Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pitstop on the Skunk Train

Hello from Fort Bragg, CA. We are in Mendocino County...taking our time enjoying the sights and a little R&R. A quick sum up: we met a bunch of kids in Orick, CA and rode as a posse for a spell. We had a house call in Eureka, a late start and a mad rush through the Avenue of the Giants to Weott where we reconvened with our new friends. We spent a quiet night under the massive Redwoods and rode off to Garberville in a group the next day where we had lunch and said farewell to our friends. C-dwyn and I stayed in Garberville for the night, and got a late start the next day when we headed south to Standish-Hickey State Park, just north of the great Leggett Hill. We joined some of our crew there and had some fun in the setting sun- drinking Laguanita's IPA and swimming in the Eel River. The next morning is where we started to run into some trouble. Cerridwyn had an allergic reaction to something and we had a few moments of freak out, standing around doing nothing, doping up, then hitting the most strenuous portion of the trip so far. Leggett Hill was not a super killer by any means, but it was long and steep, and narrow, and winding. Then we had a quick descent into yet another climb in Rockport, and then winding, curving hills all the way into dusk at McKerricher State Park in Cleone, CA. Definitely the hardest day so far. Morale was at an all time low, we were all tired and dirty and COLD by the time we got to camp. No one was expecting the day to be as difficult as it turned out. Our new friends, Miles and Casey were even feeling the strain of the day, and they are definitely upbeat dudes.
Yesterday we packed up and rolled down the road to Fort Bragg and set up in the Headlands Cafe and got down to the business of taking care of Cerridwyn. She found a Doc, got some drugs for her skin, got some food with Miles and Casey at Los Gallitos, said goodbye to the guys, got a hotel room, and took some major chill pills. We had a fun conversation with the Innkeeper and Owner of the Beach House Inn, Charles, then had an organic breakfast at the Cafe 1 where we met a hardcore solo rider averaging about 90-100 miles a day!

I was freaking out- yet again- feeling that this was the end of the ride. I am recognizing this personal flaw of mine where I can't seem to trust my partner. I am coming around to the idea of just taking it easy and getting as far as we can each day. The tour has morphed and changed so much every day, and I am realizing that that is just the way it is. I have to be able to adapt to it otherwise I am not able to enjoy this amazing adventure. Plenty of soul searching and Life's Lessons learned here on the Coast.

New rule: there are no rules! Seriously. I wake every morning with certain expectations swirling in my head- about the day, my performance, Cerridwyn's performance, the sights, the towns, the people we meet, the inspiration I will find...all of that must go. I am here, riding my bike, running into new people and places, and I can't block out those experiences by having a chip on my shoulder and a veil over my eyes.

Cheerio to you all from a chipper Cerridwyn and a newly relaxed Maureen!

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