• Cory Howell

Day 18: A Moment To Take It In

Mendocino

4.3 miles (walking)

↑ 246 feet ↓ 246 feet



We told ourselves we’d rest today--and we did. But we still had to get out and do the short hike around Point Mendocino.


It was t-shirt weather, families and couples at the beach, exploring the cliffs overlooking the clear Pacific.


A group of kayakers paddled over the kelp forests, red and yellow and blue and white, slow plastic streaks through the foam. A pair of fishers stood silent on the west end of the cliffs. Walking down to the water, walking back up, I’m glad we’re taking the day off.


We took a nap today, the only one we’ve taken this entire trip. I had trouble winding down at midday, but Lilly’s breathing was an easy rhythm, the early afternoon light through the curtains was a bright calm.



I always find myself counting the miles.


40 miles today. 60 miles today. 30 to go. 8 to lunch.


Of course, touring is about the journey, about the ride--getting somewhere while you enjoy the process.


It’s so easy to think about the distance left as something difficult, something to overcome. But inevitably, I cross a threshold when I realize we only have so much road left. And then it’s over.


Today was the final rest day of our trip. We’ve got four more days of riding--three hard days, really. And I’ve stopped thinking about how many hundreds of miles we still have to go. Now, it’s only four days left.

Dinner was wonderful and eclectic. Two baskets of sourdough bread, dim sum, a Thai burrito. I tried to order a third bread basket, but it never came.


Everything shut down at eight, but we walked around town anyway. It was mostly dark, a few street lights and cars punctuating the night.


The quality of darkness is different when you’re out of the city--so much thicker, so much deeper. The sound of crickets and animals, the sound of the night breeze rustling through trees and grass you can’t see.


We got to the edge of town, and paused for a moment to take it in. We turned around because we couldn’t tell where we were going.


And when we looked up, we realized we could see the stars.