Popping Sweet Oregon Cherries (with our mouths)

It is always kind of bittersweet when we leave a place that we love. We may be nomads right now but that doesn’t mean we are immune to the pull of a place to set down our roots. Someday we may return to Eugene… it is our type of place and having a college in town with an applicable Master’s program certainly doesn’t help. Alas, we had to get moving so we swung by Voodoo Doughnuts for a few more vegan noms and headed north to Corvallis.

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The ride was a long one for us (about 50 miles) but with a slight downhill the whole way it was not incredibly difficult, just a little long. We arrived at around 6:30pm and met our Couchsurfing hosts. Our hosts (Ebba and John) had a beautiful little farm house with a few acres. After getting settled in we helped get the potatoes, berries, and other vegetables out of the garden for dinner. The meal was delicious and our hosts were incredibly warm and fun to chat with, it is just a shame we were all pretty tired. They even shared some homemade mead with us. After dinner and some chatting we hit the sack.

On our way out of Corvallis we swung by our 19th Brewery for a beer. We had some time to kill with only 20ish miles planned that day. We took our time riding up to Independence where we had a tour schedule at the Rogue Farm, we arrived early to have a few drinks before the tour got started. It was pretty cool hearing the history of the area, seeing hops growing on the vines, and touring the facility where hops are processed to give beer that glorious taste. We did have to leave early because we didn’t have a place to camp yet and the sun was quickly going down.

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We did meet a cool couple of people at the Rogue Farm (Brewery 20*) but one of the comments they made kind of stuck with me. One woman said we must be “trust fund” babies. It made me wonder how many people that we talked to were under the impression that our adventure was somehow funded by our parents… the implication being that it is unearned by us. The truth is, this trip is one of the results of decades of decisions, risk-taking, and following our hearts. If I hadn’t joined the army, went to college, took an incredibly low-paying job in DC because I loved the organization, and left DC when I was no longer happy there I would not be here now. Anna and Hans have similar stories, they took risks by moving when they were unhappy, we all saved money by living minimally, and we all got out of relationships that were no longer in line with our goals. We very intentionally have not had children because we properly use birth control, knowing that there is not really a rush. If we want kids in 10 years or more that is very possible. Anna’s job is a big part of why we can do this and not tap into our savings, but she is not our sugar-momma or anything… more like an employer where she pays us to do things like shopping, blogging, pictures, arrange housing, laundry, etc. She is basically our boss.

None of us were willing to settle for “what if”. We left homes, changed states, and leveraged opportunities as they came. We aren’t “trust fund” kids. Our families provide no financial support. There are things that benefited us that we had no control over (such as place and time of birth) but this ride is a result of our hard work. Maybe it is our age (though I’m in my early 30′s… hardly a child) that sparks this type of comment, maybe it is because we have ignored social requirements that we live where we grew up, marry early, have kids, take a shitty office job that we hate, and decide on security over liberty at every turn.

Anyway, end rant. We ended up finding an RV park that technically didn’t allow tent campers. They had some extra RV spots (and nobody on duty) so we paid the fee and set up. As is usually the case things went without any problems. The park was clean, had showers, and nobody bothered us. The only thing peculiar was the RV across from us that had an original 13-colony American flag flying on it. It reminded me of the Confederate flag that we saw flying over a house in southern Oregon a couple weeks ago. Last I checked Oregon didn’t really have any connection to the civil war… but I might be wrong. Regardless, it seems stupid to me

Living in the south for half a decade means I am pretty used to seeing the “stars and bars” flying. Part of me understands that there is some history there, but I still think it is a bad idea to hold onto that symbol. In fact, I find the whole “states rights” movement to be filled with poor judgement. States do not have rights, they may have powers vested to them by the Constitution but they do not have some sort of human rights that can be violated. Even those people (like myself) who believe in smaller, more local government shouldn’t hold on to the civil war or the Confederacy as something positive. Any institution that decides owning humans is okay is not one we should look back on for any moral guidance, even if they were right about other things. It is like trying to reclaim the swastika or quoting Hitler, no matter how noble your cause is it is a PR nightmare to bed yourself with that type of imagery. This is a lesson some libertarians should learn, no matter how economically correct or politically efficient it might be to back someone if they are a racist or sexist we should distance ourselves completely from them. If we want to change hearts and minds it is better to support good people who might not be philosophically pure over racist assholes who are correct in their ivory tower.

The next day (Saturday, June 21) we had our longest day scheduled, 56 miles. The route wasn’t too bad with only a couple 400ft hills but we didn’t want to take chances so we left early. Things went pretty smoothly as we took breaks every 10 miles or so to let the dog out and get food. There wasn’t a lot of population or stores on the road, it was essentially just a highway over the Coastal Range to Lincoln City. The sparse population of our ride ended up working well for us.

