[transcribed from my journal]
At the top of Mt Charlie Rd, Highway 17 flows beneath us. SUVs and classic automobiles fly past. Our progress today was to summit this Mount, however, we still have more to climb. A car behind us is smoking, who knows why. We are paused here for a few minutes, celebrating our achievement. Smoking a little pot, playing a little music. The sun sets in an hour or so, and we’ll need a spot to sleep. Last night, we slept at the confluence of Mt. Charlie and Glenwood, by the creek. The sand felt comfortable at first, but I slept poorly. The dreams were unpleasant(ish) and Hannah kept kicking me.
Now the sounds of rushing lull me, and despite the pull of people moving quickly, I feel content with whatever comes next.
Riding down Summit Rd, we stopped at Summit Center, a store some 3.5 miles from where we started this morning. Met some nice bikers who complimented our rigs.
A beautiful day. Downhill most of the way so far. I hope we make it to the Reservoir today. This place bussles. It reminds me of how far out on the fringe we really are. Vagabonds, hobos, bike tramps, witches, queers, wierdos, homeless, bums. I don’t mind it. I could switch back. How far do I go down this rabbit hole before I can never return? Have I passed that point already? I haven’t worked for over a year now and can hardly imagine returning to a desk job.
Met a man who somehow guessed we were going to Maine. Not sure how, but he said every few weeks or so he meets some folk traveling from SF to Maine. Weird.
As we were leaving the store, a woman came out and offered to buy us food–so I asked for nectarines. This right after Pidgeon was stressing about food.
The road split right, Soquel San Jose Road going back towards Santa Cruz. The red and green arrows that seem to be directing us pointed up Summit Road, and so we go. Up, up, and up some more.
Summit Road turned into Highland Road, and when the road forked and then forked again, we knew that the arrows had led us astray. Or at least, had led us on an adventure we were not looking for. For sure enough, the turn we wanted was back the way we had come. We took our time backtracking, first stopping again at the store, where a woman behind the Deli counter chided me for trying to get water for free. “This is a store,” she said, “We SELL things here.”
We attempted, for some minutes, to get a ride to the top of the hill where we imagined our turnoff to be. Unsuccessful, we lit out, backtracking for only an hour or less before we found Old Santa Cruz Highway; thankfully, at the bottom of the great hill we all feared.
We paused at the junction to laugh and smoke some pot and commune on our friends and family, drawing breaths from the left and releasing to the right. We drew images first of Sarah, then Cody & Samson, then Freedom, then our parents, then our comrades from the SFC. My mind called forth images of members of Bean Creek before Hannah suggested casting good will towards the people we had met today.
Magic done, souls soaring, we once again mounted our trusty steeds and fairly flew down the Old Highway. When views of aqua shone from between the pines, we knew we’d arrived, for the evening, at Lexington Reservoir.
An enormous eucalyptus tree marks the point on which we’ve chosen to bed down. Sandy shores stretch out into the water. Golden grasses sway, their seed pots catch on my pants, but not in my boots — having switched out for sandals at the first opportunity. I lay on my jacket beneath the shade of a spiny leafed tree, first reading, then sleeping for brief moments before a man and child on mountain bike passed by and woke me. I looked to the shore, where Pidgeon and Hannah had lay, soaking in the sun, and noted their absence.
I pushed through the boughs of our bedroom grove. Pale flesh, awkward calls by Pidgeon chased me back out to the slope overlooking the Reservoir, where I watch the sun recede behind the hills and write these words.
Barely any progress made in terms of miles, today, but what a glorious day to be biking to Maine! The reds and oranges and yellows and blues flood my sight and make me wish for paints and canvas, although I could never capture the glow of these wooded hills.