Day 38 - Santa Barbara to McGrath State Beach - July 20, 2015

Hot Paint - Carp

We left Greg and Kim's place fairly early in the morning. I cycled to Carpinteria and found the Worker Bee Cafe shortly after entering the town. The guys showed up a little later. We worked out the logistics for the next couple days. Rocco's son Josh plans on joining us on Wednesday for the remainder of the trip. We generally know where we will meet him. I'm looking forward to taking on another member of the southbound crew.

Tools of the Trade

After Carp, we cycled to Ventura. On the way, we traveled over several bike paths and watched countless people surfing. A long line of RV's were parked on the shoulder of highway one, providing quick shelter for wet bodies. Stone fire pits were built into the rock wall bulkhead facing the ocean. Christina and I have talked about purchasing an RV or camper van. I'd like to continue the conversation when I return. At Ventura, we picked up food for dinner and headed out to our final destination, McGrath State Beach.

RV Paradise

Rocco and I met Charlie at the gate to McGrath. It was locked. The park had been officially closed since 2014. I cycled back up the road, remembering that there was a flat spot by the bridge spanning the Santa Clara River. After a second look, it seemed like a suitable free camp spot. I returned to the gate to share the news when the park peacekeeper, Josh, pulled up in his personal vehicle. After mulling our situation over, he let us into the park. What luck! We were to show his business card to Ralph, the campground host. He told us that the park was shut due to flooding.

Crossing the Santa Clara

McGrath was a ghost town. Besides one RV and the host, we were the only people camping there. Sites were overgrown with grass. After speaking with Ralph, he was kind enough to unlock the restroom. The facilities were hot and the showers clean. We set up our tents and ate dinner.

Out-Of-Service - McGrath State Beach

After eating, we worked on composing a letter to the community. Rocco is trying to earn money for the philanthropic group Friends of Friends. He is seeking donations linked to his ride mileage. If Roc obtains the most money for Friends of Friends, he will be crowned Mr. South Whidbey at the upcoming gala on October 3. We posted the donation request letter on Facebook along with several trip photos. Rocco said that users started "liking" the post immediately. Some left words of encouragement. Facebook must draw many users in the evening hours. I wonder if quiet meditation would be better for society...

Below is the letter.

Dear Members of the Community,

Friends of Friends is an organization that was founded to help people with medical expenses not covered by their insurance. For example, co-payments, deductibles, transportation to appointments, etc. Each year, this organization does a fundraiser called the Mr. South Whidbey Pageant.

I have been selected as one of the nine candidates for this year's Mr. South Whidbey Ten Year Gala, held on October 3. At this event, each candidate will give an entertaining performance. The candidate who earns the most money will be crowned Mr. South Whidbey.

Over the past three years, I have undergone five major joint surgeries. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to be able to afford the many costs not covered by insurance.

Currently, I am on a bicycle tour to celebrate my return to health. I started at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. My ultimate goal is to reach the Mexican boarder, a distance of about six hundred miles. 

I thought it appropriate to link your donations for Friends of Friends to my trip mileage. You may donate per mile or a flat sum by going to the Friends of Friends website. Find the link below.

Rocco Gianni

McGrath Hiker / Biker

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