Archive for December 5th, 2008|Daily archive page

Pictures updated 12/05/08

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Day 119–south of Temecula (12/04/08)

We were a lot closer to the house this morning so we were able to sleep another 30 minutes.  Eric drove me to Del Taco for breakfast and I started walking as soon as I was done eating.  There was a lot of fog this morning and lots of traffic.  I stayed well off the road on the dirt shoulder.  It was level and, other than grit in my shoes, no problem.  Eric crewed me from the van the first 10 miles.  I alternated running with walking and made good time.  We arrived at the house for a break.  Eric left the van at the house and accompanied me with his bike the rest of the day.  We started through a residential area and passed several shopping centers.  I had lunch at a Del Taco and visited the Temecula Dairy Queen.   After lunch we made our way to dirt trails. Many of them were fenced and had “no trespassing” signs.  We either went around gates or through fences.  It reminded me of some of the runs I have taken near the Pee Dee River at home where the land is posted and gated.  We eventually found ourselves on the aqueduct (part of the same one I saw in Arizona) and continued on it until we came up to a formidable gate.  Here, the fence was tall and I used the bike as a step to get over and dropped to the ground on the other side.  Eric is more agile than I am and he found a trailer to stand on and boost himself over.  We continued in a residential setting for awhile and came to another trail.  Eric was unfamiliar with this area but said, “It’s heading the way we need to go.”  There was no fence here, just a steep bank, so off we went.  We made our way along the trail, through a stream bed, and finally came to another big fence just before the road.  There were some kids riding their bikes and they showed us to a big hole that had been cut in the fence.  We turned right on the street and came to Rainbow Canyon Road.  We had hoped to make the upper part of this road and we had just enough time.   It was a long climb with nice views of Temecula near the top.  Eric called Noni after the climb and we continued to the next road junction where she picked us up with the van.  Eric had used his gps and said I had just over 28 miles for the day. 

Today is dedicated to Eric Clifton and Noni Nierenberg.  I talked to Eric many weeks back and asked if he could help me out when I passed through Temecula.  He was enthusiastic about my trip and agreed.  He picked me up in Hemet Monday night when Roger and Kim left for North Carolina.  He brought me to his home where I met his wife Noni.  We had dinner and talked about my trip and just how I would make my way from Hemet to San Diego.  They had been expecting to crew for me a couple of days and have me in their home a few nights.  When Rick had his heart attack though, I no longer had a crew for the last week.  Eric and Noni graciously and immediately stepped forward to help me with the finish.  I have been welcomed into their home for probably 11 nights!  Eric will crew for me to a point about 5 miles from the finish that I will save until the last day.   I know nothing of the area so Eric has planned my route.  Noni has welcomed me into her home, prepared food for me, washed my clothes, and in every way made me feel welcome.  I cannot think of anything else they could do for me. 

Thank you, Noni and Eric.

Day 118–south of Hemet

Eric dropped me out at 8 a.m.  I had decided to do today with the pack and no crew.  There would be the cities of Banning and Beaumont to do the first 10 miles, then a 12 mile open country section, and then 2 more towns.  Crewing in towns with lots of traffic is hard on a crew and just not necessary unless there are lots of  turns.   Also the first two miles were between the railroad and interstate and not good for a car.  Then there was a right and a left turn to reach Ramsey street.  Ramsey Street took me through the first 2 towns and there were only two more turns the entire day.  I carried water and stopped for food  along the way.  The first few miles out of Beaumont were open hilly country and the desert was gone.  There were a few cactus but mostly there were lots of grasses and other greenery.   A few miles later I was in the flat again and agriculture was back.  The first thing I saw entering the flat was a huge sod farm.  It was irrigated by treated but not potable water and the “aroma” reminded me of the “biosilage” hauled from Rockingham to the game lands where I work.  After the sod farm there were just flat open grassy areas for a couple of miles.  I entered another town and stopped at Jack in the Box for a coke.  The break was nice and the clerk was really interested in my trip.  He took a picture of me by the coke machine and said he could not wait to tell his parents about me.  About 3:45 I passed a Dairy Queen and did not stop.  Eric was suppose to pick me up at 4 and I did not want to miss him.  I went another few miles and met him about 4:30.  He brought me a sandwich and milk.  I had a total of 26 miles for the day.

We were suppose to meet his running club (the Temecula Trotters) at 6:30.  The meet Wednesdays for a group run and pizza.  Before we turned around, I told Eric this was the first DQ I had missed since the beginning.  He promptly drove me there for a cone so I did not miss it.  Then we hurried off home for a my shower and then to the meeting.  While they went for a run I waited in a nearby coffee shop.  Then we met for pizza and their meeting.  I was the entertainment for the evening.  I did an overview of my journey and then answered questions.  It was a lot of fun.  I have not shaved or had a haircut in a while and was compaired to Forrest Gump, a comparison I do not mind.

I met Andy Roy, trail name Boston Andy, on the Appalachian Trail (AT)  in 1989.  He was 24 and I was 37.  We met just south of Hot Springs, N.C. and only had a couple of days hiking together.  Nevertheless, by trips end, we had a beginning friendship.  In 1990, we met up for another segment of the AT.  More AT trips followed.  We have gotton to know each other very well.  We have shared a one-man tent.  We both needed a shower on one trip and the coin-operated showers cost 50 cents.  We both had one quarter.  We have discussed everything from ice cream to Stephen Hawking’s theories about time.  He crewed for me at both my 100 mile run finishes.  Most recently, he and his friend, Jennifer Kline, crewed for me when I passed through Phoenix on this journey.  During all this time, he has remained my steadfast friend.  Sometimes we have no reason to talk for a few weeks or months.  But when we connect by phone it is like yesterday.  I am honored and humbled to have such a friend as Andy. 

Andy, you are the best.  I could not ask for or expect to have a better friend.