Livermore - June 7th

Day 2 - Berkeley to Livermore (53 miles)

California Pedaler

Hello from the California Pedaler. Susan, I've been in Contra Costa County almost all day today. It's huge. A gorgeous California day today. The Baldwins took me past my childhood home in El Cerrito...

50 yr old bush
My dad planted this very bush more than 50 years ago. You can see it on one of the pictures of my family taken in front of this house when I was about one year old. It's hard to believe that a shrubbery would last that long, isn't it?

...and dropped me in Berkeley around 1:00. We had a wonderful visit and I'm very grateful to them for taking me into their lovely home. Sue, your directions for today were dead on the money. Thanks.

Tonight I'm in Livermore, California. Guess what I had for dinner?* Livermore is about 40 miles east of San Francisco on the map, but I've bicycled 90 miles so far, 53 today and 37 yesterday.

It's also the home town of Randy Johnson, Seattle Mariner pitcher. I want to assure you all that not everyone in Livermore is that ugly.
Livermore was named after an Englishman who left England when he was 16 and whose family didn't hear from him for over 35 years. He worked a ranch in the area (it's still ranching country, although the ranchers are now being run out as land prices in the area go up due to urban sprawl from SF) and married a Mexican woman. He sounds like a really interesting person.

The Golden Hills

These are the hills my dad always called the Golden Hills (DON'T call them "brown"!). They are why California is called the Golden State. They are beautiful, luscious. They have a soft patina. In the evening they get softer yet. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the last great speech we may ever hear, got it right and I don't think he ever visited the state. He called them "the curvaceous slopes of California". Whenever I hear that speech I always picture these hills of my youth.

Finally, for all you Chicagoans and Eastern lowlanders, it's 46 degrees right now in Livermore. Brrrrrrrrrrr. Did I mention the lack of humidity?

*Steak

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