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  • Writer's pictureAlana

3. Salinas to Jolon

April 16, 2024


Today's route was a mashup of the Sea Otter Classic and AIDS/LifeCycle day 3. I rode voth with Zoe Cheng, who died way way way too young in a bike accident last January. And so all day I felt Zoe in my heart, her easy laughter, ready love, fierce optimism, kooky dances, and thirst for adventure.


I heard you loud and clear, Zoe: Now, not later. I hope I'm doing you proud. I miss you so much and keep looking for you out here on the road.


With Zoe on my mind, I pedaled through vineyard after vineyard before I realized my skin was starting to burn. So I donned the beautiful hanky Perla gifted me for my journeys and thought how lucky I am to have so many good friends who look after me.


My day culminated in a long, steep climb known as Quadbuster, and indeed, my thighs were crying by the end. A fast descent through the magically beautiful Fort Hunter Liggett, replete with rainbow and deer sightings, deposited me at my night's lodgings: a "primative" (sic) dry campground on the base.


I was greeted by about 30 empty RVs, many of them up on blocks and kitted out with accessory dwellings and lawn furniture in various states of upkeep. I felt like I was being watched, but I saw only one person off in the distance the whole time I was there. A sign warned of rattlesnakes. The constant report of gunfire sputtered from a firing range a half mile away.


I was a little weirded out. Nevertheless, and with no other lodging options nearby, I pitched my tent, ate an emergency burrito, washed up, and fell asleep.


Then, at about 3 am, I heard something or someone creeping around my tent. Something big. Something with two legs. A turkey? A man? In the dark, can you even tell the difference?


For about 15 minutes, I lay awake, eyes wide open, barely breathing, with every hair on my body standing on end. Whatever it was was standing right outside my tent, not moving.


Eventually, I figured, Well, I can't do a damn thing about this situation. If it's a person, it's probably a dude, likely armed, and my only chances at victory would be if we agreed to leg-wrestle. Which would be unlikely.


And if it's a turkey, then there's no problem.


Exhausted from the day's exertions, I decided to believe it was a turkey, and promptly fell back asleep. I slept soundly til 7 am. When I awoke, I was just as surprised that I had woken up at all, as that I had fallen asleep.


With still nary a soul around, I packed up quickly, at a PB tortilla, and scooted out into yet another devastatingly gorgeous California morning.


Miles: 69.4

Climbing: 2.3K ft

Song in my head: "Cream" by Prince



2 comments

2件のコメント


ni.perla
4月25日

Wow what a rollercoaster day you had!

いいね!

janiam
4月24日

You are my heroine big time. Can't wait to discover what the world brings your way. It's your oyster!!! Love you and be grand!!

いいね!
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