Saturday, July 30, 2011

Coming Home

St. Helens to San Diego
July 17: St Helens - Tillamook (Cape Lookout)         104.50 - Rain
July 18: Tillamook- Florence (Honeyman)                 117.53
July 19: Florence - Port Orphard (Humbug Mtn.)       103.50
July 20: Port Orphard - Crescent City (Mill Creek)     86.55
July 21: Crescent City - Weott (Burlington)                127.06
July 22: Weott - Westport (KOA)                                73.88
July 23: Westport - Fort Brag - Santa Cruz                  20/bike - 175/car
July 24: Santa Cruz - Big Sur (Pheifer)                        78.57
July 25: Big Sur - Morrow Bay (State Park)                96
July 26: Morrow Bay - Refugio                                   104.12
July 27: Refugio - Oxnard (McGrath State Park)         61.73
July 28: Oxnard - Long Beach (Seaport Hotel)            97.29
July 29: Long Beach - Oceanside - Temecula              68.85/bike - 55/car

Miles Ridden on Return Trip: 1119.58
Daily Average:                           93.29
Total Miles Round Trip:         ~3100

     The ride back was a lot of fun.  I was flying.  By then I had seen most of what I thought I wanted to see so the return trip was about seeing how quickly I could make it back.  I got a ride to St. Helens, Oregon from my friend Miranda.  Miranda made the 1200 mile journey to the wedding from Temecula by car and was kind enough enough to shuttle me out of Washington.  It was great to begin again from Oregon.  It took a solid two days out of my trip through some less than stunning parts of Washington as well as making it feel a little less daunting.  The day I left St. Helens ended up being the rainiest day I've ever rode through.  The cloud seemed to be following me because I after it would dump it would let up for about 45 minutes and the start dumping again.  It was the only rain I saw on the entire return trip though.  It was good to get it out of the way.  I sort of felt like Oregon was so sad to see me go that it couldn't help but cry tears of bitter, bitter separation.  Farewell Oregon.
I Found It!

     Things passed by pretty quickly.  The Oregon coast was a blur.  The Redwoods although still vast and magnificent went by in a flash.  Big Sur was a blip.  I was almost solely concerned with just pushing my body as far as I could go.  Not for the sake of exorcise but mostly because I just wanted to be finished and there were people that I began to miss so much.  Even though I was moving quickly there were things that couldn't help but arrest my attention.  Because I was traveling for longer I ended up seeing most of the coast during the sunset.  I can't describe how beautiful it is riding over rugged coast while the sun is descending over the ocean.

    Coming into California felt like returning home.  Even though I still had 800 or so miles to go, it seemed as though I was on my front door step.  I kept pushing through the hills and forests but ended up having some bike problems.  After replacing my wheel I was actually able to meet my parents in Fort Bragg.  They were in San Francisco for the weekend and gave me a surprise visit.  I couldn't turn down the ride they offered which would cut out some particularly hard northern California coastline.   They took me down to Santa Cruz where I would again mount my bike with the new back wheel and finish my trip.  From there on I conquered some of the bigger hills that kicked my butt when I started.  Big Sur this time was a joy to ride and Lompoc, although still dry and desolate, was just slightly challenging, not devastatingly hard.

Point Sur

     I didn't feel the finality of it all until I pulled in with my dad (who met me in Oxnard and ended up riding with me to Oceanside) to the Santa Monica peer.  It's hard to put into words but all of a sudden the joy of the end and the uneasiness of the uncertainty ahead just hit me all at once.  When you're riding all you think about is where you'll be next or what you need to eat.  Now I started thinking less about the immediate and more about the long term.  What am I going to do?  I can honestly say that I don't know but I'm both excited and anxious about finding the answer.

     Now that it's all over I can't help but think about what my next adventure will be.  Hopefully there will be many more to come and I encourage anyone to find their own as well.  Again thank you for reading.  It has been great for me and I hope you have enjoyed sharing the journey.


1 comment:

  1. Beau,
    Congratulations on your trip! It is a very impressive feat and I am thankful you took us along for the ride. The stories were great and I looked forward to reading them on a daily basis to see what you had been up to and discovered along your journey. Thank again.