Day 8. Welcome to California, where everything is bigger

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It is true! As soon as I stepped foot (pedal?) into california everything seemed to GROW. The cars, the towns, the people and the hills!

Today was a loooooong day.  60 miles and two 1000ft + hills later left me sweating every ounce of liquid in my body at the top of a mountain in the redwood forest seriously contemplating my sanity. I am generally a fit person, i would even call myself athletic. But riding a loaded bike up some steep hills in the middle of the day with no training or real technique? Certianly I harbor some insanity I figure.

I am lucky to have an equally insane riding partner of sorts, Dan. There is nothing better to lift your spirits than to have someone in front of you flick off crazy truck and RV drivers as they try to run you off the road, yell profanities at you when you try to walk your bike up hills and bemuse strangers with made up stories.

And even though today was a strenuous day which left me exhausted towards the end, all was forgotten as I entered my final decent  to our campsite from the 1000 ft hill down a scenic road through the redwoods. The 10 mile gradual decent on a low downhill grade meant I could just sit on my bike staring in awe at these giant beasts of trees, majestic and eternal in their silence. It was perhaps the most surreal, peaceful and almost spiritual experience to see the sun glinting through the trees, casting long golden shadows on the road. I was glad to be on my bike able to see all around, to smell the trees to hear the silence.It felt timeless and wonderful and worth every ache and pain.

This, I think, is why people bike.

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