At one stop we had a big field behind us with a couple of trees blocking us from the highway. Anna and I decided to bang. It is important to keep the passion alive with trying new things and exploring interests with each other. You gotta be GGG. If one of your partners has an interest in trying something new you should be on the lookout for opportunities to explore that. I think very few things are so extreme that an immediate “no” is allowed (like anything involving feces for me). You should be able to babystep up to basically any interest or kink, as long as there is plenty of communication and respect for each other it is incredibly beneficial to experiment. Life is too short for just missionary position. I should also note how fucking awesome Hans is for acting as a look-out whenever play happens in public, true friends encourage and help you get orgasms whenever possible.

The ride continued to be smooth as we left the farmlands and found ourselves in the green hills and mountains again. As we got to the top of one of the hills I noticed the girls had stopped about 100 ft behind me. I thought they were peeing on the side of the road, but after about 20 minutes I thought maybe something else was up. It turns out they found some cherry trees and were picking them clean. So now we have some freaking awesome wild(?) cherries. They are delicious.

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We arrived in Lincoln City (motto: A Great Place to Try New Things) with a couple of hours of sun left which gave us plenty of time to get some food (and beer), find our campground, and get set up. We will be here for three nights so Anna can catch up on some work and then north to the Washington border and east to my family in Portland.

 

*Brewery List

  1. Highway 1 Brewing Company (outside Pescadero, CA)
  2. Firestone Walker (Paso Robles, CA)
  3. Russian River (Santa Rosa, CA)
  4. Lagunitas (Petaluma, CA)
  5. Bear Republic (Healdsburg, CA)
  6. Ruth McGowan’s (Cloverdale, CA)
  7. Anderson Valley Brewing (Boonville, CA)
  8. North Coast Brewing (Fort Bragg, CA)
  9. Eel River Brewing (Fortuna, CA)
  10. Redwood Curtain Brewing (Arcata, CA)
  11. Standing Stone Brewing (Ashland, OR)
  12. Oakshire Brewing (Eugene, OR)
  13. 10 Barrel (Bend, OR)
  14. Deschutes (Bend, OR)
  15. Boneyard Brewing (Bend, OR)
  16. Crux Fermentation Project (Bend, OR)
  17. Ninkasi Brewing (Eugene, OR)
  18. Hop Valley Brewing (Eugene, OR)
  19. Block 15 Restaurant & Brewery (Corvallis, OR)
  20. Rogue Farms (Independence, OR)

Defecating on Immortals

Caution: This post contains adult language and discussion. This was originally posted on our bike blog “Barely Functional Adults” on May 23rd.

Part of my intentions for this blog is accurately share what we experience. Often I fail, that is the nature of writing, language, and I guess all types of art. What I am feeling or what I intend the message to be gets lost sometimes due to me doing a shitty job or because I kind of do a stream-of-consciousness style writing where I don’t proof-read before posting. There are some cases when the intention of the artist is irrelevant, in that case the art is open to interpretation by the observer… I don’t consider this blog one of those cases. This is supposed to be a true story with all the ups and downs of our little friend-family and I try to represent it clearly and accurately. I also try to represent things as we see them, not just as I see them. I fuck up though, my ego, identity, and such gets in the way on a subconscious level and I struggle to remember this is “our journey” not “my journey”.

So, after reading my last post I felt there was some stuff unclear and things were not portrayed as I wish. It is true that I was irked by the change in plans but that wasn’t because of the specifics involved, that was purely an internal issue of mine. It was one that I need to work on and the events are proof of how fucking awesome things are when you let go of planning and expectations to embrace the now. Jesus joining us turned out to be a major highlight of the ride and we all wish he could join us more and in the future. There are certain souls that you meet and feel united with, certain people who you think you can learn from and want in your life, Jesus was one of those people. Luckily, the universe seems to have a way of keeping those people in your life, call it fate, ka, ka-tet, power of attraction, or just human nature, but it happens. Strong bonds of similar material are not easily broken.

I will keep doing my best to portray our journey as a group, and not just as an individual. I’ll probably fuck up again but two amazing people, one dog, and a reader or three to keep me in line or call me on my shit. Also, I will call myself out because writing is what I love and I want to do it well.

Alright, now where were we on our ride… shit, I can’t remember so I gotta check the last blog post again. BRB

That’s right, we were in Fort Bragg and about to head out. The ride along the coast on Highway 1 continued to be beautiful and provide us with amazing scenery. It is interesting how you get used to things though, no matter how beautiful a site is when you first see it you eventually get used to it and it becomes boring. That seems to be an evolved trait for humans, whether it is a partner, food, or environment it doesn’t matter how much you love it you will eventually get kind of bored with it. The view along the 1 didn’t really suffer from this because the scenes change regularly, even the beaches morph from sand to rocks to cliffs and moving at about 8mph keeps things changing regularly.

