04 Sep 2012

Trip 2 Day 1: Raspberry Hills and Strawberry Breezes

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Day 1: Raspberry Hills and Strawberry Breezes

The team of 6 skaters departed Sunday, September 2 2012 from Santa Cruz, CA. Our start was an hour later than we had planned; we didn’t hit the road until 9am. Leaving the city was a blast, as we cruised down Soquel. We passed Above the Line, the charity that we are skating for and managed to get a photo with the building in the background. A few miles later I took a fall when going down a hill too fast. I ended up with a few nasty cuts, but thankfully a kind man named Park heard me fall and came out of his house to help me clean up my cuts. Those hills gave me quite a few raspberries! We continued onward toward Watsonville and passed through some beautiful farmland that was enshrouded in fog, which was surreal yet peaceful. Light ocean breezes that came inland wafted tantalizing scents of ripened strawberries right to us. These breezes also helped us glide over some of the best cruising we had experienced so far. Somewhere amidst the farmland in between Watsonville and Moss Landing we came across a farmhouse and the kind residents Mark, Rozanne, and little Joey and Chloe gave us Gatorades and water. They congratulated and wished us luck on our long journey. It was a great experience to receive their hospitality and support. We got on Highway 1 for a few miles before Moss Landing and we were stopped by a Highway Patrol officer. She let us know that we weren’t supposed to be on the Highway, but eventually she told us to continue on, stay on the shoulder, and be safe. We were pleased with the outcome, because receiving a citation would have been a significant damper on the first day. As we came into Moss Landing, we were getting pretty hungry, as it was near 3pm and we hadn’t eaten lunch yet. The first eatery that we came across was a seafood restaurant that looked like a tourist trap. Although I knew it wasn’t a great option, I also figured that Moss Landing is a very small town and that this place might be our best option. Fried prawns, fish, and chicken proved to be a relatively expensive and unhealthy lunch. As fate would have it, around the next bend that we passed there was a market that had fresh produce and sandwiches. Altogether, it would have been a much better lunch experience. After departing Moss Landing, we saw a nice smooth black road, but as we approached it turned out to be chip sealed, so that it was deceivingly unstable. The day was far from over, as we had planned to cover about 50 miles a day and so far we had only done about 25. We managed to push onward to Marina, and stocked up with water and some dinner materials at a Walmart. As we looked for a place to stay, hotels didn’t look promising as Labor Day rates were well out of our price range at around $180. In desperation, we ended up hiking out to some of the local beach dunes and set up camp. In a few words, our night was wet, sandy, and cold. We woke up groggy and exhausted, but hit the road again, having resolved to shower the next day.

– Patrick Rubio

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