I thought I might not be able to breath into the hole in the table but all was good.  Oh, of course Bob could only have one foot massaged but he said his girl was really nice about getting him an extra pillow for the broken toe foot.

We got back to head to bed so this writing is now being finished up Sunday morning – end of week 2. 


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