From redwoods to hippies

Day 8: Elk Prairie Campground to Arcata


An easy riding day, only a few hills, but I was feeling it.  Sore back, tired legs, and a mind clouded with thoughts.  The sky, however was clear!  A great relief after so much cold and rain.  Rolled on into Arcata, a town filled with hippies, drifters, college students – sometimes hard to tell the difference.  Then I visited my favorite places:  Finnish Country Tub & Sauna for a great soak, North Coast Food Coop for great eats, and a room at the Hotel Arcata for a restful night.

Grief is a difficult burden to carry. So little understanding in our culture for this most basic human feeling, which causes most of us to hold onto something which needs to be released.  I am grieving many losses, and allow myself freely to cry, at least when alone.  Biking, listening to evocative music, then there are those favorite movies which bring on the tears.

Crying with others is harder, worrying I will be judged, stiffling my tears even before anyone has a chance to know I am upset.  Stoic.  Numb.  Ridiculous, considering that I like to think of my self as one of those “new men” who are in touch with our feelings!

Cycling has been a solace for grief, since I first started long rides.  Somehow it helps me move the feelings through me, physically as well as emotionally.  Plenty of space out there to make some noise…

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