to begin, let's start with some stats:
miles cycled: 973
salami sticks consumed: 2.5
blocks of cheese consumed: 6
# of times we've camped: 16
# of times we've slept on a bed/couch: 7
# of rest days: 3
favorite power drink: nasty instant coffee
number of conflicts: 4.5
we were surprised by how easy the 47-mile day felt today. i think after mailing home a bag full of crap, we felt light and free so we floated along. that, or our thighs are now massively powerful tree trunks. it's amazing how much extraneous stuff we've realized we don't need. isn't that like life? our "what if's" turn into garages and closets full of stuff we rarely touch. when you have to carry them all day every day, it's easier to notice what's weighing us down.
while we were at the post office in orick, we saw m&m pass us. i felt like i was on the show the amazing race. a desire to catch up to them came over me...so we jumped on our bikes and started riding...fast. at first i couldn't see them, but at a straight away, i could see i was within catching distance. it was fantastic to chase them without their knowledge. i imagined what i would do to surprise them and all i could think of was to ring my bell. this idea tickled me to no end, god only knows why. so i chased them down and rang my bell and roared into laughter. it was a fabulous feeling!
we yo-yo'ed with m&m, until a nice big downhill where they let us take it first. i love blazing down hills! after that, i picked up a lot of momentum and kept a pretty fast pace, motivated primarily by the idea of a hamburger that got lodged in my brain earlier in the morning. so i pedaled really fast to get one in my mouth. while we waited for our burgers and chili cheese fries, we ate an entire bag of flaming hot cheetos. ohmylord. the crap we are gorging on is simply disgusting. we washed down lunch with an ice cream cone (with all natural local ingredients) and a coke (to help me with my food coma), and took off on a scenic highway paralleling the 101 and ocean. it was spectacular! it's one of my favorite kind of cycling road: meandering.
we meandered our way all the way to arcata (a college town that houses humboldt state university). the ride included long stretches of a bicycle lane and very few cars. it was so peaceful and easy. we were still surprised that today was labeled a "D" (difficult) day.
we stopped by a bike shop and an awesome co-op that had everything a hippy would like. we spent $70 on our groceries which is the most we've spent in one shopping trip on this tour by three-fold. yikes! first mistake was that we were both super hungry walking into the store and the second contributing factor was that we had virtually NO FOOD left. (we had one bell pepper, a can of sardines, and some hoagie loaves.) and since i had an empty pannier, we felt like we could liberally fill our bags with food!
anyway, after the damage was done, we needed to ride to the koa site for the night, except it meant we would need to cross a 4-lane freeway at rush hour!! oh my. let's just say i was a scared shittypants. it felt like an ant taking on a rhinoceros. surprisingly, we managed to get across all four lanes alive, and very well adrenalized.
to our surprise, there was a jacuzzi here where we soaked for a bit after a very tasty and expensive campside dinner with m&m.
tonight, i'm grateful for clean and well maintained facilities (as kitschy as it is), for new friends, and a lot of laughter. i am finding a lot of joy in living this simple goal of cycling down the pacific coast.
i am satisfied.