Bike for the Cure XX – Day 10 – Port Hueneme to Culver City CA – June 6
Got everything loaded up after breakfast. It was a comfortable stay in this airbnb house. Again, thanks to Doris and her daughter Jennie for making the arrangements for us.
Left at 7:11 am. Mary Ann wanted to stop at McDonalds, which was right on our way out to State Hwy. 1. On the road again … passing though agricultural areas with acres of crops. Also passed at least one military installation. One was the CA Air National Guard base.
From the outskirts of Port Hueneme to the Mexican border State Hwy 1 is called the Pacific Coast Highway. Further North, near San Francisco, it was called The Great Highway and then the Cabrillo Highway by the time we got to Half Moon Bay.
This section of the ride looked like something on which Charlotte could handle the driving, so we pre-determined I would drive to the Leo Carillo State Beach Campground where we would switch driving and riding. I drove there, readied myself, and my bike, and was waiting for her at the entrance to the Campground. But she pedaled right by, never seeing me or the sign for the Campground. Then a few minutes later Sherri appeared, saw me there, so she stopped, and said she would drive and catch up with Charlotte. So I started riding. I was supposed to ride to the Dan Blocker Beach but there was construction and a huge hill on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) so Sherri and Mary Ann stopped there, and waited for Charlotte and me to get there. We loaded the bikes, and drove about two miles, past the construction and over the huge hill. I only got in 10 miles of riding, but that was better than the days on which I was unable to ride at all. Sherri and Mary Ann then continued riding, and Charlotte and I were in the van. We breezed along, seeing high gas prices and the constant flow of traffic. Cars are always parked along the shoulder of the PCH.
We turned out when we got to the Santa Monica Pier, from which our 1999 and 2000 “Bike for the Cure” Transamerica rides started. Parking was a flat $14. We waited for Mary Ann and Sherri to arrive. They had been riding on a bike/walking path near the beach. They wanted to get some lunch “out.” So they went on, to find a place to eat, and ride to the pastor’s home where we will be spending the night. Charlotte and I had the usual peanut butter/lettuce sandwiches and decided to walk up to the Santa Monica Pier so I could ride the carousel. On the way up, we were spotted by Brenda Allen, Carrie Brown, and Nita Tiller from the HD Community. Everyone was very excited about that! Their family is here from Ohio for the Convention. I rode one ride on the carousel; Charlotte didn’t want to ride. Took photos of the “End of Route 66” sign on the pier. Santa Monica is the Western terminus of Route 66. Recalling that last year we were at the Eastern terminus in Chicago. Lots of tourists everywhere.
We got some directions to the home of Pastor Janet McKeithen in Culver City. Amazingly, we arrived there simultaneously with Sherri and Mary Ann! Big home/parsonage, with large garage for the bikes, and plenty of room inside. Both Janet and her husband are Pastors, at different Methodist churches in the area. Janet prepared a wonderful dinner for us; coincidentally she served the same delicious Stouffer’s Creative Comforts Vegetable Lasagna as what Mary Fay-Zenk served us in Cambria! 2 salads and bread, too!
Janet invited us to a gathering celebrating the successes of five homeless people. It was in downtown Los Angeles, in a sort of outdoor amphitheatre on Bunker Hill. It was adjacent to the famous “Angel’s Flight” funicular which I liked so much when we lived in LA. It took 1 1/2 hours to get from Culver City to downtown LA on surface streets. The GPS programming was faulty and it originally took us to an address at least 3 miles from where we wanted to go.
Stories of former homeless people were inspiring. We drove back to Culver City on the I-10 Interstate. This freeway is one of the busiest highways in North America. It runs through 7 states, from the Pacific to the Atlantic (in Jacksonville FL). It is called the Santa Monica Freeway in LA but the generic name is he Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway.
It was a harrowing experience. Mary Ann was driving, and we were almost sideswiped by another vehicle during a lane change. God protected us from what could have been a terrible accident.
Back to Janet’s finally. My nerves were shot. Had some cookies and milk to calm down.