Once we got to the Lost Coast we left the ocean behind for a few days as the route took us inland into the redwoods and over a bunch of shitty hills. We have started seeing a lot more cyclists similar to us. They aren’t dressed in bright jerseys with 5 oz bicycles, nope they are dirty, sweaty, with tents on their backs and huge smiles on their faces. These are adventurers who see the bicycle as a particular tool instead of the purpose of the experience. We’ve met Australians, Swedes, Danes, and other Americans plowing their way up and down the coast looking for a good time. Despite being fairly introverted we have had some conversations with these social rebels and it is inspiring. Maybe someday we can visit their land and get some riding in.

Most of our nights have been spent either stealth camping in random off-road places or using the state parks (which usually have $5 hiker/biker rates up here… fucking glorious). Off-road camping is our preferred because it is free, but sometimes there are non-monetary costs. We were camping under some redwoods at an abandoned park or something that a logging company made when gross struck our little family. Higgs was off wandering around off-leash when he apparently found some feces to roll in. He came trotting back with a grin on his face but was reeking of poop. The poop also had maggots in it. Poop. Maggots. Maggots in poop. Because we were off road there was not any running water to use so Anna cleaned him with baby wipes… so now our dog smelled like shit and baby wipes. He is a constant reminder why we never want kids. I’m pretty sure it was human shit too.

After finishing up Highway 1 (sad panda) we got onto the 101 and headed deep into the redwoods. Of course there were tons of tourist trap shit… “oh look at the magic Confusion Hill, you’ll never believe how physics is defied!!!!!” Blargh. I’m also not giving you $5 to look at a big tree you can drive a car thru when there are a ton of trees to be viewed for free in nature. We were only on the 101 for a few miles before we camped out at a local campground near Leggett. Leggett was a bitter-sweet place and is proof that Google is not yet omniscient. Supposedly Leggett has a market, hotel, cafe, and a gas station, in reality they have a gas station and a market 2 miles away up a big damn hill. The market was actually pretty good though so once we resupplied our food our spirits lifted up. It is such a mindfuck when you plan on arriving at a location only to find you have two more miles up a hill before your day is even near being done.

The next day we ended up taking a break in a town called Garberville, home of a weed college. Normally, that would be awesome. We aren’t really weed smokers but we support full legalization and usually get along well with those who smoke (or vape, or brownie, or however kids do the marijuana in this day and age). Garberville wasn’t a great town though, there was clearly tension between the large number of tye-died, scruffy dog owners who seemed to just hang out on corners and occasionally strum a guitar and the business owners in the town. There were “no loitering” and “no panhandling” signs everywhere. Ironically, there were also a lot of “now hiring” signs. The coffee shop we stopped at even limited wireless access to 1 hour unless you kept purchasing things. The feeling was the opposite of Arcata (where I am now sitting) where there are tons of dreadlocked, tye-died individuals but they are all working at coffee counters and grocery stores. There is definitely some grad school level sociological research that could be done comparing Arcata and Garberville.

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We left Garberville in the afternoon and took a break from the 101 to ride The Avenue of the Giants. The Avenue of the Giants. I swear, whoever named these places are awesome in my book. I feel like I am seeing signs for an old 90′s era RPG. When we got to the entrance of the Avenue there was a sign telling us where we were… only it was completely wrong (see photo below). The sign, which I assume was put up by a government agency, said that we were on the north entrance when we were really nearly 40 miles away at the southern entrance. As some kind stranger points out, that is the worst possible mistake they could make. This kind of highlights the difference between government and private market. Businesses certainly have errors like this but it is in their best interest to correct it as soon as possible, no business is going to allow a map, billboard, or other advertisement stay in circulation if it sends all the customers in the opposite direction. Government agents have no real incentive to correct this type of mistake.

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The Avenue of the Giants is an incredibly 30-mile route through giant redwoods. I felt like I was playing the Cruisin’ Earth arcade game, except instead of a humvee that shot flames out of the tailpipe I had a bicycle named Harmony… and instead of a shitty soundtrack I had a Spotify 2000′s Rock Hits… and instead of finish lines and bikini-clad 2D women I had the greatest fucking family ever, even though we smell like dirty hippy. But other than all that stuff it was just like the game, only better. We took a ton of pictures (check ourFacebook page). We camped out at one point under some redwoods, which is apparently a bad idea because they can kill you with falling branches, but it worked for us. There is a strange absence of sound or life under the redwoods because they prevent sunlight from really getting to the ground. Being without infrastructure means you sometimes have to shit in the woods and I did that on a tree that is over 500 years old. It is kind of strange to look at a living creature that was around before Columbus landed as you defecate on it.

