Days Blurring Together: Day 7
Update on bottom of this post:
“I knew I was going to make it when I started to take notes with pen and paper while ascending the Sierra Nevada’s.” To all those who think you can’t, YOU CAN!
The days have blurred together. My comfortable home in San Diego seems like another life. I can faintly imagine my brown couch in my living room and vaguely remember my life back home. I am fully immersed in this adventure and everything else’s has ceased to exist. I’m sure that 4717 Santa Cruz still exists but I can’t fathom myself residing there or even conjure up an image of what my roommates might be doing.
Today… Words that come to mind are progress and success and not much else. Here’s the play by play. I woke up behind a church in Jackson, California and the hot sun was beating down upon me. It was late, past 8:30 and it was good to sleep in but I felt as groggy as a troll waking up from a three week nap under a bridge. Shaky body, puffy eyes, and a rear end ready to explode. The morning was very slow and after planting some native wild flower seeds around the area I got out of the spot around 10:00. On the road with a lot of elevation to gain. But first I found a grocery store and decided to see what was in the dumpster. JACK POT! The treasure chest held so much food that I could be picky. A bag of oranges with only one bad orange, a bag of perfectly good potatoes, zucchini, soy based yogurt and best of a still frozen half-gallon of Breyers chocolate chip vanilla ice cream! It wasn’t even expired, just a small hole in the cap and I happily ate half of the box. From there I got a flat tire, first of the trip and fixed that in a little under a half hour. Ok now maybe I’ll make some distance I thought. 1 mile later a bike shop where I stopped in to get some spare 16” tubes for the bike trailer. Lucky me, they had used ones so I didn’t have to create any waste. He even gave them to me for free. Of course I hung out and chatted about 1% for the Planet, cycling, and the environment for about thirty minutes. Back on the road about noon.
I then stopped at a roadside creek for some much needed attention to my body. I bathed in the cold creek and washed of with my Dr. Bronner’s soap. I washed my clothes, cleaned and emptied my compost container, and purified 1.5 gallons of water for the day. Also I brushed my teeth, stretched, and rubbed my whole body down with Dr. Bronners’ coconut oil. I felt like a new man and for the first time on the trip my body felt really good.
An hour later, climbing, climbing, climbing and I was amazed how easy it was. Now that I’m used to the trailer and I’m balanced I can stand up while I climb which is my preferred way of pedaling. A quick stop for Brent at a gas station turned into an hour of distractions including my trailer getting run over by an SUV and miraculously coming out with no damage at all. Ok, now back on the road at 4:00 and the climbing really began. I was very excited at how well it was going and had thought it would be a lot harder with my 70+ pound trailer and my bike that doesn’t have proper gearing for climbing mountains. Everybody had been telling me how hard it was going to be. We continued gaining in elevation from 1,500 to 2,500 to 4,000 to over 5,500 feet at the end of the day.
I knew I was going to make it when I started to take notes with pen and paper while ascending the Sierra Nevada’s. I was amazed and excited at the relative ease of the ascent, not to say it wasn’t challenging. The evening was beautiful. Crisp mountain air, pine trees all around and a smooth road to climb. My energy levels were high and I was ell nourished and hydrated all day. This whole trip got off to a very rocky start and had a lot of unexpected challenges but I I believe today was the turning point. It’s only going to get better from here. I have managed to not plug into a single outlet, turn a light switch, use a drop of water from on the grid, buy any food that is not locally grown organic and unpackaged and have only sworn one time. I’ve planted seeds every day, inspired many people, thought dozens of people different ways to better the planet, talked to lots of people about 1% for the Planet, and supported good businesses. I haven’t taken a shower or used a toilet (and am very clean and smell good) and have created very minimal garbage. All in the first week, and that’s just what is coming to the top of my mind. I feel very proud of all of this and look forward to what’s to come. To anyone out there that wants to have a positive influence on the world around them but doesn’t know how please contact me and I’d be happy to give you some ideas.
(written in my tent at the end of the day 04/26)
Update: it’s currently 04/28 at 9:00 AM and I have made it out of the Sierra Nevadas after an amazing day yesterday. 6,000+ feet of total climbing through the jaw droppingly gorgeous Sierra Nevada’s. Took a 2.5 hour break by the crystal clear Silver Lake to make my first hot meal in 7 days. Arrived at the 8,500 foot peak in late evening and then did 30 miles of down hill, dropping a mile in elevation in 1.5 hours through bitter cold fresh air. Pitched tent outside a government building last night and now spending the morning catching up online. I’m happy, healthy, hydrated, and well nourished. Coming up a week of cycling through the Nevada desert along Hwy 50