After being in extremely remote/rural areas of Northern California for a week, a return to cell reception is a return to speak.
First moment reception brought speak was a text from Harrison coming through to let me know that SCOTUS had ruled in favor of health care and gay marriage. Janna, Adam, Brianne and I quickly turned our phones into news feeds and celebrated with shouts of joy in a small grocery lot in the middle of no where by the ocean. Love won.
Which brings me back to meeting up with Brianne and Adam. About a week ago, after conquering the remote Lost Coast (with chewed roads that spat on us resulting in wheels being broken off bikes and pannier clips breaking off), we came into the land where we camped in the red woods. Behold as night was carrying on, Adam and Brianne rode into camp having caught up to us. Hot tea flowed and it was fucking awesome to have them catch up with us again. We decided to ride together to San Francisco before we would part ways.
The next day was my favorite part of the trip as we rode through the Avenue of the Giants on our bikes. A far immersive measure is provided by biking in this regard; while a car allows one to see many things quickly, it is as if you pass them by. The redwoods in a car would seem like a movie preview. A bike is the movie. You experience everything in detail of the full senses – fog hitting your flesh, the shadows of the trees fading coolness on the skin, sun’s warmth grappling with the branches to get through, the sweet smell of fennel and cedar in the air, and the road birthing hills that force you to sweat with mouth open in awe at the passing redwood. Definitely the best.
We rode through the drive-through tree in Myer’s Flat and conquered a hill in heat to cross out of Leggett, back over the mountains in a high pass, and back to the coast. Now on the ocean, we spent days with Adam and Brianne admiring the swiftly changing coastline and ecosystems as trees fell way to golden grass and a dryness in the air that inferred drought. As a consequence, biker/hiker sites at campgrounds began charging more fees to use water for showering and water conservation was the first tip on everyone’s tongues.
We met up with Jeremy and Espoire (the 16 and 17 year olds biking the coast solo), when they texted us to hold up so they could catch us. As their typical badasses, they also did the Lost Coast and buried their knees in asphalt as a result. David also caught up and we spent several days as one giant group camping, cooking, and biking out those miles.
Today, we pushed for San Fran and said goodbye to all as everyone is moving to slightly different routes. To begin the trip, I assumed meeting characters on the road would be a treat and novelty; now I’m grateful for cemented friendships and the promise of future hangs after the trip. After camping in the relentless fog, damp cold, and nights with raccoon screams, Janna and I arrived in San Fran, more than a little stunned to find a ton of food options after so long (hence ice cream immediately).
Tonight, to sweeten the fact, we biked with David to stay at a Warmshowers host in a beautiful house on the Sausalito Hills with a direct view over the entire bay. They cooked a giant vegetarian meal for us and honestly brought out six ice cream containers for us to eat as much as we wanted from. The view of the bay can be seen in the photo above. With laundry being done, full stomachs, and clean skin, it feels satisfying to be here.