July 2013

Month: July 2013

Bonnard

When I left DC, I knew it was possible Kimberly’s beloved “first born” might not be there when I returned. We’ve known for months that he’s got a bad case of the big C, and I also know he’s burned through 8 of his 9 lives a few times over through hard living. At his peak weight, he was the equivalent (we were told) of a 400 lb. man.

And although he doesn’t care for me (at all) and although he definitely tried to kill me in my sleep once (suffocation, in case you were wondering) I’ll confess I’m going to miss the little devil. He was part of the package deal that came with Kimberly and I don’t know a day with her that doesn’t include her mean ol’ cat.

We’ll bid adieu to Bonnard this weekend, but oh the stories… we have enough to fill three lifetimes. Bonnard’s ghost will be with us through those.

Take care buddy…

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Wildlife + Ghosts

Yesterday I ran into two creatures that I shot…. with my iPhone camera:

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I also biked past a “ghost bike” for a guy who may very well have been struck on that spot:

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Very sad, and as you can see by the date, the incident probably happened since I was last biking here. I think bike touring is fundamentally safe, but like all things in life, there’s always a risk.

If you want to destroy my sweater

The title of this post comes from a Weezer song which has very little to do with sweaters. The post itself has very little to do with Weezer. So there’s that.

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Yesterday I lost my wool sweater. It fell out of my bags about 10 miles short of camp just over the California border. When I realized it was missing, I went through the seven stages of grief, sliding into acceptance. So be it. The bike tour gods willed it so.

Then something remarkable happened.

A guy from Utah piped up… “Hey, what color is it? I think I saw it.”

“Dark Green.”

“Yeah, that was it – it’s by the lilly farm about 10 miles back.”

“Ahhh, yeah.” Acceptance stage was already cooling. “Well, losing things happens on tour. It is what it is,” I said with a casually dismissive tone.

“Oh, I’ll go get it.”

“What?”

“I’ll go get it.., it was only about 10 or 15 miles back!”

After several minutes of profusely thanking him for his (batshit crazy) notion, I thought all was settled that he would not go bike 90 minutes and 20 miles to rescue a sweater for a guy he hardly knew.

About 87 minutes later, the group du jour sitting around the fire were enjoying a beer when someone asked where the guy from Utah went.

“No. No, he did not.”

“Didn’t do what?”

I explained the sweater rescue plan that was scuttled – or so I thought.

On cue, in the finest tradition of stage and screen, my sweater rolled into camp securely bungeed to the rear rack of a very, very crazy dude’s bike.

So, next time someone asks why I like bike touring, I’ll show them my sweater. Because there’s no way I can in good conscience lose it again…

The people that you meet when you’re biking down the street

No signal at Humbug Mountain, so this Saturday post comes to you Sunday.

The last few days have included the usual interesting array of dramatus personae for this little tour:

– the trio of Mexican university grads who (as a gift to themselves) are biking from Alaska to home in Guadalajara. Fun group and great stories.
– the solo expat Brit who, despite being a Spurs fan (not you San Antonio), is a funny and interesting guy.
– the dude with the camping hammock who probably wished he brought a tent given the dearth of decent trees at the sites… in Oregon. I know… define irony.
– another Brit (it is cool to say Brit, right?) who’s introduction was “hey I just biked 110 miles to catch up with the group!” and managed to impress everyone.

There are a few others but given the work day coming in Crescent City on Monday, I’ll be setting the reset button and will be traveling with a new group. They’re a day behind me right now. I’ll camp with that group for a few days before my work day in Fort Bragg puts me with the group two days behind me. It’s kind of cool that these work days maximize the number of people I’ll meet.

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