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Leaving the Avenue for the 101 again was bittersweet. The highway is flatter but the views not nearly as beautiful, though crossing the Eel River over and over again was quite amazing. I’m terrified of heights though and got nervous sometimes while riding. I don’t know how tall people cross bridges, just the extra 3-4 inches that riding gives me makes me feel so top heavy that I constantly fear I will somehow fly over the railings. I end up taking up a lane of traffic out of fear, especially if the wind is blowing.

We found a campground in Fortuna to spend the night and rest. We had a good day, close to 50 miles, and really wanted a beer. Lucky for us Eel River Brewery was less than 1/2 mile away from the campground. So we showered, put on clothes that only moderately smelled like a locker room, and got ourselves some brew. I got pretty wasted, which everyone on Facebook knows thanks to my “Peter Patter” of constant stream-of-thought random updating that I tend to do while intoxicated. I’m always a little embarrassed the next morning but people seem to have fun, there was even a pretty thorough debate on shower sex and 69ing (awesome or overrated?) and the use of chains, ropes, and other BDSM tools in the bedroom/bathroom/bang palace of choice.

We kept on plowing through miles and arrived in the town of Eureka whose primary economic force seemed to be meth and sadness. It was in a CVS parking lot that part of my bike exploded. One of these days I’ll learn the proper name of bike parts but lets just say the insides of my rear wheel went everywhere… ball bearings, grease, and my dreams scattered around. Luckily there was a local bike shop about a mile away so Anna and I walked up there to see if they could help us out… and fuck yes they did. They hooked me up with a new wheel pretty cheap and this also seemed to help me with a derailer problem I had been having. We lost a couple hours but it could have been worse, if this would have happened on another day it may have been 50 miles or more to the nearest shop. We got lucky this time, but that will likely not always be the case. We have just accepted there may be a day when one of our bikes is unrepairable while we are in the middle of nowhere. Oh well, we will burn that bridge when we get there.

So, a few hours behind schedule but we arrived in Arcata where we got a couchsurfing hook-up from Jesus and plan on spending a few days. Our hostess, Belle, is really awesome and we all stayed up late drinking beers and talking last night. Her and her partner are definitely the type of people that we hit it off with immediately. Their home had all kinds of signs that we would get along, including an anarchy symbol on the calendar, a bumper sticker that said “Make Love, Not Babies”, and just a general open atmosphere. In fact, this whole city seems to have that type of atmosphere and we are looking forward to spending a few nights here. We even happen to be here when they are having some sort of statue race… it sounds like you just get to drink and party all day, which is amazing to us. After this we head up to Crescent City and into Oregon.

So, this isn’t really related to the ride but there are two things I’d like to share with this little audience. First, our friend-family was accepted to camp with “And Then There’s Only Love” at Burning Man. They are home of the Orgy Dome that was an incredible experience for Anna and I last year. It wasn’t really an orgy when we were there, more like a bunch of couples having sex in the same room, but it was so much fun we went back several times. It is great to be in an open, intimate, sensual, sexy place. It helps fulfill my love of more variety and strengthens our relationship, I’m sure this year will be a similar experience and we are excited to join such a great group.

Secondly, I want to recommend everyone check out the book Opening Up by Tristan Taormino. It is about non-monogamous relationships but I think everyone could learn something from it, whether you are polyamorous, monogamous, or something in between. I know it has really been eye-opening and informative for me as my partner and I navigate our monogamish relationship. It is an easy read and even monogamous couples could learn something about communicating and it can help us all be more supportive and accepting of our different relationship orientations.

Look at Those Leg Titties

Pre-PostWell, despite my half-ass efforts I have not really maintained this blog in addition to the other two I’m running. I think I will just start posting the same thing here that I post on the blog for our 2-year bike ride, Barely Functional Adults. This was originally posted on May 3. As a reminder,this is pretty much an uncensored version of the events of our bike ride. If you are uncomfortable hearing about sex, drugs, profanity, etc you should check follow our PG-version at www.10LegsWillTravel.wordpress.com . This is a warning. If you don’t want to hear about these adult actions please leave now

Technically we had arrived in San Francisco, but we didn’t have time to explore yet, we had to get back to LA to finish some last minute appointments that we couldn’t do elsewhere. So, we dropped our bikes off at the shop to get some maintenance, rented a car, and retraced redid our bike ride in reverse and fast forward.The drive back and time in LA was rather uneventful, expect we got to crash at one of our friend’s houses for two nights. It was lovely to see them and the more time goes by the more I miss them. It is kind of funny, we didn’t hang out with them much when we lived in the same vicinity but just knowing that it is no longer an option makes me sad. We should have made more time for them in the past, it is rare to know a couple that you can be completely open with. They are awesome.

It was really kind of interesting to retrace our steps via car. Small events and feelings popped back into our heads as we drove. It is such a different experience on a bike instead of on the road. Driving in a car numbs your senses and you live life in only one dimension. You have forward and backwards, no left, right, up, or down, when you are driving. It is just point a to point b. It feels different on bicycle, you feel the option to take different paths and really appreciate how elevation, terrain, and temperature effect your body. You exist with less filters on a bike.

