Today I planned to do a big ride day – 50 plus miles, which seemed like a lot for me considering how little riding I’ve actually been doingI As I packed up Steel, I struggled as to whether I was going to bring a cool coffee thermos that I had been given. It was a bit heavy and I did not want to be resenting the gift as I thought about the extra weight going up some killer hills. So I had it on my bike, took it off, and finally, put it back on and left. About midway through my ride, I encountered another touring cyclist out front a little county store. Walker, was a twenty-something, ear-pierced, multi-colored-finger-nail painted touring cyclist, who lugging his beloved 40 lb super-chill pooch, Blueberry, in a huge trailer behind his bike. Turns out he was also carrying a wool blanket, a large heavy machete, and most all of his food for the trip…and enjoying a tall-boy with his lunch. So we had a good laugh when I told him about my internal struggle to bring the coffee holder! ha! All a matter of perspective, eh?
Walker and Blueberry were returning North to Oregon to enjoy a faerie festival (I’ve now heard of this festival from 3 different rather cool folks – I may just have to check it out at some point) after having biked from Oregon to San Francisco and staying three months in SF in great sublets while doing bicycle messengering. He explained that he has always enjoyed biking and has never owned a car. He has biked up and down the coast a number of times now and has developed various friends along the way, and so has quite a lot of options of places to say along the route. Yet he still enjoys the thrill of “free camping” –which for him meant discovering little local-only known, unofficially sanctioned, camping spots along the ocean and waking up to amazing sea views.
Then in Jenner I stopped at a picturesque little coffee shop, and filled my fine thermos with coffee. I drank 1/2 and carried on. Oh my, the coffee was still warm when I arrived at my campsite and it was so nice to have such a warm delicacy on a cool evening! I am so pleased that I kept it. Plus, I really like not contributing unnecessarily to waste each day in getting a coffee cup and lid -even if recyclable. I’m not trying to give anyone else a hard time on the point. It’s just one of my personal connecting of a disconnect in the world. In other words, it’s a little thing that when I do it (like using reusable bags), I feel good about – or not in conflict.
The ride was definitely challenging, but the scenery was simply spectacular so I could hardly complain, and each time I hit a hill, I thought of Walker and his dog, and was just thankful to have my nice “light” setup and my body working well. Ha!
I was so glad that I pushed on to Bodega Bay Dunes campground. I was ready to fold it in about ten miles prior, but the thought of a hot shower propelled me forward. I was rewarded by discovering a beautifully set campground, again only $5 for hike/bike with free hot killer showers, crashing ocean sounds to sleep to, and the ability to get both cell phone and wifi connection from my tent!
I had a nice dinner by doctoring up my “cup of noodles” with veggies and now I my eyes are closing…but man, I love the hard earned sleep that comes from a physical day.