Literary pilgrim

Day 16: Pfeiffer Big Sur to Esalen, 14 miles

Up before dawn, I’m like a child on Christmas morning. So excited for the day ahead, what gifts will come? I pack up my sleeping bag, then realize the bakery up the hill isn’t open until 8am. I stretch in the chilly tent for a half an hour, really working on the glutes. Then finish packing and head up the long hill.

My bike computer shows its less than 40 degrees. Numb fingers gradually thaw as the climb creates its own heat. Two miles to the Big Sur Bakery! A great reward, a true French patisserie, good coffee. I meet David, who is pressing on the San Simeon tonight. We part ways, perhaps we will reconnect in San Diego and enter Baja together. Then I meet the potential tenant for Homestead Road, she seems a perfect fit for the household and the land. I am amazed how things seem to be falling into place. At last.

And I’m off again, only 12 more miles to go. I can enter Esalen at 2pm and hit the baths. So I tease out this ride, meander, explore, at a pace unlike my normal riding. More like wandering, this is so relaxing I wonder why I’m normally so driven, to travel such long distances. I stop at Nepenthe and browse a ridiculous new age bookstore and gift shop. Many odes to the beat writers of the 60s, who made their home on Big Sur. Around the bend, the Henry Miller library. Stopping there is like being transported to the past. Embarrassed, I’m unfamiliar with most of his works. I’ve got some reading to do.

I cycle on. Still to early to arrive, I stop at a lovely spot just past the guard rail, a bed of long pine needles, high on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Hundreds of feet below, an impossible beach. No human footprints on that one. The sun sparkles off the surf. I ride on, somehow arriving at Esalen at exactly 2pm.

Year 5, Sun Writers Retreat. So much as transpired. I can’t believe the changes in my life, in those I love. Cycling this coast the last 4 years gives me a new perspective. I’ve ridden nearly 800 miles to get here. Now, to connect with a new group of like minds, new friends, fellow writers.

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