I cut the cord and made it to Manchester State Beach Park, only about 20 miles away, but up the steepest grade on Rt. 1 in California (or so I’m told). I did have to walk my bike around one corner. It’s definitely more more work to walk my bike than ride it so I was pleased that the steep grade was not particularly long. I can tell already I am getting in better shape. I honestly felt more exhausted the night before on the 12 mile ride with only a 3/4 of the load.
Two items that I was very hesitant about bringing have already proved very useful. My handydandy solar shower that I picked up at Riteaid for a few bucks, and the apparatus that makes my sleeping pad into a chair. The campground I stayed at has a “bike-in” option for $5, but only a water spigot at the site, and no other running water facilities (i.e., no shower). However, thanks to my solar shower, I intend to take a shower tomorrow –assuming there is some sun. It does take 2-3 hours to heat up- so the instructions say. There is a KOA campground just down the road, but I am told it’s $10+ a night. Given my limited budget, I’ll try to shave off a couple bucks here and there where I can. Plus, I’m closer to the ocean and you just never know who will hike or bike in. About my nifty chair…I’ve had it for probably 17 years and only used it a couple of times. But a big question for me was, “How am I going to get comfortable and write…especially in my tent?” It is fantastic. It provides lots of cushion for my tush and is adjustable as to the back positioning.
So today is my first night without internet, but I do get some sort of cell reception. Enough to send some texts, but not enough to use for a hot spot. I can soon see me getting rid of the hot spot feature, but we shall see. How am I feeling? Well besides tired…like I was obviously wanting or needing to disconnect for a bit. I had a thought tonight that it was only 1 and 1/2 weeks before my departure date when I got the “thumbs up” on my dissertation proposal (which I have been working on since October and makes up the first 3 chapters of my dissertation). I suppose it was weighing on me not being able to plan for my future with not knowing the status of my proposal. There was my concern as to whether I could get my dissertation done and get a job before my money ran out in May…even if approved, but very unlikely if it didn’t get approved. So I know most people think I’m off on this grand adventure. It is a an adventure for sure, but it’s functional too. This was an option to make my student loan money go further and take some of the pressure off of getting my work done to enter into the world of academia. Really the Indiegogo campaign (i.e. the kindness of friends, family, and unbelievably, complete strangers) is what makes this possible. There is no way I could have afforded all the start up costs that make this feasible. I am now well aware that the Ipad was a necessity…my heavy, much-more-energy-to-charge laptop would not have worked, and well, handwriting a dissertation would be a challenge. Ha! But along with the Ipad came the need for a USB adaptor and other little accessories -all of which added up. I needed the warmer sleeping bag (used), will be might thankful at some point for the waterproof panniers, and the discounted solar powering setup from Voltaic is already invaluable! I hope this alternative route to the future proves to be a good or maybe even great path.
I am hoping that the town of Point Arenas, a mere 5 miles away from this campsite, will have a good internet connection where I can get the last of my technology issues sorted out…and actually begin writing. I’m probably going to hold up here a couple of days.