Day 22: Big Sur to Esalen
Made it! Just over 900 miles, arrived at Esalen early enough to enjoy a long soak ‘n sun session. The ride over the first hill at Big Sur Station was long, but the climb wasn’t tiring. I knew the destination was close, just 15 miles, wanting to see as much of this coast as possible.
Those who’ve followed this blog from the beginning will recall that last year this was the point that my hero’s quest crashed and burned. I rode all day sick with a cold, struggling every mile, through a cold drizzle over 40 miles of steep cliffside highway. The saving grace of that ride was the trouper who pulled me over in the fog and offered to give me a lift in the back of his patrol car the last 5 miles. I uncomfortably accepted and climbed in, eyeing the shotgun between the front seats and imagining all the poor souls who rode back there, anticipating the hand of justice and punishment.
Last year, I finally arrived at Esalen demoralized, spent much of the weekend isolated and crying. In fact, it was the first time I dared to reveal such emotions on the blog.
I had set myself up pretty well to fail: interviewing Ianto Evans on the trip, imagining I would write up an article enroute and triumphantly roll in to submit the finished work to the Sun editors, who would graciously accept it for publication, amazed both by my writing skill and riding endurance. Of course, the tour required so much physical and mental attention, I didn’t even make a dent into transcribing the interview. I have the recorder with me on this tour, and imagine I might pick up the work sitting on a beach somewhere in San Diego.
This retreat will be different. My third time attending the Sun Magazine writer’s retreat, I am ready to pick up the quest again. What quest? To become a writer, or rather, to bring my writing out of the strictly private realm of my 30 year personal journal. To write for others to read. Something I’m doing right now, with this blog. Fancy that.
With today’s rhe ride going well, my mind cleared and I began to find many things I wanted to write about. What a joy! Indeed, the other side of grief and struggle – happiness and inspiration. The first task at hand is to write my “Contributer’s Note” to introduce myself to the whole workshop group, 120 people. I’d better get busy…