There is no way to prepare for a trip like this, so you do your best. Sitting aboard the northbound Starlight Express train from Martinez, CA to Vancouver, BC, I discover that I have the incredible gift of remembering things I forgot. My titanium spork, coconut oil, gloves, the list continues. I also mentally inventory the items I made space for. Fishing pole, packraft, drysuit, paddle. I remind myself not to worry about the weight, wading in my own self-serving consolation that many people are riding heavier loads than I. I try to practice stillness.This seems a good way to prepare for a couple months on the road.
Preparing for amazement.This is what I am actually practicing. I already know the trip is going to be incredible. I will see this peculiar animal, converse with that beautiful person, ascend this lofty mountain, and bathe in that crystalline stream. The real exercise lies in resetting my expectations, grounding my thought processes, and surrendering to the unexpected. To acknowledge every experience as one worth celebrating and every being as one worth loving, that is the preparation.
Outside the train, the wind is ripping North to South, and flags and trees playfully wave their welcome greetings. A good omen, a summer tailwind. Mountains, lakes, rivers, and farmlands fly by, celebrating the last days of Spring. I drift lazily in and out of restful naps. There is little left to do now but sit and wait..and pray my bike arrives in Vancouver without incident.
• FRONT BRAKE-SRAM FORCE CX1 POST MOUNT, 160MM ROTOR, >1,000MM HOSE
• REAR BRAKE-SRAM FORCE CX1 POST MOUNT, 140MM ROTOR, >1,800MM HOSE
• BRAKE LEVERS-SRAM
• BRAKE HOUSING / CBL-SRAM
FROM: Santa Rosa, CA
The inspiration for my upcoming cycling and paddling adventure is rooted in my desire for exploration, both internally and externally. I am able to better fully understand myself and learn from others as well as my environment when I launch myself into the unknown. The excitement lies in every rotation of the cranks, every untraveled road, and every unexplored river and coast. Adventure is the currency that I barter in, and my bike, my trading post.
Over the last four years, I have embarked on several multi-day bicycle and bike-rafting tours throughout the west coast including the Humboldt Redwoods, the Northern California coast, and the Olympic Peninsula. My personal highlight was bike-rafting from Seattle to Portland via the Olympic Peninsula. With my packraft carefully nestled atop my rear rack, restlessly waiting for inflation, I was able to mix adventure cycling with some hair-raising whitewater paddling on several rivers on my way through the Washington. This upcoming trip, I am excited to revisit these same waterways and explore more as I head south through Oregon and California.
I have several goals for my trip, all challenging in their own way. As I disconnect from the habitual daily rituals that dictate my current life schedule, I gladly welcome the ability to set aside time and energy to focus on self-exploration and development through writing, photography, videography, breathing and meditation. My goal is not to log a hundred miles a day or climb 5000 feet a day, but to allow myself to stay open and seek out new experiences, people, thrills, and uncertainties.
This coastal journey from Canada to Mexico will undoubtedly be a life altering event. Through my communion with my bike, packraft and the environment around me, I hope to learn something new every step of the way. My focus does not solely rest on what I can get out of this journey, but also on what I can give. A poem, a picture, a prayer, a smile, a hug, an inspirational glimpse at adventure. I hope to open myself up in a way where I am in a position to give as well as receive, to equitably exchange knowledge, joy and energy with people and my surroundings.
What’s in my bag? Packraft - This is the best way for me to get off the road and explore more remote areas.
Cameras (Canon 60D & GoPro Hero 4 Black) - These are absolutely essential tools for documenting the adventure ahead.
Fishing pole - I’m hoping to snag some surfperch and rockfish.
Homemade, homegrown, organic healing salve - A combination of calendula, yarrow, comfrey, and plantain from my garden, infused in coconut oil with a bit of arnica oil and lavender essential oils. Great for cuts, abrasions, sun burn, sore muscles, or giving a massage.
Recorder - A simple musical instrument. Nothing like busting out a Disney show-tune around the campfire.