Monday, July 28, 2014

2 River Trails


I'm down in Southern California helping my brother plan his memorial service.  I know that sounds horrible.  But it's rather nice sitting with him and talking about what kind of a service he would like to have.  He loves music, and we spent a lot of time today listening to his favorite band, and some of the songs he would like to have at the service.  I think it's really positive for him to approach this head on.  And it's been good for me to talk to my parents and sisters about it, too.  We all have to get used to the idea that he is dying.  That is what happens with ALS.

Although the main reason I am down here seems sad, I am having a nice time visiting my brother and parents.  My older sister is out of town, but will be home tomorrow.  I'm staying at her house (she has air conditioning, which my parents DON'T).  While I've been here, I've been riding her bike every day. I'm just doing 10 mile (16 km) rides, but I hope I'm staying mostly in shape.

I brought a hat which I was designing.  I finished it, and it mostly worked, though I am going to rework some of the design.

I have also been working on squares for the Wedding Afghan.

But what I want to write about tonight is the bike rides.

Before I left, last Friday night, I went for a 30 mile bike ride.  It was amazing.  I rode out along the Sammamish River Trail to meet up with JitteryKnitter who was riding home from work.

We met on the Burke-Gilman Trail, and then I turned around, and we rode back together.  Her DH (darling Husband) was at some soccer fields along the trail between Woodinville and Redmond.  We met up with him, then the three of us rode to Redmond City Hall.  That is where their car was parked.  I wanted to phone the Doc to come pick me up, but it was really crowded there, so I kept on riding.  I made it all the way home, even rode up Heartbreak Hill.

My rides in Orange, CA have been so different!  I am riding along another river trail, the Santa Ana River Trail, but other than having the word "River" in the name, the trails couldn't be more different.

I'm riding my sister's bike, and it is even more Mom-Bike than my bike is.
The houses are very Southern California.  Simple slab foundations, most built in the 50's.
Once I got out of the neighborhood and onto Taft Avenue, I was riding in traffic.  The lanes are wide, and although there are signs that say Bike Route, there are no painted bike lanes.
The roads are almost flat.  The only hill is the overpass that goes over the river.  So instead of riding up that hill, I rode down onto the trail.
The trail is really nicely kept up.  There was an old trail that went right along the edge of the river, but this new trail is back a bit, and kind of undulates.
The river is completely dry.  This is not uncommon in the summer.  The river can have a fast current in the winter or after a big storm.  But, it is usually dry.  This is especially true because of California's drought.

I rode by the Honda Center (formerly known as the Pond), where the Ducks hockey team plays.
I rode across the river on Katella Ave.  It was cloudy and humid today, but no rain.  Poor Southern California.

The next big thing on the trail is Angel Stadium, or as we called it, The Big A.  But there was some huge construction going on between the Honda Center and the Big A.
I Binged it to see what it was, and it is a new train station.

After the train station, you ride by the baseball stadium.

There are trees along both river trails, but even these are so different.  Most of the trees along the Sammamish River Trail are evergreens or poplars.  Here the trees are often eucalyptus or olive trees.

I saw a few homeless encampments.
Last Friday it was clear, and JitteryKnitter and I saw Mt. Rainier as we were riding home.  Today, I could see the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance.
Both trails have places to stop for water, or use the restroom.

There is this really strange instillation along the trail.  It is some kind of memorial, but I couldn't quite figure out what or who it is for.  Some Veterans?
It's just there, along the trail between Taft and Katella.

As I rode back through my sister's neighborhood, I didn't see a bald eagle, but I did see a flock of Turkey Vultures
shaping the planet along another river trail.

Yes, my brother is still working!  He is amazing.

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