I think a dozen people stayed here last night in this church, folks from all over, traveling solo and traveling in pairs, teaming up and joining forces on the road like a snowball gathering mass and momentum resulting in several pairs of wheels and hundreds of pounds of gear rolling down the Pacific Coast. When I'm by myself and people ask me where I've been and where I'm going, I'm always happy to answer them and chat til their heart's content, I don't ever mind. But when this many people with this many miles and towns and stories under their belts, the whole spiel of "where'd you come from" and "where are you going" isn't necessary.
All that matters is the road has brought us all under one roof. This roof just happens to be over a church under the care of Katie Berkowitz, a kind, hospitable soul who opens her doors to traveling cyclists in exchange for hugs. Places like this are brilliant for taking a day off, doing some laundry, and making some real meals with the other friends of the road around you. That's what Martin, Lau, Flo, Will and myself are doing today, relaxing. Five others packed up and left this morning. We all slept in different areas of the same open room, the walls lined with piles of panniers, chairs draped with wet clothing and maps unfolded and open on every table.
We wished them all well, Herbie, Laura, Peter, Dave, and Jackie as they rolled out into the early morning drizzle. Breakfast happened in stages; oatmeal and coffee, french toast, and juicy, tuscan cantaloupe. Then the five of us set out to do laundry down the street. Will rolled a joint on the folding table and we smoked it out front. Then we all fantasized about another family dinner like we had last night: stir-fried veggies and rice with plenty of garlic bread. And beer. Today, we decided on onion soup, pizza, kale chips, and an apple crisp made with apples that grow behind the church. The sun has yet to come out today but, it has yet to rain more since this morning. We made it back to home base with fresh, clean clothes and all the ingredients to make too much food again. Joanna was holding down the fort while we were out; another cyclist traveling with her friend from BC to San Fran. Like some sort of commune, we took turns teaching each other the yoga moves that we use before and after rides.
Or maybe it was more like a birthday party for little kids, taking turns choosing the games. We did stop to play some card games and share snacks. I'm very grateful to have such good people to share this day off with. I certainly have not been as productive as I'd like to be on my trip down the coast in terms of writing, reading, drawing and even taking photos but, this portion of my journey seems to be more about the social aspect since it's a major bike route, much more so than my random trail that took me coast to coast. I'm in good company, I couldn't feel any luckier.