Anyway, we got back to San Francisco from our little side-trip on Wednesday night. Sadly, we only had Wednesday evening and Thursday to explore the city, which is too short of a time but we did our best. Wednesday evening we met up with one of my old college friends, Dagny, for coffee. She was basically my partner in free-market economic crime while in college. We interned together, hung out regularly, sexually harassed each other, and a few of our professors assumed we were dating. We weren’t though, we were just great friends who grew intellectually together but ended up going separate ways. She will probably end up the CEO of some major organization and I’ll just keep being the crazy nomad hippie, but I know we will always be able to get together for a beer and reminisce.

After coffee we went to a bookstore because I needed a new book. One of these days I’ll buy an e-book but until that day I will just keep picking up one new book whenever I finish one. I love going to bookstores, it can really be an insight into the culture of a city. Unsurprisingly, San Francisco had some unique sections and books available. The anarchist in me loved to see a full shelf of anarchist literature, but I have never quite understood the anti-market bias of the city. Much of the creativity and prosperity of the city is due to people’s ability to openly create and trade their labor as they see fit, not as society sees fit. I understand, and share, the anger people have against the corporatist crony assclowns who have basically bought the tyrannical asshat politicians and distort the market to allow a few to profit at the expense of the rest of us, but the answer isn’t eliminating the ability of free people to trade, the answer is to remove government.

Anyway, after the book store we grabbed some food and drinks at an Irish Bar and Curry House. This city is amazing for combining wonderful things like the laundromat/coffee house/bar and the kinky coffee shop that we visited. We never really did hit many touristy sites, instead our time was spent walking the city and kind of soaking in the culture. We did notice that there are a ton of fucking hills though, our legs were burning by the end. The locals who walk or bike must have incredibly powerful calves, thighs, and asses. I bet many San Franiscans are incredible lays with all the muscles needed for thrusting getting a daily workout.

Overall walking was a great way to see the city. We wandered through The Castro, the Golden Gate Park, and everything in between. We saw 710 Ashbury, ate at some food trucks, and chilled in a couple parks. We didn’t really hit any touristy things… not really our style but it was a wonderful time. We all agreed that living in San Francisco at some point would be awesome, but it is unlikely that will be our next base. It is a little too big and way too expensive for us at this point in our lives.

Friday morning came around and it was time to start the next leg of the journey. We packed up our bikes and hit the road. The next two days we are staying with cousins (Anna’s on Friday and mine on Saturday), and after that we drift towards Santa Rosa.

Post-Post 1: Also, we have set up a GoFundMe account for our ride. If you enjoy the adventure or just want to receive a post card, booty pic, or vegan meal check us out here

Post-Post 2: If you would like to see all our pictures you can check out our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/10legswilltravel

Holy Cross to Saint Francis

Pre-PostWell, despite my half-ass efforts I have not really maintained this blog in addition to the other two I’m running. I think I will just start posting the same thing here that I post on the blog for our 2-year bike ride, Barely Functional Adults. This was originally posted on April 28. As a reminder,this is pretty much an uncensored version of the events of our bike ride. If you are uncomfortable hearing about sex, drugs, profanity, etc you should check follow our PG-version at www.10LegsWillTravel.wordpress.com . This is a warning. If you don’t want to hear about these adult actions please leave now

Waking from our comfortable church campsite was far from easy. With only 27 miles ahead of us motivation was a little slow to come but eventually we got ourselves together and hit the road. The ride into Santa Cruz was pleasant with roadside fruit vendors (where we bought oranges) and the first view of the ocean we had had in almost two weeks. We arrived at my friend’s (Maria) house with a lot of daylight yet and plans to explore a bit but we just couldn’t motivate ourselves. Instead we smoked a little weed, caught up on some emails, took showers, and let our bodies rest.

Hanging out with Maria and her partner, Michael, was an incredibly positive experience. Meeting up with an ex after many years can often be a stressful experience but it was obvious that everyone involved was happy and healthy, and I felt great compersion for what they had going on. Maria and I had not seen each other in 3-4 years and our last interaction wasn’t particularly positive, but that was all under the bridge. We spent hours reminiscing about time in college, Michael and the Anna’s (who are all from St. Louis) discussed their home town, and we finished off a fair amount of beer. Adult relationships, friendships, and everything are fucking amazing. Maria and I influenced each other a lot in college and shaped how we view society and relationships today, it was great to reignite that friendship.

We left Maria’s house pretty early and planned on grabbing food and coffee in Santa Cruz before hitting the road. We had breakfast at Saturn Cafe and had our first real vegan restaurant stop of the trip, and it was amazing. The food, service, and atmosphere was wonderful and we highly recommend it. If I lived in Santa Cruz it would probably be the hangover diner of choice, much like Swingers in LA was for us.

