Pacific Beach 3, CA

This is Sunday, May 7th, the third and final night I will spend at Beach Bungalow Hostel. I never stayed at one place for more than a day on this trip. The driving factor for staying here was to be able to worship at a local church, with a secondary benefit of avoiding some of the rain.

Late last night, someone moved into the vacant bunk on top of me. Her name was Valery, but as I was about to go to sleep, we didn’t talk except to say hello. I woke at 3:30 am. Because they use efficient daylight-type LED bulbs in the outside here, I had no idea whether the dim light was dawn, or night light. Too early, went back to sleep. A few minutes before 5:30, someone’s iPhone went off. Just about the whole room woke up, except the person who set the alarm. I got out of bed and found the phone, but didn’t know how to turn it off. Valery was sitting up in bed, so I handed the phone to her, and she hit snooze. Everyone went back to bed, while I went to the bathroom. When I came back from the bathroom, the iPhone went off again, and the owner still didn’t rouse. I moved the phone close to his head, but that didn’t work. I tried tapping him on the arm a few times, and he finally woke up and turned it off. Then I went over to the TV room.

It was a deluge out there. Rain was blasting against the window of the TV room as if someone was outside spraying with the nozzle of a hose. I wondered whether I would be able to get to church. I did some internet work.

Valery
A couple hours later, back at the dorm room Valery was up. She was visiting for two weeks from Luzern, Switzerland, and was meeting her friend today. I asked if I might snap a picture for this blog. She was concerned that she looked bad in the morning. Seriously? I would estimate she was about 6-2 or 6-3, like a slim Valkyrie.
gap in rain
Community Congregational Church of Pacific Beach was less than 2 miles away and had a forum at 9 am. At 8:30, there was a gap in the rain, so I set out. There was a small hill on the way to church, but without the weight of my gear, that was nothing.
Elvin
When I pulled up to the church, the first person I met was Elvin. I asked if my biking clothes would be okay, since he was all dressed up. Turns out he was just dressed up because he was the Pastor, and said I’d be fine. Of course, it’s UCC – everyone is welcome.

Their 9 am forum is a discussion on a topic of social justice, over coffee. And this week, it was actually about coffee – the possibility of going with Fair Trade Coffee for their church. Although it’s an interdenominational initiative, it would be a meaningful move for them, as they’re small, and cannot be cavalier with their stewardship. In the forum, I met Bev, Gretchen, Betty, Priscilla, and Tara. Notice something? All women. Where were the dudes in this church? Interesting fact: In value, the #1 commodity traded worldwide is oil. #2 is coffee.

Gretchen, Tara, Hal, Norah
Gretchen at the left is the mother of Tara in the middle, who is the mother of Norah, the girl in front. Hal cycled the Northern Tier (coast to coast) with a friend in 2008. Wish I could have talked with him longer.

At 10:30 there was regular worship service, including communion.  I found myself tearing up and feeling emotional at times, just like the previous week.  Don’t know why that happens.  After service, Gretchen gave me a pack of tissues to carry in my pack.  I had left my handlebar rag back at the hostel.

I gave out more cards at church, and think I may run out before this trip is done. That would actually be a good thing, because it would mean that I’m meeting lots of people. I can get more printed in an hour at any Staples location on the route. Better that I don’t have the weight of too many cards, anyway.

folding laundry
The dining table may be the only large table in the whole hostel. Desiree and another staff worker were folding clean linens.
bifocal sunglasses
I walked back into town because the rain was not severe. There was a store with a Sunglasses sign, any pair for $10.95. I got sunglasses with a built-in bifocal magnifier. They only had +3.0, but that will do. These will be useful in the event that I need to navigate by GPS during the day, as I’ve been having to switch to reading glasses to see the small text. If there are low-light conditions (like a few days ago before Oceanside), then I will just keep the reading glasses low on my nose, and look over them to ride.
uno
On this rainy shut-in day, the guests had no trouble entertaining themselves. Many gathered in the TV room to eat, play Uno, and watch The Big Short on Netflix.

In the storm, the power failed briefly at 6:30 pm. Internet went out for 15 minutes. Netflix went out. Lots of 20-somethings were dead on their phones, but I was able to continue editing this blog offline. One couple cuddled in the corner.

I went back to Coconut Thai Asian Bistro for dinner. Pad Kee Mao.

Miles for today: about 5 (cyclometer reset in the rain)

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