LA night fun, then Tucson day sun

1/15/22

I’m posting this a day late, on the 16th, since the day ran late. I’ll try to catch up soon.

So, I left you off when I had boarded the train from San Diego to LA. The scenery was beautiful as usual, along the Pacific coastline until we hit the industrial areas.

When I got in to LA’s Union Station, I dropped off my trailer in the locked room in the first class lounge, and then headed out by bike to nearby vegan restaurant Café Gratitude to meet a new friend, Joni, who is yet another “Brompton lady!” We had a good chat over our meal, and enjoyed a few Brompton photo ops.

Then I boarded the train, and we embarked at 10 pm. By the time I boarded, my roomette was already in “bedtime mode,” with the bed made up. So I soon went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, I looked out the window to see the sun rising over the desert: pretty cool! I happened to be in the last car of the train, too, so I got to take a fun shot out the back. I always love those receding-track photos.

I took a look at the weather on my phone, and was glad to see that the day’s high would be 70, but rather chagrined to see that it was currently 37. That’s the desert for you, I guess. By the time I got off the train at 8:30, it had probably climbed just a bit over 40. The sunshine and my pedaling kept me warm enough as I biked through a new-to-me city. I liked it! I wove through the downtown area and the university on my half-hour ride to my Warmshowers hosts, Jim and Sonya. Jim is a published author. (His book, Into Thick Air, has a front-cover endorsement by none other than Barbara Kingsolver!) The book details his successful quest to bicycle to the lowest point on every continent except Antarctica. I was impressed by the concept, the execution, and the fact that he turned the experience into a book! He also told me that he was arguably the world’s first bicycle blogger, back in 1996 when most of us hadn’t even heard of blogs yet.

We all enjoyed some breakfast together, and then I went out to explore the town a bit. I visited the local co-op, Food Conspiracy, as well as another locally owned natural-foods store, and then met some friends for lunch: by a happy coincidence, my Servas hosts from Santa Cruz, Lysa and Dave (hi, Lysa!) happen to be visiting Tucson at the moment as well, as part of a much larger southwestern tour they are taking in their van. I’m finding that Tucson is a connection point for several people from my Portland past, as well as several others I’ve met on this journey, including one from my time in Tacoma, and one from Klamath Falls.

The weather was a bit odd today: lots of wind, which I understand is unusual. Because of that, even the 70 degrees felt chilly at times, so I was glad I had brought my layers out with me.

This evening, I returned from my exploration just in time to meet my hosts’ dinner guests, a couple who have been living in Spain for the past several years, although one of them lived in Tucson for many years prior, and the other is originally from the Netherlands. (Hi, Marianne!) We had some great conversation over dinner and then in front of the fireplace.

I’m loving Tucson so far! Tomorrow is another full day: ecstatic dance in the morning, followed by some outdoor volunteering.

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