With food in our stomach we went to grab coffee and internet to plan the day. During this time we had our first experience with the tension in Santa Cruz that can be felt in the air. There was a clear distrust going on in that city between the three groups we saw, the older local residents who probably had a lot of money, the houseless people who seem to live in a lot of California beach communities, and the younger post-college crowd of hippie surfer types. The older residents seemed to resent and stick their noses in the air at the rest of the groups, there seemed to be a sense of entitlement and superiority these locals felt towards others. To these older residents we were part of “the other” and were often scoffed at or looked at oddly.

The houseless residents, on the other hand, were nothing but friendly with us. They often provided us with tips about where we can store our bikes safely, how to navigate the city without getting harassed by law enforcement, and such. The younger crowd also seemed to see us as part of their group, in fact two surfer types overheard us talking about needing a place to camp because of the windstorm and immediately offered us a place to sleep at their home.

Our plans to leave were stopped twice. The first day after leaving Maria’s we didn’t even get out of town. The wind was unmanageable and we had to bunker down in the city at a local cheap hotel. The next day we got 8 miles out of town when the wind and rain convinced us to return to Santa Cruz to stock up on cold weather and wet weather gear. We were obviously unprepared. It turns out turning around was not necessary, the sun came out in the afternoon and it was a beautiful day, but we decided to be prepared instead of risking an unneccesarily cold, wet night in the woods. We finally left Santa Cruz after three nights.

We wanted to love Santa Cruz. Badly. It was a beautiful city but it clearly had problems. The division between groups was very obvious, even to outsiders like us. It really was so thick you could practically feel it in the air. There were certain neighborhoods on the west side that seemed much calmer and peaceful but the downtown area was uncomfortable for us. I’m not sure who the older, wealthier group is… long-time locals who resent a younger crowd or snowbirds who moved to their favorite vacation spot and now want it to lose the appeal it had when they were younger or something else entirely. Overall, I don’t think I could live in that city. The idea of feeling unwelcome or looked down upon based on my age or bank account is not a place I could call home.

Finally leaving Santa Cruz behind was a relief. The day we left was sunny, though windy. The headwinds we faced were no joke but we were in a good mood. We had not put many miles down the last few days and our bodies were feeling good. With 90 miles in front of us spread over two days we hoped to divide it evenly… of course that didn’t happen. Our first day we got about 38 miles in but that included a pleseant stop at the Highway 1 Brewery to get a few beers, our first brewery stop of the trip. We love beer… we really love beer… and there will be lots of stops like this on the trail. Even with a deadline we will stop for beer.

We left the brewery with only a little sunlight left. We rode through some forests and a few hills before finding an open field on the side of the road. It may have been private property but it wasn’t labeled so we just claimed it as our own and we slept surprisingly well. Our bodies and minds are getting used to sleeping in random places without permission. It feels good… an adult life being lived doesn’t involve permission. Asking permission is for servents, not free people.

The next morning was more foggy grossness and hills. We pushed, we rode, we pushed, we rode, we pushed, we rode… but we made it back to the PCH where life got a little easier. We got our first tailwind of the trip and it was god damn amazing. It was incredible. It was like getting your ass licked while on ecstasy. I want it every day of my life.

That slight tailwind pushed us into Half Moon Bay where we stopped for coffee. Sometimes the only reason you need to stop in a town is because the name sounds like something out of an old RPG like ChronoTrigger, Final Fantasy III, or Dragon Warrior IV. We pushed on and finally found ourselves mentally close to San Francisco. There were beautiful sights that can’t be properly shown in pictures.

Taking pictures on a journey like this is an interesting task. We want to capture what we see but photos don’t do things a damn bit of justice. Maybe it is our lack of skill or the lack of quality of equipment but anytime we review the pictures we remember but they really don’t show what we saw. There is something to be said for just enjoying the moment and the memory. Afterall, we are sharing this journey with many friends and strangers but the audience is really ourselves. Sometimes when we rush to capture a moment we actually miss it. We are surrounded by nature porn all the time… mountains, rivers, lakes, oceans, forests, badlands, swamps, and a thousand other environments but it serves as more of a trigger than actually showing what we see. These photos remind us of what we saw, they help the smells, feelings, sounds, and taste return to us, but they don’t really convey that to other people. I hope others will get out there, I hope maybe these photos show the beauty that our world has to offer, but unless you see it and experience it yourself all we are is a tv show. It is fiction in a way. Our reality is little more than a show for others… and that is kind of cool. Our reality belongs to us and no other.

