Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Back to the tour

Ok...I've gotten a bit off track so I'm going to bring it back in and get back to the tour. For those of you now reading that may not have read my blog from the beginning, I'm journaling my bicycle tour from Alaska to Utah. This tour happened way back in 1993 and really shaped who I am today.

I left off in Washington, just over the river from Astoria. A few things to recall, one of which was that in a previous post, I said that we both decided to go back to Minneapolis and end the tour. Before I cross over the river and hit Oregon, I'd like to take a closer look at what led up to this event.

We were staying at Cape Disappointment State Park. That isn't a joke. We were camping and could hear the ocean waves from our tent. I loved it. I already mentioned how much I love the sound of the ocean. I know some folks commented that that sound does little for them. All I can say is I'm sorry for you. It is a beautiful and melodic sound. It is peaceful and relaxing.

John was a bit edgy. I had mentioned that he struggled in parts of Alaska. Looking back, I think he had two things in him. First, he had too much mid-western guilt. John and I were essentially living a big long vacation and that is a hard thing for mid west people to do. Second, I think John had too much to offer the world. I'll go into his future at a later time, but John had a calling to be outdoors. We were in the outdoors, but this wasn't it.

Our final morning at Cape Disappointment started like most others. John was up hiking, journaling, etc and I was in my sleeping bag listening to the ocean. Then I heard it. "I hate $(*^ing sand in my peanut butter!" I quickly got up and saw John throwing what was likely our last piece of bread into the fire pit. I knew it was over for John.

That day, we rode into Astoria and bought him a train ticket home. I did manage to convince him to ride to Eugene and catch the train from there. I also decided that day that after John left me in Eugene, I was going to press on alone to meet my friends in Utah.

I still remember this day clearly. To me, it signifies the day I said good bye to my friend and the day I chose to press on.

I'll leave you with this peaceful picture. I could not find in my notes the exact location of this picture but in my mind it is Cape Disappointment.

Goodbye friend.


Guitar Ted said...

Wow. Pretty intense Jason. I know from my touring experiences that you find the best......and the worst, of what is in you and your traveling companions sooner or later. Being "out there" on the road seems to have that effect on folks. (I have only traveled with Mid-Westerners, so I can not comment on the "guilt factor")

But yeah, I remember moments like you described. They are definitely sharply defined in my memory, as it seems they are in yours too.

MG said...

Cape Disappointment... Considering how it ended, it's so apropos.

Great post Jason. I bet 1993 didn't seem like so long ago as you typed those words, because I felt the energy of the situation in the words as I read them. Pretty amazing...

Thanks buddy,

blackmountaincycles said...

When a friend and I rode cross-country in '89, we had one of those "moments" somewhere on Highway 30 in Nebraska (Cozad comes to mind). We had ridden entirely too long that day and by the time we decided to make camp there weren't no place to camp but off the side of the road. As soon as we stopped, the mosquitoes besieged us and I think I lost it. That was the one night in all of our 70 day trip that we took a motel room. A couple of pizzas and a pitcher of beer and a good night's sleep and we were both ready to press on the next day.

Loving your trip, Jason.