so i have left ashland. it wasn’t an easy decision to stay or to go. it was a nice place to sort things out. good people. lots to explore. however, the jobs just don’t match the cost of living-as is true most places these days. also, there is something odd about ashland. it’s almost too perfect sometimes…in an uncomfortable way….like stepford wives as a city. i also had a hard time finding the queerdos.
so i started sorting out my options with the help of some pals that came and went from ashland all summer. i found a hella deal on a bike and transferred the gear in my backpack to bike panniers and a smaller backpack. my plan was to bike the sierra cascade route down to baja and then bike around there for the winter. then a family visit down the california coast changed that. so back to the pacific ocean it is. i still plan on making it to baja for the winter, but i will have to stop and work from time to time, so if you know anyone who needs some help with a project or two let me know! i’d love to meet some people and work side-by-side with them.
i haven’t had much time to make the emotional and mental switch from work to travel again. i finished work on sunday at 7am and by the afternoon had visitors. we met for dinner and then took off to crater lake the next day, and then to the redwoods and family in santa clara. the next day i was dropped off in santa cruz to start biking.
as i started peddling, i realized i didn’t really know what my destination was for the day. i rode to the boardwalk and looked up a direction and started riding. as i entered the monterey bay area i found some hiker-biker campsites and pulled into one early in the day and made a few adjustments to bike and self. i fell asleep super early.
when i woke up, i chatted with the folks that had rolled in that night and we shared some information. i took my time packing up trying some new ideas, pulled out google maps to pick the next location.
i spent the day riding through farm land….corporate farm land. actually i spent the night right next to del monte strawberries. i rode past cabbages, fruits, artichokes, people planting, tending, and harvesting. it was interesting to go by slowly and watch to see where there was drinking water available, shade, rest….working conditions. my afternoon snack came from a roadside produce stand where i had a fine chat with the woman who had just started this little organic market.
as i curved around the bay, i remembered the sylivia earle connection to monterey bay, so looked into heading in that direction. it was amazing to sleep along a bay that has been protected. the wildlife, the clean water, plants…. all of it has been so amazing. the night before i actually was woken by a screeching owl and some other birds having a conversation. it is a great contrast to super industrial shorelines.
as i entered a town outside of monterey i guy rolled up next to me who had just finished biking across the u.s. and offered me a place to stay when i got into monterey. that put part of mind to rest so that i could actually enjoy the ride even more. so that when i rolled into town i felt more open to explore a bike shop who refered me to a new brewery that had just opened up around the corner.
the tender at the brewery has worked at the state parks in the area and gave me some tips on places to stop/camp/visit. as i was wrapping things up here, i got word that my hosts were home from the beach, so i headed their way. i arrive in time for a shower and then dinner was ready! they were so super kind and wonderful! they had only been back from their bike tour for 10 days, and were only too happy to share the friendliness they had experienced on their trip. they were still asleep when i got up and headed out.
i was all prepared to go ahead and start my journey down the coast, but i just felt this urge to stick around monterey for the day. i needed to get some “work” done. i needed to finally sign up for warm showers (couch surfing for bike tour), check out fundage, and general life maintenance. i think once i finish up some of these things, and wrap up parts of my life that have been just hanging loose for a bit, i’ll feel better about pulling out-of-town tomorrow. i don’t mind all the unknowns, but there are some things that need to be taken care of and i think it could help with the feelings of being overwhelmed mixed with some depression and anxiety….not how i want to be riding down highway 1.
also, it is nice to be in stienbeck land, even though it is not the cannery row stienbeck knew/wrote about. what would doc think of all this?