Version 0.94 (Leaving L.A.)

08/01/19

This is so typical of me: leaving late and poorly packed my first day cycling. Woke up at 11. That was the first problem. Second was really just not being prepared to pack when most of that should have been taken care of last night. Thought I had less gear that I apparently do. Even threw a few things into my hiking pack which I am cycling with. The problem there is that due to my body position while cycling the stiffener in the pack, which helps to keep it rigid when hiking, is in the way of my neck when cycling. Also, having a backpack presents problems when considering what to do with my camera which normally rests on my back. I’m just hoping that things aren’t so uncomfortable as to make my life miserable. Mostly I’m annoyed today with the time that I woke up and that I am just now departing. Yet even now I sit at a cafe having a coffee and croissant! (and journaling my thoughts, no less) The psychology behind this I find fascinating. I’m well behind my imaginary schedule, but I’m still giving myself the luxury of sitting down for a light breakfast. All this when one, one supposes, would normally be in a rush. But then, this is bicycle travel after all. Any time lost can be made up later, and I doubt that I’ll be covering a lot of ground today; getting out of a city is always a much more prolonged endeavor than one imagines it to be. I still have to stop at REI for alcohol stove fuel, as well. Well, this was just a quick jotting down of thoughts. Putting the finishing touches to my breakfast (nearly 1 o’clock).

[later[

The cycling is not going to be easy. Not just because I’m out of shape, but because the headwinds are brutal at times depending on the direction of the road, if there is a hill I’m climbing, if there is or is not a wind-block of trees, whimsy, fate, whatever.

I knew the headwinds would be fairly regular, because they always are here on the coast, so I’ve read. It’s just how it interacts with the climate, ocean currents, geography and probably countless other things that I am unaware of. Tomorrow is a longer distance, but I should hopefully get going three or four hours earlier than today.

Anyway, I’m here at La Jolla Canyon now, sleeping on a picnic table because the weather is so fine, and I can’t get stakes in the ground for my tent.  All that is audible is the soft, tranquil chirr of insects, the turning over of the ocean on the distant beach, the occasional car passing on the highway, and sometimes an animal scrambling through the vegetation on the nearby slope. It is a perfectly rejuvenating and peaceful night. I finished a pot of rice and lentils not long ago, and my banana and peanut butter are waiting for me. I noticed there happens to be magnitudes more stars in the sky than I am used to seeing, while sitting here on my picnic table, and thought I’d find an open space to see what I could see after supper, as beneath three great pine trees was where I sat. The night sky, I tell you, is so full of stars, it’s just like a black velvet jewelry box encrusted with diamonds. It left me smiling and laughing for joy, but leaving me speechless otherwise. What was it that caused such mirth, such joyful laughter to burst from my lips? It was like I was looking into myself, into God, into some perfect impenetrable void. That we are this tiny speck floating within this star-flecked sky is something of a miracle. That we exist to see this. That we exist to observe this. That we exist that I might write this down in a flimsy paper journal…. What is the meaning of it all? The stars sparkling down on us, the ocean crashing and roaring on the beaches, rolling in its depths; the angels singing hallelujah. It’s all just whoopee (as Alan Watts says)! The whoopee! The ‘whoopee’ of existence. The miracle of joy. The miracle of happiness.

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