1. It's on: LA to Son Diego!
you know Christine Caine?" The questions came from a
complete stranger. He was the driver of a van, who had pulled up
beside me, as I was locking my bicycle onto a post outside a bank. I
had just arrived at the international airport in Los Angeles, Ca.
from Australia and needed some
driver gave his name as Greg. He must have spotted the large letters
- AUS tRALIA
on my safety jacket I was wearing. To answer his question I had to
think for a moment, who he meant. The average Australian would never
have heard of Christine Caine, but her name suddenly came to me.
"Isn't she a preacher at the Hillsong Church in Sydney?"
Greg nodded. My memory proved correct.
Why Greg asked me about
her, thousands of miles away, remains a mystery. He invited
me to church - the OASIS church, and gave directions. I never
promised anything during our brief encounter. Sunday was five days
away. He also mentioned that he knew Brian. (I
knew who he meant; the New-Zealand born head of Hillsong.)
Brian and I had crossed paths
nearly 40 years ago. His father had just taken his family to
Australia. Brian, a teenager then, was the only person I ever
have known, to give a solo performance in church - on his drums!
(At least during a drum solo you can't be off-key, nor out of
rhythm with the rest of the orchestra, as you can on a trumpet).
evening I would be coming across another Brian, from New
much jetlagged I cycled to my hostel in Santa Monica on my Giant
bicycle, which I had brought with me on the plane. As I pedalled, my mind perceived a
vague similarity between OASIS and one of my magical numbers I55O
(+A). But how strange - these digits also were those of that
day's date - 05 15 (May 15th)!
safety jacket I wore for approx. 5.5 weeks during my US cross
No one can take
this t away from
One reason the Holy Spirit prompted me to
ride a-cross America was my love for the cross. Did I not in my
very early writing experience magic with the hymn titled:
"When I survey the wondrous cross ...?
are elements in the western world, who take offence, or even
want to ban altogether this ancient, holy symbol of
Pentagon forced an Army post in Afghanistan to remove a cross on
its worship tent in December. It was offensive to liberal
Mr. Obama, your military is not going to
win a war without God's help. Woe to America or any nation,
who turns their back on God. It's a bad mistake to deny
the cross of Jesus!
lest the cross of Christ should be made void.
Cor. 1, 17)
- - - - - - -
the afternoon of my arrival in LA, having visited the area on
previous occasions, I indulged in just enjoying a ride in the
district; those familiar streets, which I remembered, and have
written about in previous books. On Montana Ave, which was just being resurfaced,
I was looking for the Blue Plate Restaurant (see Book 6, Chapter 2). I could not find it. Where I
thought it should be located, I noticed something different -
parking meter number 1505.
Not only that, it was right outside
shop number 1511B. Later I added the two together - 3016.
It ISS0 - 1505 + 1511 = 3016.
If numbers are wearing down any reader,
please be tolerant. More are coming. Why? Well, there are a
number of reasons....! (Just kidding)
- - - - - - -
I did pay a brief
visit to OASIS Church the next Sunday. The
address was 5100 Wiltshire Blvd. Almost
next door, 50 numbers away, I couldn't help but take a photo of what
I saw. The
size of the number 5150 was bigger than the motor cars parked
underneath. Somebody must have been proud of that number.
Note the size of the house number! (Aha,
to assist short-sighted taxi drivers.)
Below: Another 1550 picture, snapped
in Oberesslingen, right at the intersection, where I grew
up at No. 136. The house has long been demolished to make
room for a car dealership.
the far left a 'Litfa-Saeule'. Way back in my Book 2,
Chapter 40 I had a dream of such a contraption. On that occasion the ISSO code was born.
But where did I see 1550?
A: On the far right - an
advertisement for the M V L - Fest: Roman numerals M 1000 V 5
Weeks later the above corner was only one
of two places, where I was caught in rain, heavy enough to
have to stand under. I loved it, just enjoying thoughts of my
youth! (In chapter four you will find the other).
- - - - - - -
(Back to LA)
Another mature cyclist, Brian from New Zealand, was
staying in the same hostel as I was. He was about to start a cycling
tour, much like I was, with tent and cooking gear. His plan was to do Route 66,
which starts in Chicago and ends on Santa Monica Pier.
Since I had no engagements the next day, I accompanied Brian for the
first few miles,
through the suburbs of LA, including Hollywood to the eastern side
of Downtown, where the hills begin.
Great to see a
75-year old embarking on such an adventure. No rocking chair for
him. Guys like that go out and rock the place en route.
way back I paid a visit to
Hollywood, a ride down memory lane. The place was busy with tourists,
as always. A man handed me a pamphlet, an invitation to be part of an
live-television recording (in the audience, of course). It was for free and was to start in only an hour's time.
Why not? I thought.
Later that afternoon, together with
a mixed crowd of a few dozen people, I went
through all the motions, cheering, clapping and whatever we were told to
do, while Comedian
Craig Ferguson recorded his Late late Show. Ferguson, a native of Scotland with
an unmistakable accent,
obviously had made it big in Tinsel town.
screening of this recording was scheduled for August 22nd. (I liked
that date - 228). The audience was made up of visitors from many
places. One was a nurse, another called Christine, came from
Venice Beach is a Mecca for eccentrics. The weirder you
are, the better you fit in. (So far I only made it to Santa Monica, a few
kilometers north. Perhaps, next time, I stay here, I'll fit.)
