Day 63: Salome, AZ to Blythe, CALIFORNIA! About 60 miles.
Obviously, we were STOKED to be getting to California! Crossing the final state line on the trip was a huge deal! Many of us had never been to California either, so it was bound to be an exciting moment.
Remember how I said that it’s legal to ride your bike on the interstate in Arizona? Well, we used that to our advantage again. Probably not the safest of options, but the interstate had a big shoulder.
I rode with Gerk because it was her birthday!!! It was a day of mostly downhills with only a few uphills that weren’t very challenging at all. I spent my afternoon riding and doing a lot of laughing with Gerk and Lo.
We finally made it to CALI!! We had to go through some kind of weigh station before entering the new state, and as we cruised through, the guy yelled “Welcome to California!!!” to which I responded “WE’RE BIKING ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND WE’RE SO EXCITED TO BE HERE!!!!”
Then it was time for state line photos. The LAST state line photos of the trip.
After crossing the state line, it was only about 4 more miles to our host in Blythe. When we got there, we went to a small pool and basically took it over. We decided we were having a “SoCal pool party”… Because we were in Southern California… And we were in a pool… And we had music coming from our tiny speakers. The MTV music video camera crew never showed up, unfortunately, but we made the best of it.
That night, I was on laundry crew with my chore group (the BEST chore group by far). We spent our evening doing the team’s laundry while reviewing some grant proposals sent to us.
Bike & Build gives us as riders the opportunity to review the grant applications sent in by various affordable housing groups, some of which we’ve worked with along the way and others from places we didn’t pass through. Every chore group read through 3 grant applications, presented them to the group, and then everyone got to vote on which ones we funded and how much money we donated to them. The review process was strongly focused on youth involvement on the project that each application was asking us to fund. If we felt that it was geared toward getting youth ages 16-25 engaged in service with affordable housing, then we aimed to support them with our funds. It was exciting to be a part of this process and to make the decision as to where the money we fundraised actually went.
While it was very exciting to be in California, we were beginning to realize we’d have to say goodbyes all too soon.