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.

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