Eventually the hills and burning legs ended and we drifted into that incredible city on the bay, a city that we felt we earned. The people we are staying with are friends of friends, but they are cool as hell. They live in two warehouses that remind me of places I lived in Los Angeles. There are over a dozen people living in this artistic community and it feels a lot like Burning Man. They are clearly used to nomads travelling through and have a guest room with four beds and keep track of guests with an excel document. It was so good to get a hot shower and to sleep in a bed. Anna and I even got some sexy time in the shower… intercourse wasn’t happening due to the layout but some assisted hand jibbers put a smile on each of our faces.

Note: We are driving back to LA to tie up some loose ends so there probably won’t be much to report for about a week. I will try to type up a summary of our days exploring San Francisco on Friday or Saturday but our itinerary is really fluid so that may not happen.

Post-Post 1: Also, we have set up a GoFundMe account for our ride. If you enjoy the adventure or just want to receive a post card, booty pic, or vegan meal check us out here

Post-Post 2: If you would like to see all our pictures you can check out our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/10legswilltravel.

Out of the Salinas Valley

Pre-Post: Well, despite my half-ass efforts I have not really maintained this blog in addition to the other two I’m running. I think I will just start posting the same thing here that I post on the blog for our 2-year bike ride, Barely Functional Adults. This was originally posted on April 23. As a reminder,this is pretty much an uncensored version of the events of our bike ride. If you are uncomfortable hearing about sex, drugs, profanity, etc you should check follow our PG-version at www.10LegsWillTravel.wordpress.com . This is a warning. If you don’t want to hear about these adult actions please leave now

Recap… we just woke up behind an abandoned(?) church after a terrible night of paranoid “rest”. We only had a short day of travel ahead of us into King City. Now, on with our tale.

After waking and quickly breaking down camp we hit the trail early. The morning fog reflected our moods and the damp darkness seemed to creep into our souls. We were all a bit on edge and uncomfortable, the night before had brought little more than stress that added to the physical exhaustion we felt from fighting the wind all day. The only bright spot was knowing we had a short ride, 10 miles, into the next city where we had a county campground available for only $5.

The ride itself was quiet and uneventful. The weather prevented us from really noticing or caring about the landscape and none of us really seemed to be in the mood to talk. After about an hour or so we arrived at the King City Starbucks and set up for the day. Anna had a ton of work to catch up on (part of the reason for the long stop) and we needed to secure a rental car so we could get back to LA for Anna and Higgs’ appointments. Besides the work and organizing the rest was much needed for our bodies and minds.

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We ended up spending about 10 hours or so at Starbucks. The staff was absolutely great and we actually brought Higgs into the store. He was well-behaved and quiet… he just slept underneath the table. He is really pretty happy as long as he is with all three of us, though the parade of Easter Sunday coffee drinkers annoyed him from time to time. The hours were well spent, even if when we found out that King City no longer has a car rental place (Google fail) and we had to postpone the trip to LA until next week.

After all that work we were really looking forward to camping out and after about 500 feet of cycling we arrived at the campground. Unfortunately, the fee was $28 not $5… apparently I was lied to on the phone or there was some misunderstanding. Pretty obnoxious but still the best option we had available, we paid the fee and got to camp to set up. We were the only tents in the area, there were a lot of people in RVs “camping” nearby but they stayed inside their vehicles and watched tv most of the time. People like that are so lucky to get out of the house whenever they want to explore nature.

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Our site itself was perfect. We had trees to set up a hammock where I got some reading in (“The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss… if you like fantasy you should probably stop reading my blog and start reading this book. It kicks ass), a store nearby to get beer, and flat soft grass for everything else. There were also showers and a laundry place nearby to stop our stink. After a nice dinner we laid down for the night and got some banging in. It is becoming increasingly obvious that we are getting more fit because of the ride. Whenever I have sex with Anna or grind up on Hans the ass and legs feel much more toned, and I have even noticed some of my middle pudge slipping away. Apparently exercising daily for 4-8 hours and eating mostly fresh foods is good for the body. With our sexiness increasing and our bodies getting used to daily exercise Anna and I should be up to our 5-6 times a week bang schedule that we prefer.

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With refreshed minds and bodies we set off along northwest again along the Salinas valley. Generally our routes have been pretty good but it is clear that Google bike directions are great in some places. Whether it is telling us to take roads that don’t at all exist or defining private paths through vineyards as “roads” you need to be cautious and comfortable with making changes to your plans. This didn’t through us off too much though, we got to explore some more farmland and enjoy a nice morning ride. We arrived in Soledad in the early afternoon and everything went to shit.

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When we stopped in Soledad the weather was pretty good and we saw an opportunity to catch up on some work at a local coffee shop, get some more groceries, and take it easy before we plowed on another 10 miles or so. We didn’t have a place set up to stay so we were on the lookout for anything on the side of the road to offer shelter. But then the wind came and kicked our ass.

