The end of summer


Day 36: Yachats to Florence, Round Trip, 54 miles

I felt it today, the chill.  Colder days earlier in the summer, but somehow this chill ran down my spine.  Autumn fast approaching.  Was I ready?  More than usual.  In the past, I’d dreaded fall, the change of season, loss of the lazy summer daze. But now, I had another great adventure looming: my third Pacific Coast tour.

But I was not ready.  Not yet.  Still heaviness carried over the winter, held onto during the stressful spring and into the summer.  So far to go, how would I ever be ready for a tour?  And yet, I got on the bike, pedalled downwind (note well – I would pay for this later) at an amazing clip, sailed into Florence.  I took a lunch dining al fresca on the bayfront.  Calm, lightness, a few paragraphs in my neglected journal.

Then the trip back, I immediately realized my error.  20 MPH headwinds buffeted me the entire 25 miles back north to Yachats.  Gusts probably to 30.  Ugh.  Like riding steeply uphill for 25 miles.  There were breaks in the wind, around the bluffs and headlands, on the leeward sides.  And the downhills gave me a break.

I arrived in Yachats nearly 3 hours later, exhausted, ill-tempered, wondering why on earth I even tried that ride.  Gradually the sunset worked its magic on me.  Radiant colors, wind dropping to a warm evening breeze. Looking back east over the hills: the full moon!  Blue moon it was this month. A sense of calm began to set in.  I remembered why.

The adventure.  Traveling hundreds, thousands of miles powered only by muscle and ambition.  Pushing myself to be better, stronger, more aware.  Letting go of indolence, selfishness, resentment, guilt. Opening to new people, new directions, new connections. A change of season is welcome.  Its about time.

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