The posts on this leg of the tour have been so frantically pounded out that they’ve been dry as a well-powdered baby’s behind. Tonight, it’s time to post the touchy feely of the tour. Often, when a cyclist contemplates such a tour, they consider the visual beauty they will encounter. Some consider the physical demands that it will put on their body. Many cyclists today take tours with their tastebuds in mind, and they journey tasting foods and Micro-brew tours are very popular. So, let’s look at how this tour, the Pacific Coast tour, has stimulated all six of my senses.
1. Sight: I see the beauty of the coast, the trees, the wildlife, the colors of each community and architecture that is beautiful in it’s sophistication, and that which is beautiful in it’s simplicity. This sense is the one we anticipate having stimulated.
2. Taste: Tasting foods from my past, and experiencing new cuisine. Tasting the salt in the foggy, misty coastal air, tasting micro-brews, trying the many coffees along the west coast, eating the black berries warm from the sun while picking them off the vines, home-made blackberry cobbler, camp coffee, s’mores and peanut butter s’mores, woodfired pizza in the campground, one clam chowder in particular in Northern California (the chowder was still in the making, all the ingredients, including the milk were organic, and the vegetables hadn’t finished cooking, so they were all ‘al dente’…… fresh vegetables are so wonderful when encountered on tour), food fresh from a host’s own garden, home-made granola, nachos!, salsa,
3. Touch: sore muscles, bruises and scrapes, the cold, soothing west coast surf, the cool night breezes, the fog so heavy in the mornings in Washington and Oregon, that you feel the tiny droplets on your skin, those blessed warm showers (even when we have to pay for the), damp clothes because they didn’t dry overnight, the next day, or that night, so you have to wear them damp:0), Hugs from Warmshowers hosts, and new cycling friends as our paths part, numb hands from road shock traveling up the fork and through the HB, the breeze of a descent caressing your shoulders and face, sweat burning your eyes, sweat running down your cheeks and nose, only to drip off your nose and chin, sweat running down your legs and into your shoes, muscles relaxing as I settle into my sleeping bag…..twitching, relaxing, twitching, r-e-l-a-x-i-n…..CRAMP!!!!!!
4. Sound: The rhythm of the waves, gulls, seals barking, cars, RV’s, Trucks, raccoons chittering in the night, chipmunk cheeps, ‘coons snarling, footsteps in the dark, night forest made by unknown animals, elks bugling, the comraderie of the hiker/biker campsite, laughing, cursing, harmonica’s, ukelele, crackling fires, singing, voices of loved ones in calls from/to home, fellow hostelers singing and playing instruments, fog horns:0)
5. Smell: The smoke of the campfire, unwashed cycling clothes, unwashed cyclist, stinky cycling shoes, exhaust fumes, sea air, sweetness of the eucalyptus trees, warmth of the anise weeds, wild sage, cow/sheep manure, kelp, tacos, chocolate, Coffee!, soap,sweet redwood forests, low tide (muddy), China Town, motorists personal care products (this sounds odd, but frequently, a motorist will so overuse perfumes, or haircare products that you smell them as they whiz by)
This post is predominantly a reminder for me. Though some of these sound unpleasant, they are blessed reminders of the touring experience. I cherish them and want to refresh my memory with this post. As I witness the aging process, it’s evident to me that the thief that comes in the night of our lifetime robs us of our greatest treasure: our precious memories. Blogging is a way for me to preserve my adventures so I may re-experience my own journey as an observer in my later years, should I not recognize it as my own.
Go make your own breeze and remember: if you’re not having fun; you’re in the wrong gear.
Ride what you can; walk what you must.