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STORIES FROM THE ROAD


JAN 17, 1994

EARTHQUAKE

For the past couple of days, I've been camping out in the backyard of some new friends in Imperial Beach, CA a couple of blocks from the ocean. I had met them on the beach when I asked them if they could take a picture of me and the bike at the ocean's edge with the surf covering my rear wheel. After a couple of pictures, I got invited over for the weekend. I've been having a great time playing with the two young boys. I had been planning to head back eastward through the desert again. I pitched my tent in their backyard.

About four - thirty in the morning, I got awakened by a pretty big jolt coming from the earth. Nothing really registered and I went back to sleep. When I went inside the house for breakfast around six - thirty, I was told that there was had been a pretty strong earthquake in the Los Angeles area. It was centered in the Northridge area. Details of what was happening in Northridge were sketchy. My friend was a fireman and a member of one of the state's disaster rescue teams. He wasn't sure that he had been assigned to head up to Los Angeles because some buildings had collapsed but he was placed on standby and he had to leave for the fire station.

I wasn't sure what my feelings were but I felt that I needed to head back up to the Los Angeles area to see if I could help out any. I called the local American Red Cross but they didn't know where any disaster centers would be because phone communication was erratic.

Around 11:30 a.m., I had everything back on the bicycle and I started the trip northward through San Diego. It would take me at least four and a half days to get up to the Northridge area.




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