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Mental Health Charity Lyft Drive Day 15: 800 Miles in California

Mental Health Charity Lyft Drive Day 15: 800 Miles in California

Today was the 2nd week I am on this roadtrip, but luckily I see the end in sight as I am finally in California. I woke up to outside temperatures in the mid 80s with little humidity but I knew it would get a bit hot before I got into San Diego.

The southern route from Arizona to San Diego gook me very close to the border. It was definitely an experience driving down I8 with a lot more border security and seeing a long metal wall in California. There were two checkpoints along I8, which was a bit surprising to me. The view was very nice going from El Centro up to Pine Valley. You pass by fields and mountains with huge boulders, which is pretty cool.

Before I got into downtown San Diego, I get a ping nearby. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of some kind of highway overpass hell between I8 and US94. I had to go up an exit to come back to pick him up at the blue dot. I then pick him up and then I went the wrong way. I will admit it was mostly my fault, but the passenger pointed to the left and that’s where I went, but we were supposed to keep right to get back on US94 to go west. I had apologized profusely and told him he can contact Lyft to get the fare re-adjusted from requesting it on his receipt. We were only delayed by about 2 minutes so it wasn’t huge, but it was another mile onto the trip.

After dropping him off, I went straight north up towards Riverside to get my ride in San Bernardino. I had to wait about 20 minutes to get a ride. I found the local library and they had free parking, so I went in mainly to use the bathroom, but I walked around the library. I was surprised at how much stuff they had. I knew they had movies but they had an extensive collection of audiobooks, including “A Song of Ice and Fire” aka Game of Thrones books. They had the first 3 books and I was on the 3rd book myself.

I walked back out to my car and thought about taking a nap when I got a ping from a few blocks away. I picked up a civil engineer who was going home for the day. They had lost their internet access so he was going to go home to work. He usually drives to work, but he lent his car to his friend who was driving up to Los Angeles. His friend’s car wouldn’t make it to Los Angeles safely, from what he told me. We talked a bit about what I was doing for charity and about my route throughout the country. He recalled how he drove from Nashville to Los Angeles and how awful the southern route from Texas to Arizona was. There was nothing to see, just straight road for about 800 miles, which is pretty grim. I told him that I went through Nebraska and up to Mount Rushmore, which had some spectacular scenery.

After I dropped him off, I had to go back the other way to get my ride in Los Angeles. I stopped at the eastern edge of the Los Angeles market and waited for a ping. I got one within a few minutes. I picked up a chef who was going all over town to get the ingredients she needed for her exhibition later that night. She has to prepare 40 portions as part of a showcase with other chefs. She was excited to get the opportunity because she wanted to open her own restaurant and this is a step towards that. She believes she now has enough ingredients so she was on her way back home to collect her other ingredients before heading off to the showcase.

I then headed towards the OC after this ride to meet up with Harry, the Rideshare Guy. I was messaging him for the past few days and he agreed to be my ride in the OC. However, I didn’t expect to get into Los Angeles that early and he already had a meeting around the time I would be in the OC. I opted to do a ride in Los Angeles and double back down to the OC so I could meet with him. Luckily, he fit me into his busy schedule and I met up with him up in Manhattan beach. We had a nice chat while we drove down towards the OC to start the ride since I needed my ride to start in the OC. We talked about 20 minutes to go down towards Torrance, but only about 10 minutes to drive from Torrance back up to Manhattan beach. We also did a Facebook Live video on his page and a quick live video on mines once we stopped in Manhattan beach. I bid him farewell before I fight traffic up to Santa Barbara.

According to Google, it was only a 20 minute delay to get up to Santa Barbara right in the middle of rush hour, so I considered myself lucky. The traffic was a bit stop and go up towards downtown, but I was clear north of the Hollywood Hills. I realized I was low on gas so I pulled over to get some gas. I was shocked at how much gas was up here, but it was to be expected near Santa Barbara. Thanks to Google Maps, I found a place that was closer to $3, instead of the original $3.50 I found at the first gas station I went to.

When I was at the gas station, I got a ping nearby. I drove three people from their Airbnb down to the Pier for dinner. We were caught up in a large group ride over to the pier and took us a bit to go down to the pier to drop them off at the restaurant. There was a drunk girl walking her bike up the road and was holding up traffic. After I dropped them off, I had to push my way around the bikes to get off the pier and head to my next city.

I had to do a bit of backtracking to get to Bakersfield. At this time, there was much less traffic. When I got into Bakersfield, it took me a few minutes to get a ping. When I showed up, no one was there. I tried to call but it went straight to voicemail. After 6 minutes, I marked the passenger as no-show and went back online. Surprisingly, he didn’t try to request again, which was a bit weird. I continue to drive towards downtown when I got another ping from a few miles out. I drove out towards them and then he messages me to say he is at another location a bit further down the road. I went to pickup a drunk couple and they were only going less than two miles. They had me take this weird back way behind a strip mall to get to this bar. I believe I rated them a 4 because of the long pickup and the weird route to the bar because it was so dark and sketchy. I wasn’t sure if I was going to get robbed.

Once I was done, I headed up to Fresno. I wasn’t sure how busy Fresno would be at 1am, so I stopped at a rest stop in between for the night.

How Can You Help?

I have set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise additional money for charity. It will be running for the next few months. Below is the link to the campaign:

GoFundMe Rideshare Dashboard Mental Health Drive

Even a dollar will go a long way so give what you can and it will be deeply appreciated!

You can also help by emailing ridesharedashboard at gmail.com with travel advice, what to see in each of the below cities and your best food recommendations. I have traveled extensively abroad, but I will be visiting many of these states for the first time.

Want to Know Where I am now?

I will continue to post regular updates of my trip on my Facebook Page and my Twitter feed so look there to keep track of where I am! I usually move through 4-6 cities a day so I’m definitely a moving target.

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