The wilderness of the heart

Day 17, Bandon to Humbug Mountain State Park, 34 miles

A rainbow over Face Rock, portends a good ride? Or a long rainy day? Both. I push off after a brief continental breakfast at the motel. Past tours the drizzle in my face might have spoiled my mood, been a burden to ride through. Not today. I am undaunted.

Three days with Jennifer have buoyed my spirits to heights unimaginable. I’m riding high in the saddle. The long weekend gave us time to relax, get our respective remote work done, do the laundry, and talk for hours about all topics from mundane to philosophical to the matters of the heart. I relished the opportunity to take my new friend to all my favorite hang outs along the central coast.

We shared a joyous day ride from Yachats over to the Heceta Head Lighthouse, even as the south winds rose and rains loomed. We shared simple food, heartfelt confessions, silliness and seriousness. And to quote Conde McCullough (via Matt Love), we shared the “amorous avocations”. Seemed our long weekend together would never end.

Now, as I watch her drive off this morning, I feel the longing almost immediately. A song in my stride propels me down the highway, easily climbing hills, shaking off the headwinds. Drizzle be damned, I’m having a beautiful ride.

The short hop to Langlois, followed by a “world famous hot dog” with house made mustard, and a draft lemon ginger kombucha. Delicious. Onward past cranberry bogs. I climb the rolling hills, headwinds growing stronger now from the storm. I ride the miles to Port Orford easily, pedaling over Cape Blanco and in through the little town.

I stop at Battle Rock, spend hours at the Redfish restaurant, drinking coffee, enjoying the best clam chowder of my life, blogging, surfing the net, working out my restaurant accounting. I pedal on at last, completing the remaining miles to Humbug Mountain in full drizzle. The winds are chilly, but I have a fire burning deep within.

I ponder the thousand miles ahead, distant vistas, endless hills and descents, California. More than a bit dazed by the emotions of the weekend, I recall our shared bliss and pine for my new love. Undaunted, I will cycle on alone, ever south, into the wilderness of the heart.

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