What a Memorial Day we had. Spending it with Bob, Janet, and their family was very fun and relaxing. Paul and I felt really loved and part of the family throughout our stay. Oh and we can’t forget Peanut. How could we? That dog gave us so much love. On our rest day Janet took us to a Mission in Santa Barbara where a chalk walk art festival was going on. Hundreds of people gathered to see the many chalk drawings while they celebrated Memorial Day. The artwork was so good. After getting a little tour of downtown, we started preparing for the following day. However, we ran into a little problem. Our 25 mile run was not going to be possible. We were scheduled to run up the coast to Refugio Beach. But the highway that we were going to run on does not allow cyclists or pedestrians on it. So we deviated and planned to go straight up to the foothills of Santa Barbara and into the misty mountains. It was truly a spur of the moment decision that we had to make and plan for. Not knowing the route or what we would encounter made the experience more exciting. However, this would obviously come at a cost, as we would have to run a total of 35 miles while eventually gaining 2000 feet as we reached the summit.
We began with a very hard 10 mile run which was all up hill. Four miles up to the base, four miles on switch backs, and 2 miles on long gradual uphills. If you are familiar with ASU’s A-Mountain, miles 5-8 were almost that steep. The lush green trees and bushes surrounded us, as we passed through clouds and mist in the morning. When we reached the top we were actually so high that we could see clouds below us. It was incredible. The next 4 miles consisted of all downhill, over a long bridge, and all at a 75% grade. We were flying. Pushing the baby jogger along was a lot like trying to control a rogue dolphin who wants to take you into traffic. With the exception of a few more big hills, we were ascending down into the Valley. The scenery changed once again, and while we were cold up on the mountain, the sun heated things up on the other side. To give you a perspective also, not once on this stretch did we see a single runner or even a cyclist. We were alone and on a dangerous road which offered no shoulder at times. It was well worth it though. We enjoyed running by horse and cattle ranches, a huge lake called Cachuma, and then finally through many vineyards. One thing that did stay consistent was the butterflies. I have never in my life seen so many butterflies in one day. Except that 80% of these were all dead on the streets and paths. We also had another run in with someone thinking we had a baby. She was very aggravated at us, and when she found out we did not in fact have a baby, she sped away and gave us a one-fingered farewell. Thank you lady driving the Sebring convertible.
The day was long, very long, and very tiresome. We stopped in Los Olivos, and are now with an awesome couple in Santa Maria who I think is trying to kill us with amazing hospitality. We feel extremely blessed and thankful. Last night, Daniel took us to a Concert in Santa Maria and we got to see some good bands. They even introduced and invited us on stage halfway through the show and got to talk briefly on what our run is about. This brought up an opportunity for us to talk with some band members and people at the show more about our passion. Amazing things are happening. We are having a blast. But we still have a long journey before us. We are dead tired all the time and always looking for the nearest seat to rest on, but somehow still find the strength to connect and communicate to people about Jesus. Officially I am changing the name of this run to Bless the Butterflies. The death toll must be stopped in Santa Barbara County.