I got up fairly early today, excited to continue my trip. I has been almost 8 weeks since I first stopped in the Napa valley and I was ready to get back on “Juliette” and feel the wind in my hair… or hairy arms since I wear a helmet 🙂 My destination is El Paso, Texas where I am supposed to meet with a fellow rider named Alex who is also riding to the tip of South America. We are going to cross into Mexico around the 10th of Nov and hope to be in Panama City by Dec 12th.
As I rode east toward route 1, I thought about my trip and what kind of journey this was and will be. Is it a trip of redemption? Solitude? Growth? Escape? Panic? In the end, I decided it was, is and will always be a trip about forgiveness. Asking God for forgiveness for wasting a lot of the gifts he gave me and for not living my life as he wanted me to. Forgiving others for hurting me. Forgiving myself for hurting others and for the mess I made of my marriage and my kid’s lives. Yes, forgiveness is definitely what this trip is about. I’m finding forgiveness slowly but it is a day-by-day process that can be extremely lonely and tiring.
Fortunately, the beautiful California coast helped keep my spirits high and I was fortunate to have a friend to stay with near San Jose. The next day I had a longer haul down route 1 with my destination being Santa Barbara and dinner with Holly, whom I met on the top of Mount St. Helena some 6 weeks ago. Again, the beautiful coastal views kept me in good spirits and coming over the mountains and down into Santa Barbara was a good ride. Santa Barbara itself was very scenic and having dinner at the wharf made me miss Bermuda because the smell and sounds of the open ocean are hard to ignore.
Holly graciously put me up for an extra night and that allowed me to explore the city a bit. I visited the Santa Barbara Mission (see blogroll for details), rode around in the foothills, combed through the mall on State St. and then walked up and down the beach in the late afternoon sun. That night I had the most delicious turkey burger I have ever tasted and drank vodka straight up into the evening.
Unfortunately, I also got a call from Alex who informed me of a delay in getting his visas. It looks like I now don’t have to be in El Paso until Nov 18th. Hmmm… however shall I kill the time?