Rejuvenated, I ride on

Day 28, Berkeley to Half Moon Bay State Beach, 24 miles

Two days off the bike! I spend time with Shawn and Seth resting, watching movies, visiting the Berkeley Bowl, just hanging out. A bit of late night channel surfing too, Jurassic Park II and III, grotesque horror flicks, lots of politics. We all fret about the smoke in the air, how hot it is in Berkeley, unseasonal. The winds aren’t helping, gusts to 80 mph in Napa where the Kincade Fire rages on.

The visit is too short was I bid my sons farewell. I hop the BART over to Daly City and ride onto Skyline Boulevard, climb the steep hill through rows of beach bungalows. The sun sparkles off the ocean as I make the rapid descent into Pacifica. I stop at the Chit Chat Cafe and find every table filled. I wonder at the eerie quiet, until someone mentions “Power’s back on!” and I realize these are all power outage refugees from Half Moon Bay.

I finish my lox bagel and continue on. I pass Pacifica and carefully begin climbing the steep curves of Highway 1. Traffic is steady as I navigate the highway up and over the San Mateo pass. The Devils Slide Trail is gated and closed, so I must opt for the twin tunnels. Nearly a mile long, I fly along the flat passage through the mountain. I descend the narrow highway towards Montera, then on widening shoulders around Half Moon Bay.

I arrive at camp as the sun falls behind the horizon. I set up my tent, then head back into town in search of dinner and a warm place to catch up on my blog. I find most places closed from the outage, as power just came back on a few hours ago. I opt for Straw Hat Pizza, enjoying the warmth of friendly staff and a heated dinning room. The owner tells me they lost power for two days this week, with another outage planned tomorrow. How much business is lost to the many outages so far? I ponder our culture’s dependence on energy, something we take for granted.

At last, time to go back to camp, shower, sleep. The night air is chilly, the surf pounding the beach, just past dunes which protect my campsite. Relentless winds buffet this coast, feeding the inferno just two days north.

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