Not Broke, Not Even Broken...
A blog about...a motorcycle trip in 2013 from North America to Central America and now about a bicycle trip from Alaska to San Diego. But it is really about So much more....Life! If you are between age 45-whatever and you thought the financial chips would fall in a different, more lucrative way, then you just may find this enriching, refreshing and inspiring!
It is about how to define or redefine our sense of “purpose”, “happiness”. In our world, when things appear to be upside down, even twisted; there is a great “purpose” for each and every one of us. Our “purpose” and “happiness” is needed!
So there was this ranch on the ocean, complete with a beautiful white ranch house and hundreds of Red Angus cattle . This pic was only one of the barns. I should have stopped when I saw the whole spread, but I was too caught up with my momentum. Anyway I designed in my head this whole logo and name for these cowboys. I called it “Surfing Cowboys”. The logo was of all of these cattle body surfing with front and back hooves stretched out and a cowboy on a surfboard with a lasso rope in the air right behind the cattle. The cowboy would have polka dot surf shorts on, red cowboy boots and a cowboy hat! How’s that for high mileage imagination? I managed to put 75 miles on yesterday riding into San Fran!
"Breakfast of Champions" on the go…cold, left over pizza from last night! Today I want to get about 80 miles in down the coast, so tomorrow I only have 30 into San Fran. The idea is to be off of Coast Hyw 1 on the weekend. It’s a very narrow, twisty road and just don’t want to combine that with the weekend wine tasters.
I WAS READY TO POUND DOWN A COLD CHOCOLATE MILK, DAMN IT…I MEAN DARN IT! Like with my motorcycle trip to Mexico and Central America, people always want to know the hairiest and scariest story. With my motorcycle trip, I am always happy to report it was amazingly wonderful…as if one angel was passing me off to another angel and that, unlike the popular propaganda, the people of Mexico & Central America were very sweet, kind and humble! I only had to deal with a Frenchman who peed on my motorcycle seat…long story that you can find here in my blog. This trip has been similar in many regards, but quite different in many regards. I have amazing stories that illustrate peoples wonderful kindness and stories I have written about. But I have just one story that happened yesterday I have to share, which surprised me and was almost comical. I had just ridden up a very steep mountain pass in the Redwoods and saw a log cabin on my left side tucked in the Redwoods called Confusion Mountain Store. As I pulled in there was a couple saying goodbye to the shop manager or owner. The couple were probably in their late 60’s and were moving very slowly and hadn’t even left the handrail. So I pulled up and as I was dismounting the shop owner, we’ll call him, said to me, “Slow down! You almost took these people out!” And then I heard the lady say, “No you were fine!” I said, “Pardon me?” The shop owner said, “You were looking ahead and spaced out!” My immediate reply was, “Sir, I have ridden ALL the way from Alaska, I have 100% awareness of trucks and cars going by me at 60-80 mph, I’m not about or even close to taking these kind folks out!” “Now do you have a bathroom? And after the bathroom, I’m looking for some chocolate milk!” I couldn’t help but laugh to myself, as I made my way to the bathroom! I could have at least sounded a bit more intimidating and demanded a beer, but no…I actually was demanding a chocolate milk! I bet that had him shaking in his boots! As I came out of the outdoor bathroom and back inside the cabin, the shop owner said he didn’t carry chocolate milk! So I settled for a nice hard, stiff ice cream sandwich and kindly thanked him and walked out. I think that guy must still be wondering what the hell just happened? Okay so for the crazy, hairy story(ies) of my trip. Besides the rain everyday for the first two weeks up in Alaska, the Yukon and BC., which isn’t hairy…just a constant downer, depressing, melt the enthusiasm out of ones soul. And besides sleeping in the woods with one hand on the pepper spray and both ears open and one eye open, as you hear EVERY crack in the woods, I came out completely whole! Now all of that put aside, here is my one crazy and hairy experience. I was about to cross this bridge before Eureka, Ca called Humbolt Bay Bridge. Bridges are always very hairy to cross, because of the surface, the wind and traffic. There was this very narrow”18 inch high sidewalk, which was sort of okay for walkers, but the side rail was quite low and the water below was quite far! So I decided to stay my coarse on the traffic lane. As I was crossing, I could see from my helmet mirror, a very large motor home barreling down behind me. So I snapped my right foot out of my clip less peddle and came to a complete stop and hugged the high sidewalk. The motor home passed and then a logging truck with maybe a few feet to spare, but that few feet seemed like inches to me! So I made a quick change in my strategy. I quickly hoisted my 80 lbs bike onto the high and very narrow sidewalk. The wind was coming across my left and then gusts from my right. As I remounted my bike I looked down to my right and far below was the bay and the, so called, rail came up to my thigh as I rode. If a gust of wind had taken me to the right, there was nothing there to catch me. If a gust of wind had taken me to the left, the high drop off would have landed me in the traffic lane and probably not upright. To make matters even worse, there were these temporary metal construction supports from the railing side every six feet. I had to be careful that my rear panniers didn’t catch one of these, because that would have taken me off of my lazor guided path of precision. As I rode over this bridge, I fought with absolute focus! Every fiber, every sensor in my body was called onto duty with promised overtime and double pay! The sensory overload took me back to laying in my tent in the Yukon, in the middle of the night after hearing footsteps in the woods. Only this time the visual was water 300 feet below on one side and logging trucks and motor homes on the other side, with gusting winds in the mix! I made it across safely, but feeling like I had calculated the wrong call. In hindsight I should have stuck to my original plan, but ridden more in the lane and just let the traffic deal with a dude making his way from Alaska to the Mexican boarder! Needless to say, I was ready to down a cold chocolate milk!
This trip has been eye opening regarding our lands vastness! I still am amazed at how we ended up with Alaska, over Canada…and for only $700 million! Kind of reminds me of my business partner in MacKenzie River Pizza, of coarse come to think of it…his initials are SS!
Anyway, I am blown away by the grandness and beauty! I am most taken by these Redwoods! Some of them have such character about them that I almost expect them to come alive, as in The Wizard of Oz and start dancing around and talking to me.
I am grateful at how remarkably well my bike has held up…not one mechanical issue…not even a broken spoke or a flat tire! It is all due to the technology of today! My legs have yet to completely recover (still sore thighs) from that hot spell and high miles in two days between Seattle and Portland. Of coarse I have yet to give them much of a “that a boy” break ether!
Speaking of breaks…nope tomorrow I shove off for the coast with a climb out of Leggett. Maybe that’s why it’s called “Legg”ett”? Better have some “legg”s or forg”ett” it!
This was a welcome sign as I rode across The Colombia River today! I made it to Portland from Seattle in two days! Now that’s nothing special really…10,000 riders ride the 200 miles in two days and a handful do it in one day. I was surprised I made it in two days, because I have 70-80lbs I am riding around with! Yesterday I rode 95 miles and it was hot! Today I rode 105 miles, but thankfully much less hot.
I am stay with The Morretti’s (Rob & Peggy) in their beautiful 1906 Portland Craftsman style Gem of a house!
We had an amazing home cooked dinner and then went to a very hip ice cream place called Salt & Straw! Portland is very chic hip!
My goodbye to my good buddy, Fraser! Fraser treated us like royalty! We got a great river ride down the Atnarko River looking for Grizzlies feeding on salmon. Fraser also took us on a 4x4 adventure ride to see HUGE Cottonwood trees and Cedars that are 300-1000 years old. This area has 3 or 4 times the bio mass than the Amazon….just the diversity. We also saw beautiful waterfalls and massive boulders that the glaciers placed there. A great visit!