Hermosa Beach, CA

Lots of bugs at Leo Carrillo. I didn’t get bitten once, though. I put mayflies out of my tent, because they tend to fly into my face or mouth while I’m sleeping. All the other small flying things I left alone.

small spider
In the morning, I gently scooped up this little guy from inside my tent. He may have been cleaning up the smaller crawlers throughout the night.

I made a small fire with twigs in the fire ring in the morning. Few others were up at dawn. I packed up, had some Pan Dolce and the last piece of salami, then was ready to go. At the bathroom, I saw Emily, and asked her to say goodbye to her group for me.

8 am, about 35 miles to the Surf City Hostel, mostly flat on bike path, ample services along the way after the Malibu Hills. Let’s rock.

beach near santa monica
For my Hawaii friends, this is a California beach. It’s a long way to the water. If you look carefully, you can see two people sitting on beach chairs under umbrellas out there.
venice beach
Much of the day’s ride was along beach bike path, meaning it was sandy in areas. Venice beach, like many of the beaches in the area, is bustling with activity – street vendors, skaters, skateboarders, joggers, cyclists. I was the only person I saw on self-contained tour, though.

Just after Santa Monica, another cyclist came alongside me and we started chatting. He had one pannier, so I asked whether he was touring, too. No, he was local, but rode for exercise. He was recently retired from Northrup Grumann, having previousy worked at Boeing. Over 30 years as an Aerospace engineer, and never laid off. He had worked on the 767, as well as the Gamma Ray Observer, and X-Ray telescope. Like myself, he did a little bit of everything at work. He led me all the way to the Surf City Hostel, and we ended up having lunch together at Good Stuff (yes, that’s actually the name of the restaurant). John’s wife had cancer at the same time as the owner’s wife, so he became good friends with the owner. His wife is clear, now.

John Wider
A late lunch with John Wider (WEE-der) at Good Stuff.
Surf City Hostel
The stairway leads to the hostel, which is on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The small oval wooden sign is the only thing marking the location.  I got a dorm room, which was less than $40. So much more like a dorm than a motel. Lots of young people socializing in the various common areas and hall.
staff and friends
Some of the staff was hanging out in one of the common areas having dinner. L-R: Trolley (from England), Rob and Ron (both from Brooklyn, Ron is half staff, Rob is a friend), Jessica from Seattle, who checked me in at the office, and Rome, from Italy. The room had been hot, earlier, but they knew just when the seabreeze would come in, and with an open window, the room was very pleasant.
sunset on the pier
The Surf City Hostel is right by the pier. I saw lots of people fishing off the pier, catching some kind of small silvery fish. Seemed like someone would get a bite at any given time.
Scotty's Monday Special
Around the corner, there was a restaurant called Scotty’s on the Strand. It was packed with people during happy hour, but cleared out by sunset. Their Monday special was All-you-can-eat spaghetti for $7.95. It was May 1st, Monday. Another sign. I went in.
scotty's salad
It came with a dinner salad, and not a bad one, either.
AYCE spaghetti
The spaghetti itself was al dente, the way I like it, and came with a rich, meaty sauce. Actually, when the server came by to ask me if I wanted another plate, I had to admit that the one serving had been enough. In my 20’s, I could imagine going to a place like this with my friend Clay and having 3 plates at least.
surf city dorm room
This was my bunk on the left. Although the room was designed for 4, there were only two of us there, and my roommate from Israel came in only at around 10:30, just about time to sleep. I spent some time working on the blog on that wooden end table, as well as on the internet station in one of the common rooms. A group of people was watching Kill Bill 1 on a laptop in the room, which provided nice background entertainment.

The hostel has free breakfast tomorrow morning from 8-11 am, and checkout is by 11 am.

Miles: 44.0

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  1. Hello sojourner! I just got back into town and am catching up on your travels, but this entry captures it all!!! What an adventure and what a gift to be meeting lovely people and spaces. Incredible.

    Be safe Roderick and know you are missed on this coast as you head to the other 🙂

    1. Good to hear from you, Julie! Meeting people and hearing their stories is absolutely the best part of travel, as you well know. This trip, however, has had more than its share of difficulty, but maybe it’s good that the bad things happen now, so I can learn the lessons before the desert. I’m still on the west coast, by the way. San Diego is in striking range for tomorrow, but I might make it two days, for reasons you can see in a later posts.

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