it was as if samuel poured an entire box of cereal into his bowl this morning. ian and sarah graciously offered seven different cereals for breakfast. oh dear. this is like heaven to us because we are both cereal mixer types. who doesn't want a cinnamon toast crunchy, milky, granola-y, cheerios-y party in their mouth?
coming through santa cruz awakened all these memories of living here, of "re-growing up." it made me think i could live here again, but then we heard about the rising cost of living and it made me cringe at the bay area's demanding ways. even in laid back santa cruz, there is a high price to pay.
today was only a 48 mile day, but after yesterday's beat down, i was exhausted. we were both exhausted.
one notable thing that happened was we passed by the sunset state beach where samuel and i first met. he doesn't remember this interaction, but of course i do because he was kind of rude to me. now of course, i know he just doesn't prefer much small talk and is completely content being his introverted self.
the day was mostly spent riding through watsonville's strawberry fields, where the warm air was filled with the sweet aroma. it was so tempting to eat the strawberries, but somehow i resisted and only admired.
there were a lot of strawberry pickers out, doing the back breaking labor of picking the millions of strawberries that get shipped to our grocery stores and into our mouths. seeing all of the migrant farm workers bent over reminded me of my friend amber's college coursework where she spent time learning about all of the ills and suffering they go through for unjust wages and a life i have the luxury of not having to experience first hand. i felt grateful for their work, and mindful about my consumption today.
we stopped at a market in moss landing to have lunch and walk through their aisles of plenty. wow. snacks and fruit of every kind. i was in heaven. talk about consumption! as a safeguard, we ate our sandwiches before buying some snacks so we wouldn't do another $70 spree.
shortly after we left, i took off as usual, but when i looked back in my rear view mirror, i couldn't see samuel. i gave it a few more seconds, and couldn't see him. weird... something didn't feel right, so i stopped on the shoulder and waited. still no samuel.
i decided to pedal back to see what was wrong. about a quarter mile back, i reached him and he told me a spoke broke! yikes!! that was a first. we took it easy for 10 miles until we could get to marina cycle & skate where he got all fixed up and we took off again for the last stretch. by this point, i started hitting a wall again, so i ate some chocolate that torea gifted us the day prior and drank some soda.
i was moving pretty sluggishly, so i started singing a song about my unwavering love for truly. yes, truly the dog. this got a pretty good chuckle out of me and somehow got me to an intersection where we weren't sure what to do. a commuter rolled up so i asked him how to get to monterey. in typical jesus style, he said, "follow me." we did.
turns out our guide's name was daniel and he works for lightandmotion.com. they develop lights for bikes and scuba gear. he has two adopted girls from china and goes camping every year with a group of parents with chinese adopted girls. anyway, i appreciated his generous help and advice about what route to take the next day.
he split off and we kept going to FINALLY reach vets memorial park, but not before a STEEP hill to the park. geez, i wish our book had warned us of such an intense climb. i walked part of it because my legs told me they were done for the day.
we bitter-sweet celebrated tonight because it would be our last day cycling with m&m. they are splitting tomorrow's day into two days, so we will be off by one day for the remainder of the journey. :-( they bought a 4-pack of wine, dates, and chips! hahaha, so we gave cheers, and filled our bellies with food and laughter. it was truly wonderful. we especially loved that michael invited himself (and meredith) to visit us in montana during the winter, even though they're from balmy tennessee! that says and means A LOT! (i have a feeling we are going to see them again though on this trip. i'll certaibly let you know if we do!)
tonight, i'm grateful for the journey we've been on with m&m and to have a place to rest. tomorrow, we are in for some major climbing all day. i'm kind of scared.