Last night everyone went to bed late. There was too much excitement about Red Dress day. Some riders were up gluing and sewing on last minute details. My rider pals David and Valerie were so hyper last night that they unzipped the tent at 10pm to gab to me and Sonia. All the camp was a buzz.
At about 5am the show was on. Stepping out of the tent this morning was like stepping into a wonderland. This must be how Dorothy felt when she found herself not in Kansas anymore. There were riders in tu tu's, riders dressed like beer maidens complete with blond braids and beer steins. There were riders dressed up like superheros with red capes and boots. Some riders had on sparkling shimmy dresses. Others had on dresses plus long red streamers flowing like waves from their helmets. My brother Larry had on a Tina Turner wig and a snug little red number he picked up somewhere. I think most of the riders planned for months for this special colorful day. David looked fabu in his tiny dress and long green hair. I wore a red moo moo I found at goodwill.
We were a sight to see. People on the street who had no idea why 2,500 cyclist in red dresses were riding happily down the street were for sure wondering what had gotten into us. We are full of human spirit, love and fun. There are definitely going to be some interesting dinner conversations around the dinner tables tonight. The best part were the school kids running to the fences to wave at us. Their grins and giggles made us all into children again as we passed.
Just because we were all having a blast doesn't mean there were no hills to climb.Today we tackled several steep hills. Actually, come to think of it, today's climbs made the evil twins look like two slightly irritating toddlers. I couldn't believe what I was looking up at. We're going to LA not outer space. Anyway. In our lovely red dresses we pedaled up. Then came the monster hill. This is the one where we all look like an aids ribbon from the sky. I was again pedaling about 2 miles an hour. I just didn't want to look up there to the top of this mountain, which is exactly what it was. A huge mountain. Again, just when I thought I was crazy, Brendan came rolling up behind me. We began to sing show tunes. We sang songs from Evita and West side story. We then sang songs by Streisand and Judy Garland. Soon every rider around us was joining in the chorus. We sang Carpenter tunes and by the time we got around to Ella and Duke Ellington, we were at the top of the monster ribbon hill. All of the riders who were singing were too busy trying to think of the lyrics to the songs to worry about a steep hill. Music therapy wins again.
Today we passed some yummy strawberry fields. I wanted to just hop the fence and grab some but I was good and only took a picture. It's amazing all the smells out there on the road. There were smells of liquorice and even garlic. Needless to say I was soo hungry by the end of this ride.
After a 45 mile ride today, we rolled back into camp. As we entered camp one of the roadies called out that our tents were set up already. Yea !!! We were happy. Sonia and I noticed that our tent was right next door to the port-o-potties. Even though we were grateful that the the roadies set us up, we were a little freaked out about being next to the restrooms. But then, Larry walked up and told us that he noticed our delicate location and set us up a tent near his gear truck far from the port-o-potties. Thanks little brother... you rock.
Camp life is great. It runs like a little country. It runs like the world should run. We are a very diverse group. There are representatives from every walk of like. All religions, races, genders and we all trust and respect each other. We are all here to make the world better for everyone. I've been disconnected from the outside world for a while and just heard about the Obama nomination. Being here with ALC shows me that it is possible for the people of this world to come together as one if we want to. If the entire world could function like this community I've been blessed to experience for just one day, it would change the world forever. So lets make some changes to make this planet a paradise. Tomorrow we are on our way to Ventura.