Cat and the pups
The day prior to the election, Cat completed her bike tour of the west coast. She and her pups completed the Pacific Coast Bike Route. Although there were several issues with her bike along the way, mostly the tour was without incident, and on a sunny and warm southern California day she arrived at the Mexico border and went on to Rosarito for a couple of days of R&R on the beach.
She cut her trip short. She felt a strong need to head to northern California after the election results. Cat is now at a friend’s house in Yreka, before she starts her new adventure.
I made it back to San Diego in time for Halloween. After a successful post on Facebook, where I had six unique and different offers of places to stay, Elsie & I are in temporary residence with a good friend, Pat. I feel blessed to have remet her last winter. She has welcomed both of us with open arms. Thank you, Pat.
I did not realize I needed some recovery time after almost three months of pretty constant travel. I was road weary and a bit emotionally done.
Cat’s and my goal was realized. We both wanted to get her safely to the border of southern CA. It was very successful. She rode the last distance from Cambria to San Diego, almost totally unsupported. I was there if there was an emergency, otherwise she was on her own. I tracked her on my Find Friends app. We did text quite a few times to help her negotiate LA. When she arrived in San Diego we met up and spent a few pleasant hours together at the KOA in Chula Vista putting some finality to the trip. My last siting of her was from the San Diego airport car rental building as she and her two pups headed north in a rented SUV.
Would I do this type of trip again? I am not so sure. Am I glad that I did this trip with Cat? Yes. Were there issues along the way? Yes. It wasn’t always easy. We arranged how we did this journey with each other about 4 times. There is a lot that goes into traveling with someone, being the sag wagon, dealing with each other, two dogs and one cat. One of her friends told her that she had given us about 2-3 weeks. We proved her wrong.
Here is what was successful and good about this trip.
- The scenery I drove through and explored was amazing.
- Waking to the sound of waves or looking up into the redwoods was such a peaceful and calm experience.
- Cat and I got to explore our relationship. I know that since this trip I can define a little bit more about who I am in this universe.
- I visited with my friend Kat, in Corvallis. After 13 years of little communication, it was such a joyful and good reunion.
- Elsie the cat continues to surprise me with her adaptability.
- Traveling 40-50 miles a day gave me such a wonderful chance to explore areas, either hiking or biking. I did not have to move every day because of the short miles.
- I met or saw so many people on this trip who were kind and good. I also stayed with several. It firmed up some new friends and reaffirmed some of my long standing friendships.
- When I sent out a plea to hear from friends, I received wonderful e-mails and phone calls. It definitely made me feel a bit less lonely out on-the-road.
- Being rescued by Mary, a good friend, when I had an “incident” with my RT.
- Being happy with my pics.
Here is what Could have been more successful on this trip. This is definitely from my perspective.
- Cat had to continually stop at bike shops on this trip. Although it gave me time to explore, it was a often a delay. I could feel Cat’s frustration.
- Traveling with someone else so closely for so long was, at times, stressful. I don’t think we always communicated clearly with each other. Clear and frank communication is so important. I still need to work on this. I believe this will be an ongoing issue through out the rest of my life.
- Later on in this trip I found myself frustrated by the lack of acknowledgement for my role in this trip. I know, I know, I should not need this, it should be about the journey. I discovered this was part of the journey for me. I hope, some day, I won’t need this recognition, but for right now, well, I am human. It would have been nice to have Cat tell other bikers my true role on this trip. Sigh.
- I have discovered that it is hard to have dirt in my RT. I was continually cleaning and I am not so fond of cleaning. I am proud of my little home on wheels.
- My accident in Crescent City. On the good side is I got to spend a week with Mary in Medford, Oregon.
- A computer screen that needed to wait until I got to San Diego to fix.
Any trip I do has the good and the not so good parts in it. Sometimes the not so good parts become the story one tells of a trip. There were special moments on this trip that I will remember for a long time to come. My morning on Ruby Beach, WA is one I can think of immediately. A beautiful beach, low tide, star fish, anemones, starting in fog and ending with a blue sky and brilliant sun.
I am in San Diego until after the New Year. It is good to be reconnecting with long time friends. I even had some work, which gave me time to see all my fellow tour guides, and friends.
Now that I have had a few weeks here it is time to figure out where Elsie, the RT and I are heading when we get ready to head out again. As long as it is warmish and without snow I am good.
I have seriously fallen in love with bridges. I have always loved them, but now I have arrived at the point where I want to take a picture of each one I see. I have refrained. It is hard.
I grew up in Delaware, the second smallest state in the nation. They have some really beautiful and giant bridges. The Delaware Memorial Bridge comes to mind. It is a double span suspension bridge that crosses the Delaware River. When I was young I knew crossing that bridge meant we were on our way to the “Jersey Shore”.
Crossing the St George bridge in southern Delaware, was the first time I saw a sign, offering a phone number to call if you were afraid to drive your car across the bridge. Someone else did the driving for you. I suppose the person making that phone call would be cowering in the back seat as they rode the length of the span.
A really interesting bridge is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. You ride above the water then below the water, doing this 3 times above and 2 times under the Chesapeake Bay. The tunnels allowed ships safe passage into the bay. I have ridden it once. It was fun and interesting.
Then I moved to California. The first time I saw the Golden Gate and the Oakland Bay bridge, it was love at first site. They are so majestic and grand.It is still a thrill driving or bicycling across the Golden Gate Bridge. It is not unusual for that bridge to be covered with fog.
Now I am in the northwest and have once again renewed my love for bridges. As we drove across the Columbia River, on I-5 going north, I kept asking Cat to take photos. I was so excited. We arrived in Vancouver and crossed another beautiful bridge just as it was getting dark.
Progressing down the coast I have been crossing one beautiful bridge after another. The bridges in Oregon begin with the Astoria–Megler Bridge and continue down the coast to California. These bridges were designed and built by Conde B. McCullough. McCullough combined Romanesque arches, Egyptian obelisks, gothic piers, and Art Deco designs with the state-of-the-art and cutting-edge technologies of the day. In 2005, 11 of these coastal bridges were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. They are beautiful, functional bridges and so much fun to cross.
Remember, as you see these bridges, Cat and her pups have crossed each one by bicycle. I drove the Astoria-Megler Bridge three times so I could snap a few quick photos of her. It helped that they were doing construction on the bridge, so everyone either had to stop or slow down. It was not a hardship to cross it that many times. I absolutely enjoyed each drive.
Today, as I crossed the McCullough Memorial Bridge (Coos Bay)–1936, I knew I had to tell you of these beautiful structures. For this bridge loving woman I have been in my glory riding down the 101, crossing one beautiful bridge after another.