Day 65 - 11/26/16 Leo Carillo SP to Long Beach, CA
I’d never met Catherine before. I didn’t even know what she looked like, I had only ever seen her paintings through the screen of my phone. On my way to her place I wondered how I even started following her on Instagram. The morning at Leo Carillo State Park was just beautiful. The Hiker.Biker campsite was tucked in a grove under massive, thick, meandering branches reaching in all directions, partly bleached by the sun, or maybe that’s the way they are.
I knew rain was in the forecast, sometime in the early afternoon, so I was up with the sun. I ate my oats and drank my coffee quickly in the cold and was on the road by 8:00. Getting out of the grove and into the sun was thrilling, I was motivated to beat the rain but, I couldn’t escape it. The first half of the ride was sunny and dry as I rolled over the seaside hills through Malibu and into Santa Monica. The bike path winds you through the hot, tan sands, past the lifeguard huts in their soft sea foam shades of blue and all the vacant volley ball nets, at is Fall after all.
I had to stop at REI in Santa Monica but it was nice to stop and see the pier and some of the trippy sidewalks with curved bricks that wiggled in your eyes as you roll over them. But just outside of Santa Monica is where the rain found me. Right on the beach. I don’t know if anyone believed the forecast or paid attention to it because all the other cyclists and beachgoers seemed rather surprised by the sudden shower.
The next 30 miles were a wet blur, a mad dash to get to Catherine’s in Long Beach. It’s not so fun to stop riding in the rain when you’re already soaked through, I get real cold real quick. It’s best to keep moving, and so I did. As it sometimes happens, the sun came out from behind the veil of clouds just as I got to Catherine’s, what else can you do but laugh?
Her apartment was set up like any good artist’s living arrangement: lots of art on the walls, lots of art on the floor leaning against the walls, paintings I had only seen from my phone screen, massive in person, and lots of art supplies shoved in corners that would be something at some point. I went and showered and she went to work making a vegetable stew. We shot the shit for a long time with some Christmas music in the background.
It was nice to hear someone talk about art and making art. That’s her full-time gig and it makes sense because she’s so damn talented. There’s a box of Dunkin Donuts on her table. I laughed when I saw them but, she assured me they’re just her models. She knows what a good donut should taste like.
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