Day 9, Santa Monica to Union Station, San Juan Capistrano to Dana Point, 25 miles
Drizzle greets me as I leave the hostel. I’m going to bypass the 80 mile ride across LA, even though it is fairly easy. Spirits are not there, and I can do a partial ride, up Venice Boulevard to downtown LA, then catch the Amtrak Surfliner to Capistrano Beach. An urban campground, tucked between the PCH and the wild Pacific Ocean. Ah, to sleep by the sea again, solace for my weary soul.
First stop, Phil’s Coffee, “One Cup at a Time” is their motto. Indeed, the best coffee I think I’ve ever had! Back into the drizzle, a few more blocks, then Cynergy Cycles, to replace a long overdue pair of cycling shorts. Another Specialized RbX, worth the $100 price tag. For long distance touring, the quality of the shorts is oft the difference between a long ride and an excruciating ride.
I follow google navigation across the city, catching Venice Boulevard. 10 miles, straight through the heart of LA. I wish I was inspired to explore LA more, but today, I’m wanting to get through the rain, on to the rainy camp. Far away, my dear friend is in transit too, flying back home from her travels. I’m pondering our next meeting, the myriad of emotions and thoughts, places in my mind where confusion and certainty seem in conflict. A relationship seems such fertile ground, giving birth to growth. And with growth, pain. As well as the joy, the passion. Like riding out of Big Sur, perhaps an apt metaphor? Unexpected weather, danger, and what a thrill and joy to arrive home, at the hostel, safe and sound.
I make it to the station with ample time to sit in the lounge, shed my wet gear, write in my journal. Ah, how important to write, my personal reflections, my best thoughts, my worst fears, and dreaming up a future. Creating a place, in my mind, in my heart, to become who I want to be. My journal has been my meditation for over 3 decades, my companion, my confidant, my conversation with me heart. Sometimes while touring this blog seemed to replace my journal writing, and I think to my detriment. I can’t be fully transparent here, my dear readers. But you know that already. I’ve learned this too.
A two hour ride on the train, 100 miles to San Juan Capistrano, disembarking the train, still drizzling. NOAA forecasts this will end tonight, followed by a weekend of sun and mild temps. I’m counting on you, NOAA, don’t let me down! I ride down the hill, stop at Ralph’s grocery store, the Safeway of Southern California. End up in an intense chat, trying to find common ground, be understood, to understand. Feelings welling up, so intense, both desire and fear. And presence, trust, safety. Finding the calm place in the storm. Just like the weather, touring in winter, ready for the torrents, seeking the sun. I am so grateful for this opportunity, for this chance to live my life, in as full and present a way as possible. And to have dear beloveds to share the path with.
Drizzle has stopped when I finally arrive at Doheny State Beach, setting up the tent in the small hiker biker site. No other cyclists here. Could be lonely, but I’m not. A friend recently told me that “lonely is the signal word that we are cut off from dialogue with our heart”. Indeed. And tonight, with such a full day of contemplation and conversation, I’m in touch again, with my deepest feelings, with my thoughts, with my heart. Wishing peace to all. Good night my beloveds.