Separating Ways-Almost

Cat solo

Cat solo

 

Saturday, Cat (cycling the coast with her pups) and I, chose separate paths for the rest of her trip down the 1 and the 101. She is strong and has been cycling on her own for several days in a row for over a month now. Saturday I decided, since I was not needed any more, I would like to venture off in my own direction. I want to explore some of the area around central California on my own time and schedule.

I am still carrying the gear she does not need. She loaded up the rest of the dog food and other essentials and now is totally independent as she finishes her ride down to the Mexico border. I am still there in case of emergency but that is it. We will meet up in San Diego after her ride is complete and sort out the gear.

I hope Cat can appreciate what we have done for each other. At the beginning of this trip we had several long conversations about the “what ifs” of this journey. I asked her if she would have pursued this trip without me and she said, she did not think so. I am honored to have been a part of this adventure. I am glad I could more than, get her on her way and help out when I was needed. I imagine that many of the through bikers would have appreciated the support that I was able to give to her. It is a hard journey, physically, emotionally and more. Now it is time for Cat to fly solo and for me to figure out what is next.

This has been an interesting two plus months on the road. I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned what I can tolerate and not tolerate. Whoa, I am only 64 years old and I am just now figuring this out. Mostly what I have learned is that I want to be appreciated, not more than necessary yet appreciated none the less. I guess I really want to appreciate myself and I am getting there. I didn’t always feel this appreciation on this journey of two. Because of the long days, Cat did not always have any more to give at the end of her day. This trip truly tested us both in many different ways.

I was the one who instigated our separation. I felt like a mother who was seeing her sidekick fly the coop. I am glad to know she is strong and continuing her journey down the coast. I am proud of what she has accomplished and what she will accomplish still. It will be good to meet at the end of her trip.

img_6158 img_6167Meanwhile I am in the town of Atascadero this morning in a sweet little coffee house, typing like crazy. I spent last night at a Harvest Host site near Paso Robles. The Rio Seco Winery is a small family operation with an interesting history. It was used as a film set for the 1987 movie “The Junkman.” The barn, where the tasting room is today was also part of a major drug bust. It was used as a growing house for marijuana. Today it is a lovely small winery specializing in red wines. The sunset was gorgeous from my small house on wheels.

Today I am not sure where I am wandering off to. Wander I shall. I think I am going off to look for those twisty little back roads that I love so much.

Please continue to follow Cat’s trip. After more than two thirds of her trip was over, her bike is now in good shape. She is riding strong.

Elsie, the Roadtrek and Me are riding strong, too.

RT in the Redwoods

RT in the Redwoods

Janet in the Redwoods

Janet in the Redwoods

Elsie the rave

Elsie the Brave

Changing the Situation

imagesSometimes travel is easy. At those times I sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. There are moments in travel that are hard, things don’t go right and the trip becomes a struggle. I believe the term is “Roadblock”.

Riding down the coast with Cat has had moments of each. The ride itself has been comfortable and the sights have been rewarding and awe inspiring. Cat’s days are long and often she is tired when arriving at camp. It is hard for her to want to interact and be social. Sometime I have been lonely on this trip and I long for the socialization at the end of the day. These two separate daily events have made it hard for both of us.

About 2 weeks ago we decided that staying together each day might not be the healthiest thing for us. A friend of mine reminded me, it is important to remember that this is a situation that Cat and I have chosen to take on. We can change the situation anytime we want. We decided to try a different approach to our current situation. After a few different experiments on how we could make things work smoother, Cat is now riding unassisted. That means she is carrying her tent, sleeping bag and all her gear with her on her bike. I am there if she needs me and I am somewhat paralleling her ride down the coast. We touch base by text every few days to make sure this is working for her and myself. So far, it is working well. As Cat has gotten stronger and increased her mileage, she has become more independent. It feels, to me, like a natural progression.

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Paralleling each other has given me the time to explore more at my leisure. I can pick my campsites and stay a few days or more. This has allowed me to relax more and not feel like I always need to be on top of where we stay the next night. It has given Miss Elsie the Cat a few dog free nights in a row. I think that is a good thing for her.

Friendships are fragile. They need to be taken care of on a daily basis or even more frequently. The hardest thing to do sometimes is to communicate with others. I have found on this trip that often when things have gotten stressful between the two of us, it is a result of miscommunication. Our friendship is new, we have not known each other long. It takes practice and time with other human beings to learn how to communicate well. We are a work in progress.

