I completed the final stage of this year’s Thanksgiving Triathlon on Friday together with exercise co-conspirator Anna. We took off from our neighborhood in Palo Alto around 6 a.m., carting along a carefully culled cache of emergency supplies, food, lights, and water. In all, we biked for almost 4 hours and covered close to 40 miles, 2500 feet of climbing, two large hills and a couple of very long, and at times chilly, descents. Close to every turn, our efforts were rewarded ten-fold with stunning mountaintop vistas, foggy pastoral scenes, and majestic sylvan views.
The day’s ride concluded first with a short 3 mile segment on coastal Highway 1 alongside Año Nuevo State Park and then a final turn onto the rustic lane leading into Rancho Siempre Verde, a Christmas tree ranch owned by old friends of Anna’s family. As we rolled down the rocky and muddy road, Anna’s children ran to greet us (see her middle two, James and Elizabeth, in the above photo). Anna’s husband Andrew and brood had traveled by car that morning from Palo Alto and were waiting for Anna to join them for a day of post-Thanksgiving fun.
Perhaps an hour and a half after we arrived, Earl pedaled in on his mountain-hybrid bike. He had decided last minute to traverse the same route, departing not long before us in a light drizzle. Despite a few wrong turns and subsequent corrections, he powered his way up and down the mountain and, though lacking both a paper map and cell phone coverage to enable the data service for his smart phone, he eventually found his way to the ranch and us. On the way home, Anna drove her children and Earl and me while, naturally, Andrew biked back.
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