Not going to lie, the butterflies float around my stomach despite my will. I know I can handle riding alone but as I pack up and end a week long siesta I cannot help but feel nervous about what is to come. I am a confident rider and a very independent person but I have never done anything of this magnitude before. Just three months ago I hiked the longest, least populated trail I have ever done solo. Now I’m riding through an unknown land by myself. I’m sure it will be lonely and difficult sometimes but I look forward to the challenge. I recently read a book about adventuring and there was a quote that really stuck with me. I cannot remember which book it came from, who said it, or how it was phrased. But it went somehing like this:
“How can we understand ourselves? We spend much time in the company of others and technology is increasingly distracting us from listening to ourself. If we do not listen we will never know, and without knowing we will never understand.”
I do not expect to come out of this trip a completey new person, having discovered some revelation in my travels. Nick and I have talked about this – about how people often think big adventures will mean big change. Perhaps they hope. We all imagine who we might be, but some never come to terms with who they are. And I think that’s what I see as the real allure of riding solo – listening to myself, getting to know myself, maybe even understanding myself. Perhaps that is how we shoukd define success in life – understanding and accepting yourself.
Well, I definitely need to build a new mindset around groceries. I walked out of Grocery Outlet having spent $27 and feelingg good about how great of stuff I got for low, low prices. But if you have ever shopped at a discount grocery store you know $27 is a lot of food. I filled a whole large plastic grocery bag. Now I’m sitting here realizing that 24 ounces of greek yogurt is perfect for two people buy quite a lot for one. And this 1.5 bag if trailmix looked way better on the shelf than the smaller bag but now it seems a bit much. Carton of strawberries? More than I really needed but its the only size they have. I think I’m noe carrying enough food for at least 3 days, probably more like 5 if I count all the snacks. But I love food! And on the plus side, that means I spent about $5/day for groceries 😃
Of course the weather returns to a nasty gray and light drizzle the day I return to riding. Perfect. At least the coast is rocky and beautiful down here. I was not sure how it would be so close to SF but man, is it gorgeous. I’m only riding about 25 miles to Half-Moon Bay because I hear it’s a sweet spot and I figure I should take it easy first day after such a long break. Plus I had to swing by Goodwill to donate a few things, mail some extras home, and buy way too much food at Grocery Outlet! I hope there are some other folks at camp tonight.
Dinner at camp was a simple pre-cooked rice pack with Hilari’s leftover chicken sausage, some picante sauce, and a tortilla. Nothing fancy, but plenty of calories. I’ve retired to the tent even though it’s only 17:30…it’s xhilly, gray, amd windy. Need to warm up! Now I’m listening to some woman in the hiker/biker camp with an Irish accent sing in a way that feels like she should be in a Disney movie. This is weird. Also, my new tent is the REI Half Dome 2: simple, affordable, and roomy. In fact, it’s much bigger than the last tent so now being here alone I feel like luxury!
After a brief walk on the beach and a little reading at the picnic table I’m returning to the tent for the night. It’s only 19:00! The wind has died down but it’s getting dark so I figure I will come inside, do a little route planning, then relax and read until I fall asleep.
P.S. I just saw photos from Cat further north in California. She’s one of the people I met early on in my trip. Damn, the dreary is nothing compared to what she’s been dealing with! Her whole camp was soaked and muddy last night 😦