I travel alone, now that Jim has died. He and I traveled together, frequently. We had our moments of miscommunication. It wasn’t always stress free. Most of the time, though, we did communicate well. It was usually smooth and easy and supportive. The longer we were together the easier and smoother it became.

Now that I am alone again I have to learn how to communicate with others again. It is not an easy process. We as humans are fragile and can be broken pretty easily, at times. We are also resilient and can pick up the pieces and move on again. This combination of fragility and resilience is what makes friendships worth the effort. This is why Cat and I keep adjusting our situation as we move down the 101. We are not ready to give up on the trip or our friendship.

Sometimes it is worth the effort one puts into a situation. This whole adventure with Cat continues to allow me to grow and define who I am as a human being on this planet. It is giving me the opportunity to find my strength to learn how to communicate freely and openly with another human being and hold my ground. And, if this situation doesn’t work then it is OK to change it again.

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Dreaming

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Everyone has dreams, big or small. Dreams are important to the dreamer.

 

My dream was to trek in Nepal. Back in the late 80’s that dream came true as I hiked for 19 days in the Solu-Khumbu region of Mount Everest. It was a life changing experience for me. For many years after that trek I spoke of events before Nepal and after Nepal.

Riding the River

Riding the River

About ten years ago Jim and I did a 15 day river raft down the Grand Canyon. It too was a life altering experience and really fun. It certainly was another dream that found fruition. We often spoke of events before Grand Canyon and after Grand Canyon.

Cat & her Canine Companions

Cat & her Canine Companions

I would like to introduce you to my friend and fellow adventurer, Cat. I first met Cat when she was biking across the United States. She was towing her dogs and all her gear and was hoping to make it to the east coast. Unfortunately the trip ended in New Mexico. Not one to be defeated, she bought a travel trailer and now she and her pups call it home.

Cat is about to begin one of her dreams. She is bicycling, with her two dogs, the Pacific Coast Route from Vancouver, BC to Mexico. You can follow her blog by clicking the link below.

The Silver Hooligan and Her Hounds

Cat is not without some physical issues, yet she is determined to complete this route. Because she was concerned about riding the route alone, she asked if Miss Elsie the cat and I could be her “sag wagon”. The timing was perfect as I really wasn’t sure what to do after the house sold.

I met up with Cat a couple of weeks ago. We camped for four nights in Crescent City, CA. A day later we met up in Medford, Oregon. She joined the adventures of Mary and me, exploring the Medford and Ashland area.

Two days ago we left Mary and Medford behind and began the journey north to Vancouver. It was a long drive through some beautiful country. We crossed the border last night and after a drive through the city of Vancouver, camped outside the city. Today the adventure began. While Cat biked the 10 miles to the port, Elsie and I moved the Roadtrek to the Ferry.

The Team

The Team

What is my part of this adventure? I am not entirely sure. Here is what I consider to be the many facets of my part in this epic adventure.

  • Make sure that Cat and her dogs stay safe while out there riding.
  • I am carrying  her tent and other supplies. She will be hauling a lighter load.
  • Making sure that she is hydrated and that we both eat healthy.
  • I have medical supplies on board if she needs them.
  • Create a place to rest, when she needs a break.
  • Elsie and I are her cheering section, routing her on. “Go Cat, Go!”
  • I have my bike with me. I plan to ride and meet her some days. We can then ride in to our camp for the night, together. That will be really fun.
  • Enjoying each other’s company on her rest days.
  • I am sure this will be a continuing role of discovery as we develop a routine.

While she is bicycling I will have the opportunity to discover new places. My camera will not be far behind. I will share highlights of this epic adventure as it unfolds. Our goal is to be at the Mexican border by late October.

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Crossing on the Ferry.

Today we traveled by ferry to Vancouver Island. Cat covered about 16 miles today. We are staying in a lovely campground right on Nanaimo Bay (Horseshoe Bay). it is a beautiful site. Tomorrow while Cat rides I will have the chance to explore the area between our camp tonight and the camp tomorrow night.

It is an honor and a privilege to be invited to share someone else’s dream. I love the fact that I can meander along short stretches for a whole day. It makes it fun to come into the campground and share experiences with Cat at the end of the day.

Tonight I am grateful for Cat. Her adventure is giving me direction. I felt a little loss after the house sold. Now I have a purpose and it is fun to watch someone else dream unfold.