Friday, August 7, 2009

A healthy Diversion from the job search pt 1

As you may or may not know, last week, I set out to ride about 300 miles more of the pacific coast that I didn't cover with my friend Perry last summer. It was a needed reprieve from the lackluster world of online job hunting.

I chose to break this entry into two pieces because of its length. Im hope you enjoy it albeit is a bit long, but it was a much needed reflection.

I set out in the afternoon on Monday without much preparation (not like me at all) and rode from Santa Cruz to Monterey. It was a difficult ride through headwinds and strawberry fields. It was gray and cold (here on the coast its foggy and cold when it's hot inland). Id didn’t see any other bikers and I highway one brought the smell of dead fish, pelican poop, and exhaust. The campground in Monterey is on a hill above town. Its a steep climb to end the ride on, but when I arrived, I was greeted with a, "hooray, you made it."

It came from a lovely traveling woman from Texas. I say traveling because her plight was a bit of a mystery to me. She was well-educated, in her 60s, a lively discussionist, and a self-proclaimed artist, yet she slept on a tarp with a sleeping bag, (cowgirl style as she called it). She gave me a bit of advice in the job search: decide on a passion and volunteer, live humbly and eventually you will get to do what you love.

the short poem i wrote for the day went like this:

Dark, breathless sun hides
wind, fog, loneliness haunt the skyline
Nightime brings laughter, cheer, beauty.

After chatting with her amongst others including a number of teachers, I went to bed and slept heavily preparing for my ride through Big Sur.

One of the things that drew me to this ride was the want to rider through the coastline around Big Sur. I grew up visiting this place with my family, and I have always wanted to experience what I think is the most beautiful expanse of road in the world on a bike. And it did not fail to inspire.

The road brought more fog, cold , and hills, but it was stunning. Everytime I stopped people talked to me to find out where I was going. I ate lunch by the Big Sur river, and had very little problems climbing the big hills through the day. I stopped at Kirk Creek campground and was very lucky to camp on the cliffs above the ocean. That night I hung out with some Australian cyclists, who had ridden all over the world. We bathed in the cool ocean, and discussed linguistics and world politics over dinner. That night I also met an artist couple who was travelling around the west coast on motorcycle, and I reconvened with a lovely Canadian couple who I kept running into throughout the trip. I think they were trying to ditch me, but just couldn’t.

The second poem went like this:

Jagged Cliffs haunt a solitary coastline

Riding like the wind through innumerable beauty

Moments of perfect silence on the Big Sur Highway

The next day was another incredible day. I left early so I was gifted with a completely empty highway for at least the first few hours of the trip. Then I rode into the sun and into the San Simeon area, where I was expecting a phonecall. I rode into Cambria for lunch and set up camp to get my phonecall. As soon as a I got comfortable and turned on my phone, I realized that Cambria was complete and total dead spot. I asked around and found out that I would have to ride 5 miles back to San Simeon, where Hearst runs the airwaves to get service. So I packed up and re-traced my ride to relax on the side of the highway just to get a phonecall from EDD. That night I made it to Morro Bay to be treated with some new friends who were continuing and finishing their rides.

Ever Been to Harmony, Ca?

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