Day 18: San Simeon to Oceano Campground, 52 miles
“Discipline is remembering what you want.” – David Campbell, founder of Saks 5th Avenue. (Thanks to poet Ellen Bass for this quote.)
Rain. I wake to rain on the tent. Normally a pleasant sound. But to a cyclist it means slick roads, chilly downhills, and for me, poor visibility through rain-splotched glasses. And it makes the many miles seem so much longer. In short, it takes discipline to ride in the rain.
I get up during a lull in the rain, early as planned, make breakfast of oats, almonds, fruit. Coffee in the tea ball. Then pack a wet tent, suit up in my full rain gear – pants, booties, gloves, helmet cover. I head down the road. It really isn’t too bad, not as chilly as the previous foggy rides. Just light drizzle. Like the summer rain in Oregon.
Near San Luis Obispo I see Torii on the shoulder. We met in Half Moon Bay, and I haven’t seen him since! We talk about Baja and Mexico. I tell him I received word back from Dave and Uschi, and we plan to meet in San Diego. Seems we now have a crew of four to cross the border together. Baja is beginning to seem like a reality, not just a possibility.
Rain comes again, and I wait it out with Torii at a funky coffee shop in SLO, a very tech-savvy college town not unlike Corvallis. Southern California has seemed alien on my past tours. Talking with the locals, it is feeling more familiar. Another lull in the rain, so I head out to Pismo Beach. Of course it starts pouring as soon as I’m on the road again. Fifteen more miles. Discipline.
Discipline. Remember what I want. To ride my bike! And to write. And… to have a retreat, to be successful in my work, to help people heal, to enjoy community, to spend time with friends, with family, and with myself. These are things I want. Discipline, practicing the work of making what I want into reality.
Down the hill, ah, the palm trees of Pismo Beach. More rain! Just a short hop left to the campground, hot shower, damp tent yet dry sleeping bag. Good night!