Of bike gossip, group dynamics and giant trees
I'm in Arcata, California. Yay California! Insert favorite song about California here, probably something by the Beach Boys...or Tupac.
We have had a wonderful bike ride since the rain stoppage. The weather was gorgeous, scenery spectacular and we've met a ton of other cyclists. My favorites are Rita and Jan (I don't know how to spell it, his name is pronounced "Yawn"). They biked from their home in Edmonton, Alberta across to the coast and now are heading down to Mexico...with their two year old daughter Karina. They pulled up to me when we were out on the road and it took me about three minutes before I realized that the trailer behind Jan had a little person sitting in it looking up at me. Karina was wonderful to play with at the campground and I marvelled at her unique toddler vocabulary, like when it got dark she looked up to the sky and said, "The big dipper." At the same campground we ran in to George who is in his 60's and this is his second time to bike across the south up the east coast across the middle, down the west coast and back home to Texas. The best part about talking to other cyclists is talking with them about other cyclists. Now, I'm not really one for gossip in my normal life, but there's something fun on the bike trip when you realize that the bicyclist you ran into, met other cyclists that we met earlier. For instance, Jan, Rita, and George all had stories about Trevor and Adria, two Oregon tourers we camped with a week ago, who fought the entire morning in the campground and had 3 times as much gear (like 2 chairs and an entire pantry of food staples).
One of the highlights of this trip so far was biking into the redwoods. The bike route goes through a scenic byway that ends in a great campground and the whole thing is in the middle of an old growth redwood forest. They totally took my breath away. We camped in that state park and the next morning as I was walking to brush my teeth, there, through a five foot tall mist that covered this gigantic field, stood a huge male elk. He was just standing there and then I noticed about 7 other elks grazing around him. I stood there for 15 minutes just watching them, out of equal amounts of awe and fear (it's rutting season and all of the park rangers warned us heavily about not going near any elk).
I haven't written much about how our little group of four are getting along. We get along fine until we need to make a decision. This is a typical conversation with the four of us trying to decide what to do for dinner. All parts are interchangeable, os no names are attached.
"What do you feel like doing?"
"I don't know, what do you feel like?"
"I don't know, maybe making pasta?"
"Yeah, but what would we have with it?"
"Idon't know, we could go to a diner or a pizza place."
"Do I feel like pizza? I don't know, that might be expensive, maybe we should cook."
"but what would we cook?"
Imagine this going on for about 45 more minutes.
Finally, the other morning my inner decision maker had enough and we had a good talk about how we can improve our decision making process. The fact that we had this conversation is probably not surprising to anyone who I have worked with...that it took 4 weeks for me to have that conversation might be. What we really emphasized is that we all don't have to do everything the same...that seems to have helped.
I hope everyone is doing well.