Our long awaited bike journey from San Diego to Bar Harbor, Maine began on the morning of Chris’s birthday- March 8. We finished packing some of our daily use items and headed toward the trolley at about 9am. The trolley took us to Old Town where we pedaled to our official start at the Ocean Beach dog beach. Attracting the attention of some of the locals, we soon began fielding all the typical questions: ‘Where are you coming from?’ ‘Where are you going?’ ‘How long will that take?’ One inquirer soon set himself apart. Craig is originally from Germany, where his wife still resides, but he currently domiciles in a camper van anywhere is OB. Riding his red Cannondale crossover, he pedaled along with us for the first 15 miles of our trip. Despite the map visibly displayed in front of me, Craig provided detailed turn by turn directions, stories about personal experiences along the route, and tips for our cross-country endeavor. He was a pleasure to talk (mostly listen) to and seemed to know his stuff. We wish him the best and safe pedaling.
Shortly before Craig split ways with us, we met up with our friend Michelle along the San Diego River Bike Path, our planned company for about the first 7 days of our trip. A few miles later we stopped for lunch along Mission Gorge Road. Once our fresh fruit and granola bars were nourishing our bellies, we tackled our first decent hill up Mission Gorge Road. Unfortunately, it was the first of many. However, we trudged through and our route coincidently brought us right past Michelle’s boyfriends house where we filled up our water, and confirmed that he would meet us for dinner and camping. About 10 miles and 1500 feet later we finally arrived at Lake Jennings Park Campground in Lakeside, CA. Our campsite had an amazing view overlooking the lake where we enjoyed dinner, music, and beer floats, courtesy of Eidon (Michelle’s boyfriend).