The next morning
(May 17, 2012) I
checked out of the hostel in Santa Monica. I loaded my
tent, and all other gear I had brought, onto my Giant. I wanted to
cycle down the coast to San Diego, as a warm up, and to road-test my
bike and gear in preparation for the big cross ride later in the
This first cycle down that coast line was
also a trip down memory lane. In Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Long Beach
I had experienced many things during my 2005 and 2007
At Huntington Beach I recalled my time in 2005,
staying at the SUN 'N SURF Motel. I took another photo, one of the
2000+ I would be snapping during the eventful, long world-trip
- - - - - - -
Brown, the world's greatest wine-o at Venice Beach.
Only weeks before
Bobby had had his moment of fame on Australian television. A
popular breakfast program had shown him briefly, on location.
As I passed his way on my ride to
San Diego, I told him that I had seen him on TV only days
before. "Did they give you a good reward for coming onto
the show?" I asked.
"No", he replied,
"nothing at all." Was
Bobby fishing for a dollar? OK, I obliged to restore the faith
of American winos in Australian generosity.
At Long Beach
I cycled a few streets away from the beach. I had little trouble
finding the Motel I had stayed at during my 2005 trip - the Travel
Right opposite I noted a van parked. It was
that of a locksmith - Dkeyman. Sounds like 'The key-man'. The
registration plate held the digits 3016 and the letters OK.
Seconds after taking a photo of this vehicle a man in a
wheelchair crossed my path. He wore a cap with a powerful message:
JESUS gave it ALL.
- - - - - -
My first campground was at Dana Point, right on the
beach. At only $ 6 (for cyclists and walkers only) it was
one of the cheapest I had ever stayed at. (It
balanced my later experience in at least two Illinois' State Parks,
where I had to pay over 4 times that much ($ 25), the same as those,
who occupy powered sites, arriving in huge RV's and trailers.)
around San Clemente the next morning to find a place for breakfast, I found a pencil on the ground.
A closer look revealed it was a DIXON, HB2 Size. That name DIXON
only recently came up, minus ON. Dix was the maiden name of the late
Mrs. Liddy. And did not the name DIX come up in the final chapter of
Book 10? It did indeed. (Read on).
Two nights ago my wife and I were sitting in
the lounge. The TV was on in the background. I was telling her
about the above little 'on' twist when suddenly on TV, a second
after I had spoken, an ad came on. A loud male voice
shouted:" IT'S ON .." (..the whatever sale).
The final ride into beautiful San Diego took me via La Jolla, the
place where a seal colony had taken over a whole beach.
Jolla Cove, on San Diego's beach front.
Seals love the beach too. This place is
quite a tourist attraction. En route I saw a flower shop,
one I easily identified with - Adelaide's Flowers.
It was quite a surprise, when I
saw on the map that I was actually going to pass through Mission
Beach. A place with the same name had played a major role in a previous long-distance
bike ride along Australia's East Coast. (Chapter 9, in Book 8 is
titled Mission Beach Possible.)
At the time I had left my
mark in the sand with the words 'Mission Possible'. Why not have
some fun here, do the same, on another Mission Beach on the other side of the Pacific Ocean?
time, in a moment of inspiration, I did it differently. I don't know
where the idea came from, perhaps my LoVe for the number 55, the
letters SS in the name. Or was it influenced by my ISSO experience the day
before - whatever? Take a look how I crystallized the letters IM ON.
leaves MI ON horizontally.
the Youth Hostel in suburban San Diego I spotted a supermarket called
Stumps Family Market. I bought a few items, 1 litre lemonade, 2
apples and 3 bananas. This 1,2, 3 takes me to the final twist in this
chapter. The code 123 had been born, as it were, on 1.Feb. 03, when
the Spaceshuttle Columbia disintegrated on re-entry. (As recently as
in the final chapter of Book 10 I make mention of it). San Diego and
LA was right at the beginning of my adventure.
forward four-and-a-half months to 13.10.12.
at the end, just
before returning home to Australia, the Spaceshuttle Endeavour
crossed my path, literally. Arriving back in LA from months of
overseas travel, I wanted to stay at another place than Santa
Monica. (No, not Venice Beach, I'm not weird enough for that.) I
chose another hostel from the online selection, closer to Downtown
then I had not known that right there, in
walking distance of where I was staying, space-history was being
made. The space shuttle Endeavour had been flown to
Los Angeles airport and from there was being transported through
LA's suburbs to the Science Museum, where it was to be a
The event was big news on TV,
especially that night, October 13, 12. The engineers in charge of
the huge operation had trouble negotiating the vessel around one
corner. It was stuck for hours. This intersection I learned was not
far away. It was a lovely, warm night, so I persuaded some
fellow guests at the hostel to take a walk with me, as did thousands
spacecraft Endeavour (on Sat Oct. 13th 12) made very slow progress through the streets of LA.
At the corner Crenshaw and Martin-Luther-King Blvd.
the operation came to a prolonged halt. It was a mild, clear
night, which attracted thousands to come out to see the
spectacle live. On Sunday morning things were moving again
Trees, powerlines, traffic lights were among the obstacles
which had to be moved to make this project happen. I took
above photo the next
morning on Martin-Luther Blvd. as
the giant bird was moving again at approx. 3 km per hour.
The date of my sighting of
above fitted 1 2 3 perfectly - 10.13.12 at the start of Book
God is a powerful God, beyond space and