Rich full day. Now in the thick of traffic, etc. in the Los Angeles area. We are only about four miles from the Marriott LAX Hotel so we can “sleep in” in the morning.
I think today’s mileage was 57 miles (50 from Port Hueneme to Santa Monica, then about 7 more from Santa Monica to Pastor Janet’s home.) Cumulative total is 463 miles so far. Just 4 miles more tomorrow.
With love from Southern California,
Bike for the Cure XX – Day 11 – Culver City to the Airport Marriott near LAX – June 7
Because we only have four miles to ride this morning, we were able to “sleep in.” Pastor Janet had cereal, fruit, fruit juice, and toast for us.
Got the van all loaded up. Mary Ann moved the van to a shaded spot across the street. After a prayer, we four left on our bikes to ride the four miles to the Convention Hotel. Used some side streets and some major streets as well. Quite a bit of traffic. Found the hotel easily. A small group of supporters were there to welcome us and cheer as we arrived. The two Convention photographers recorded some of it. It was about 10:00 a.m. Another ride completed, thank God.
Charlotte and I checked us all in, while Sherri and Mary Ann rode the four miles back to Pastor Janet’s home to get the van and drive it to the hotel. Van was parked in the parking lot, since it couldn’t fit in the parking structure due to the Thule box on the roof. Got everything unloaded and up to the rooms. Very nice accommodations (two queen beds in each of the two rooms which HDSA comped us). Had quite a bit of leisure time. I think this was the earliest we have ever arrived at Convention. Got changed up into convention clothes and relaxed. Took the t-shirts downstairs to sell at the HDSA Table. Checked out some of the exhibits. Started seeing friends from prior Conventions. Also checked on Juan Herrera and his family, from our local support group in GJ. Went down to their hotel room and visited, and explained a bit about the Convention format, etc. Juan’s step-son Jaime (13) has Juvenile HD and his 15 year old step-daughter Marlene is at risk.
Skipped the ceremonial Team Hope Walk. Used to do it, but not any more. Dinner was a carnival-themed Welcome Reception, with players earning tickets. There was a trailer for a new to be released “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” Volume was turned up way too loud, and conversation was impossible.
So glad to be at our destination. Fun seeing so many folks we know from past Conventions. This is my 21st Convention and Charlotte’s 18th, Mary Ann’s 4th, and Sherri’s 9th or 10th.
With love from the 33rd Annual HDSA Convention,
Bike for the Cure XX – First Full Day at Convention – June 8
Breakfast concessions were available for vouchers which had been included in our registration packets. I had a container with yogurt and fruit (cost $6). Friday’s opening ceremony featured keynotes from Anna Canoni and Bill Johnston. Anna is a granddaughter of Woody and Marjorie Guthrie and the daughter of Nora Guthrie. Anna shared her family story on how the Guthries were impacted by HD and Marjorie’s extraordinary determination to “do something” in the establishment of the Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease (which evolved into HDSA). Bill Johnston is a former executive with the now Los Angeles Chargers NFL team and currently with the San Diego Padres front office. His wife Ramona has HD, and is in a nursing facility. He wanted to remain close to her in San Diego, necessitating a job change. He has done major fundraising with his family.
After a break, the break-out workshops were on tap. The morning session I attended was “Family Dynamics While Testing.” After lunch the research session called “Ask the Scientist … Anything! with Drs. Wild and Carroll. Then I attended the session on “Hot Topics! DNA Repair & Stem Cells” with two young female doctors, Tamara Maiuri and Sarah Hernandez. Very interesting and promising. For dinner there were Food Trucks with Meals available for purchase in the Century Pavillion. Friday night was the annual NYA Talent Show where attendees were entertained with magic, dance, stand-up comedy, and singing. Dances were auctioned off, along with the t-shirt quilt I donated. It brought in a high bid of $500. After last year’s fiasco with the quilt I donated, I was very pleased with how it turned out this year, using a different format. The evening raised more than $30,000 to support the NYA Convention Scholarship Fund which enables youth to attend the Convention.
Rich full day. Good night!