Wandering and in a Hurry in the Redwood Forest

On the first day of October, 2012, my Kawasaki and I were dwarfed by enormous trees in the Redwood Forest in northern California. I found a big one and put my bike in it.

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Fascinated by these giants, I decided to go on an impromptu hike in the woods. A quick glance at a roadside trail map showed many short jaunts, no more than a few kilometers long. I trotted past the trail head into the shadows.

You probably know how magical the Redwood forests are, so I won’t bother gushing about them. It’s all true.

Apparently I had far too much energy on this first day of October, as I decided to run throughout the hike. The warm weather soon felt drenchingly hot as I resisted chugging my water between gasps. The trails split and joined often, and it took a while to realize that I had gone much further than any of those listed on the trail map. A sign would come into view every once in a while promising just a few more kilometers, though I discovered that it defined only the length of that section of the trail, not the distance back to the trail head. Over 5 kilometers into my planned 2 kilometer wilderness run, I limped out of the trees onto a dirt road. This road continued for a while. I wanted to arrive at my next destination before sunset, which meant either doubling back on my trail immediately or finding my way back by another route in the same amount of time. After checking my position with my cameras GPS function to see whether I was getting closer to the trail head or not — I was not — I turned around and dove back into the forest.

Dropping with sweat and heaving like a pair of bellows by the time I returned to my motorcycle, the few photo snappers and sight seers stared, understandably. I dried myself off with my towel and cooled off in the shade of a giant hollowed Redwood stump.

The KLR waited, patiently. Then we continued on to San Francisco.

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Learning Spanish: A Short Story Exercise

I’ve been slowly learning Spanish during my travels in Latin America, taking a week of structured classes every month or so. Yesterday, during my third week of structured classes in three months, I wrote a story.

Cuando salí por mi aventura con moto, no supe que iría al espacio con nave espacial. Pensaba iba hasta Argentina, pero aquella vez no conocía que habrían otros planes para mi. Estaba llegando San Cristóbal de Las Casas, México, cuando un extraterrestre me tomo! Hace dos meses vivo con “Ϡ′Ж҂ᴨﺓ”, los extraterrestres, y no quiero dejarlos. Me gusta viajar hacia las estrellas y, según los extraterrestres y yo, nos somos ahora familia.

 

Pelicans Glide Alongside The Pacific Coast Highway

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Some time ago I was cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway in California, enjoying the curves as asphalt followed the coastline, when I realized I wasn’t alone. A flock of about 8 Brown Pelicans were gliding parallel to the motorcycle, about 25 meters away over the waters. I sent someone an email about it:

A great moment about a week ago, while cruising at about 90 km/h along the twisting Pacific Coast Highway halfway down California, was having a flock of huge pelicans keep me company as they also followed the coast. They were hunting the surf, but in a V-formation flock and at 90-100 km/h and no more than 50 feet away from the bike! I had no idea they could cruise at that speed with so little effort, let alone hunt effectively.

Not able to contain the Narcissist within, I immediately related to these presently majestic creatures, ignoring the bustle of the highway, hunting at fantastic speeds, and not caring about much else. They were focused yet relaxed. As they were unperturbed by the noisy presence of the motorcycle, I adjusted my speed to keep pace with the flock for as long as possible, slowing to between 80-95 km/h. Ignoring the bustle of the cars piling up behind me, I hunted with the flock.

Riding alone the coast, I have realized that one can have a focused and relaxed mind while not thinking about anything in particular. A subject is not required for trained thoughts.