The wind really came out of nowhere… it went from a calm breeze to a ridiculous hurricane of evil dust in a matter of minutes. To be honest, it reminded me of Burning Man. There was a whiteout in the distance and I knew that our evening ride plans were dead if it kept up like that, and it definitely kept up. When it didn’t settle after a bit we decided to see what options we had in Soledad, which ended up being some woods by the Salinas River, a handful of churches, and a motel. We tried them, in that order.

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After walking a mile or two in the crazy winds (riding was not possible) to the river we found out that there was a barbed wire fence around it and nobody was allowed there. This has been a common problem for us. Much “public” area is fenced off or restricted from use for no real reason. This is particularly true of city and county parks that don’t allow people there after sundown. How can you really claim a park belongs to the people if bureaucrats are able to criminalize simply existing there during a certain time.

Trespassing harms nobody, trespassing is about control and reducing freedom in exchange for a government officials convenience. I am sure they will claim it is either for our own safety (thanks daddy government for protecting me from myself, I don’t know how I ever can get my daily necessities like food, water, shelter, and jerking off without you… I would probably accidentally stab myself in the face while cutting carrots if it wasn’t for you) or they will claim that criminal activity happens during those hours. But that is bullshit too. To assume any person who exists in a location during a certain hour is going to harm somebody or something is to see us all as guilty until proven innocent. It is the opposite of justice. It is tyranny. There is no good reason that public parks (and other land) should not be available for all peaceful people to use as they wish as long as they do not harm another person or property. But, laws aren’t about peace or freedom, they are about coercion and control. Just remember, when the government fines or jails somebody for trespassing what they are doing is taking a piece of their life. It isn’t a free exchange. It is men with guns throwing others in cages and calling it “freedom”.

After the river was a bust we walked back to a parking lot in the city. I took all the stuff off my bike and decided to check out the churches by myself, it would just be faster for me to go alone on bike than all of us caravan all over the city. This didn’t end up working though, one church was too far, one had nobody around and no place to lay a tent, and one was in the middle of a funeral. The local fire department was also no help because there was some emergency a few blocks away that was taking up there time. It looked like the hotel would be our best bet so we crashed there for the night… it sucks, we are trying not to waste our time at damn hotels. We are learning though and getting better at finding places to sleep well ahead of time so we don’t get stuck in cities.

The sleep at the hotel was a little rough… despite some good sex. Can anyone resist banging in a hotel room? We seem to get later starts in hotels because actual beds are tough to get out of, it is just some much quicker to rise and shine when camping. We planned on hitting a beach campground about 55 miles away but in the end that just couldn’t happen. Our Google route again was filled with weird turns and it got to the point where we just cut through farms along their roads. I don’t know if this is legal or trespassing (or, as I like to call it, “finding the most efficient route from point a to point b as long as you aren’t told ‘no’ ahead of time”). We actually ended up riding along the fence of a state prison for a bit and the sounds of gunfire filled the morning air. I am assuming by the lack of sirens and screaming and general chaos the gunfire was the guards at a shooting range.

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Riding by the jail was an interesting thing for me. I found myself a bit afraid and protective of the girls. There was one point when some prisoners rode by us in a truck and I felt the adrenaline start to rush. I know that most prisoners in America are unjustly imprisoned. I know that we have the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world. In many very real ways we are a police and prison state. Anybody can be chucked in jail for next to nothing and everyone just assumes it is just. I know it isn’t just. I know most people aren’t violent. But I was nervous just the same. Conditioning is a bitch.

By time we reached Salinas it was pretty clear that we were not going to reach the campground. I sent out a quick email to the only church along the way that I could find an email address for. (Sidenote: Why don’t churches have updated websites, or at least email addresses published that people actually check?) This turned out to be wonderful for us. Pastor Bill of Grace Community Church in Prunedale contacted us quickly and offered to let us stay at his church.

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So, after climbing some hills, one of which Hans started calling “Pencil Dick” because it was long, skinny, veered awkwardly to the left, and she wanted nothing to do with it, we reached our home for the night. The youth pastor, Mark, met us there and let us in. Both Mark and Bill were incredible. They didn’t ask about our religion, they didn’t set up any stipulations for us staying there. Nope, they simply offered shelter for weary travelers. They were real examples of peace and love. Christians and non-Christians could learn a thing from them, and while I probably don’t agree with them on many issues they are the type of people I would want to surround myself with.

After setting up camp and some brief conversations with our hosts we got to bed. Only 27 miles ahead into the Santa Cruz area where we are staying with one of my friends… well, I don’t know what to call her, we were friends in college but also used to sleep together a bunch. Whatever, she is a friend and we are staying with her and her partner.

Post-Post 1: Also, we have set up a GoFundMe account for our ride. If you enjoy the adventure or just want to receive a post card, booty pic, or vegan meal check us out here

Post-Post 2: If you would like to see all our pictures you can check out our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/10legswilltravel.