Day 78 – Jacumba, CA to San Diego, CA – 83 miles

November 15, 2009

Sam and I woke up before our alarm was to go off, and we made an effort to get up. It was cold enough to see our breath, which I guess was credited to the elevation. The water that had covered my tent had frosted over. We packed and went to eat at the hot spring spa/hotel/restaurant in town. We ate pretty tasty breakfast food, and warmed up with some coffee.

We had about another thousand feet to climb today, which was not so bad. No headwind, and the terrain was changing more, and I started to really feel like I was in California. The view from our road on historic route 80 was really nice. I was also glad that Sam had chosen this route, and that directions were one less thing I would have to worry about as I finished this last leg of the trip. It’s nice to feel lazy sometimes.

We stopped for lunch at a touristy little diner in Pine Valley, which was a  cute town full of pine trees, and saw how late it was getting. We had thought we might try to get to San Diego today, but at this hour, it was clear we would be getting there after dark. Since Sam lives there, and our destination was her house, it made sense to do this. So off we went, chugging up some small hills, and then sailing down the mountain.

At a stop sign, there was a man in bright yellow who was flagging us down. He was a cyclist, and we had seen him earlier coming down the hill we had been climbing. He handed me a gold coin to welcome me to San Diego. Robert did not have to be told that this was the destination like everyone else had. Of course, we still had a few hours of biking left, but that was it. He told me it was his dream to tour like we had, and we encouraged him to make that dream come true. It is a pretty good dream to have, and it can be accomplished anytime, anyway, if you want it to. If this girl can do it, any person on this planet can. Seriously. Robert was the first person to congratulate me for making it, and it felt pretty good, I must say.

We rode through the small towns Sam said people refer to as bed towns, because the people who live there sleep there but commute to San Diego for work. We had the strange company of two young skateboarders who were on the road with us. They were pretty brazen about playing chicken a little with cars as it was beginning to darken. Sam said she liked them because they were alerting the drivers on the road, which made them more attentive by the time they saw us. They were only riding down the hill for a few miles, so they would have quite the climb when they were at the bottom. They should ride a bike instead.

We got into the San Diego area well after dark, and I was following Sam’s lead. She had taken this route when she had done some training rides, so even though it was dark, she had a pretty good idea of where to go. We did more climbing, as that is the nature of San Diego. It didn’t really feel like I had really arrived, since it was dark and I had no real knowledge of orientation. But it did feel different anyway.

We pulled into Sam’s sometime around nine Pacific time. She lives in a nice little neighborhood, which Sam says is actually considered a less nice neighborhood by many native San Diegans. She said it is because we have lower standards coming from Philadelphia. Oh. Palm trees make everything look really nice.

We were both very tired. Her husband, Fred, was still at work, but had been nice enough to make a pizza for us. Solved our problem of what to eat since we did not feel like making anything.

I have to say, this is it. The end of the trip. At this time, I still am not sure that I feel like that is true. When I wake up in the morning, I will want to get on my bicycle. Not that I can’t still do that, but it is no longer the same. My life feels like it will take some adjusting to not be on my bike day in and day out. I look forward to my next trip, which I have not decided where or when that will be. If I had the funds to keep going, I would. But now is not the time.

Now, I have a little more vacation. Sam and Fred will let me bum around here for a bit because they are awesome friends. After that, I must get back to being a functioning human in the world again. It has its own merits, but this way of life is difficult to peel away from.

Thank you for coming along this trip with me. Thank you for all the guidance and assistance and support to make this solo trip a group effort. I am a different person now than I was at the start, to be sure. I would not have been able to have this experience without all of you, sincerely. My memories of each person who helped me and friends and family who encouraged me are solidified in my mind forever. I have a deep respect for this country that I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and I encourage each person to have as many adventures as possible to know what that can really mean. If you can, do it while riding a bicycle.

If nothing else, just ride a bike, modified if you have special needs, whenever you can and as far as you can.

Total ridden bicycle miles from Pennsylvania to California (not including lost miles) = 3,163
Total vehicular miles to assist me across the country = 183
Total trip miles on my route = 3,346


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10 Responses to “Day 78 – Jacumba, CA to San Diego, CA – 83 miles”

  1. Sam Says:

    I can barely believe you’re done either. It seems like you’re still someplace in Oklahoma. I’m going to miss these little updates on the road from you. If anything, you’ve given me tremendous confidence in being able to complete our leg from Texas to California…or Arizona since I did California.

    I’ll be the second…Congratulations!!!

  2. Chile Says:

    Congratulations on a worthy journey, Carrie! Like others, I will definitely miss your regular updates. Keep us posted on where you go next, whether by bike, bus, or train.

  3. christina Says:

    Congrats I am so glad you made it I will let everyone at the Dairy Queen know especially Glenna she wanders all the time about you. I am glad you had a safe trip.

  4. Kelly Williams Says:

    Yeah!You made it!Congrats! I am glad to have met and helped you – even though I helped get you lost in WV! If you come back thru -either bike, car, or motorcycle – look us up!

  5. Staci Says:

    Hi Carrie – So glad to hear you made it! What an incredible journey you have made! Congratulations!! I will miss your blog.

  6. Mom & Dad Says:

    We are so proud of you!! Congratulations!! What an incredible journey. We love you.

  7. john Says:

    Congrats! I’m sorry for lurking instead of commenting, but I’ve been following for a good chunk of your journey. I’m thankful you were able to share this online, and I look forward to any future adventures you have!

    I hope you post a little more, with some reflections of the journey as a whole, or anecdotes that stand out to you. It’s always interesting to see what appears in retrospect.

    Happy trails!


  8. Congrats, Carrie. Myself and several here at work have been following your daily updates, and will miss them dearly. You are hugely inspiring to many, many folks, more than I can say. I will always think of you when I pass that spot on Rt.896 north of the Summit Bridge (near Lums Pond) where we fixed your flat.

    If you decide on XC trip #2, and take the northern route, let me know. I’ve cycled from here to Niagra Falls via Lake Ontario, following the Erie Canal most of the way in. You’re welcome to use it, absolutely beautiful up there.

  9. Leroy Glinchy Says:

    I too, feel a bit sad. This blog is going to just sit on my RSS reader, I guess.

    Anyway, congrats on the trip, and thank-you for writing about it so we could follow you. Like Sam, I feel as if you should still be in OK. I believe you sped up a great deal as time went on.

  10. Ben Hrouda Says:

    Glad that you made it. Bill, Karen and I met you and had lunch way towards the beginning of the trip on the C&O.


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