Cycling the ancient forests, in humility, in wonder, in grace

Day 18, Crescent City to Elk Prairie Campground, 37 miles

A glowing red sunrise bodes well for the day. A stop at Grocery Outlet for some great provisions, General Delivery pickups at the Post Office, then I’m off to climb the Crescent City Hills. Arduous, long, yet these hills have a preternatural draw: about halfway up, suddenly even the most complaining, struggling rider becomes hushed by the giant redwoods which line the highway. That struggling, complaining rider is me, today.

My butt hurts. My legs a rubber. I’m short of breath. I can’t do this. Then suddenly, hush! Look who you are traveling with. These magnificent trees, centuries old, wise beyond any human understanding or measure. Hush! Quiet your mind, humble yourself. And keep pedaling. This ride, this climb, it will be so short, so brief, especially considering the epic lives of these forest beings.

Hush, keep pedaling. In humility, in wonder, in grace.

There, the decent, do I have to go down now? I just got here! Onward, to the beach pounding with waves, then around the lagoon, then across the Golden Bear bridge. One more climb now, up the the Newton Drury bypass, more climbing, more ancient trees. Grove after grove. Ah, the wisdom to preserve these groves. My heart is overbrimming with gratitude for the humanity that saw the value in saving these small forests, fraction of the original ancients which blanketed the Northern California coasts, for centuries before Westerners arrived.

I’m shivering, both with the cold, and with the recognition of my place here. To revere these magnificent trees, to keep cycling these roads, these miles.

Hush, keep pedaling. In humility, in wonder, in grace.

 

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