August 2: Penultimate Day

We woke up with the skies overcast. Seemed like we were awakened on the hour all night long by low-flying helicopters from the base or trains going by.
Camp break down has become automatic at this point- get dressed, stuff the sleeping bag, pad, then the tent itself. Pack the panniers, check tire pressure and chain lube. Grab a bite to eat- in this case, we had a snack because we were planning to eat breakfast in Oceanside, about 13 miles away. Top off the water bottles and away we go.
We rode through the Camp Pendleton Marine Base-lots of construction going on. In Oceanside, we got breakfast the pedaled to the pier where a professional surfing competition was going on. We moseyed down the undulations of the coast and got to San Elijo pretty early, and went to lunch at East Coast Pizza, a place I’ve stopped over the years that I’ve toured in this area.
I put Ethan and my name on the waiting list for the hiker/biker site which opened up for check-in at 4pm. While we waited, we went down to the beach and enjoyed watching surfers, sand castle building, and bocce ball. We also met three cycle tourists from Quebec who are just completing the Pacific Coast Route.
After getting our site, we found it was at the very end of the campground in sites that had been partially eroded by wave action and were no longer suitable for car camping. A chain link fence was all that separated us from the waves. We set up camp and just over the fence we saw a group of Marines wading across the river mouth, chest deep in water, with sandbags held over their heads. As soon as they crossed to our side, they dropped them and jogged up the beach and out of sight- quite the workout! We showered and found a little Mexican restaurant for dinner. Back at camp, the sunset was spectacular.
Then I was Facebooked by an old friend and former preschool teacher at Yucaipa Christian Preschool, Penny; she and her husband Jim have offered to take Ethan and I to breakfast in the morning. Looking forward to the visit and our last day of the tour!

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