I meant to go for a bike ride today, but by the time I had time to myself, I was more in the mood for a slow amble. I walked right toward the ocean–is there another direction out here?–and took a right on the main drag for a stop at the post office to drop some postcards in the mail to M., S., and N., who rang me from her amble at just that moment. We swapped stories from our ambles, agreed it was The Greatest Day in the History of the World, and then parted phone ways to continue our respective walks. Mine took me to the fence blocking off the beach where the lumber mill used to be. There are still piles of lumber and reminders that work used to be done here, but now it is all NO TRESPASSING and that alone made the homes lining it a different world from the mansions just up the road; even paradise finds itself structurally adjusted. And then I found the entrance to the state park, and oh my, look at it. I walked, I sat, I listened, I waded, I waited, and then it was time to head back. I took my time walking along Highway 1, past the boarded-up bed and breakfasts and the gas stations and restaurants and the other attempts to figure out what to do to make this a place to make a living after the mill closed. I stopped for a fancy coffee, stopped in the store that sells only socks–I wonder how that’s going to turn out–tried on some ridiculously expensive shoes, and picked up an album for N.–don’t tell–and then it was dinner with friends and a walk back to E. and S.’s for wine, brownies, and baseball, just like the old days, another vacation win, much to think about, just like I like it.
E. and S. know me well, even if it has been a decade since we lived in the same place, so of course they offered up a bike ride this morning, first by the post office so I could run an errand–my favorite sort of bike ride–and then to the town’s bike trail. In this town, the bike trail skirts the Pacific ocean, and at the risk of sounding melodramatic, it took my breath away. I know, my breath seems pretty easy to take, but c’mon, we’re talking about Yosemite and the Pacific here. It is all just spectacular. We pedaled along, smelling the ocean air and dodging the gaps and holes in asphalt that gets routinely washed out, saying our good mornings to other walkers, joggers, cyclists, and guys with fishing poles heading down the beach. I could get used to this breathtaking business, for sure, but then it was time to turn around and head home, promises of more rides tomorrow. It is all fog and cool breezes out here, and I wish I had my Surly with me to do some of Highway 1. Patience, patience, try to enjoy what’s here now and not just what you wish could be, I thought to myself as the ride ended too soon–a helpful reminder in general, I think.