• Cory Howell

Day 22: The Feeling That We'd Actually Made It

Sausalito → San Francisco

9.5 miles

↑ 682 feet ↓ 564 feet



The City sprawled on the other side of the Bridge. White homes and glass monoliths, patches of grass and beach and trees covered the peninsula. From here it looked like a diorama, cut from construction paper and held together with cheap glue and invisible tape.


Our bikes stood against the railing. Compared to the bridges on the Oregon coast, the Golden Gate seemed so stable, its pathway so wide. And even still, here at the highest point, I got a pulling in my stomach when I glanced over the edge.


I tried taking a few photos, Lilly shot some video.


But mostly, we just stood and looked out at the Bay.



We’d actually ridden across the Golden Gate before. A few years back we rented bikes near Fisherman's Wharf, rode them across to Tiburon, and took the ferry back.


But now, just seeing the City, standing on the Bridge, laughing and relishing in the feeling that we’d actually made it--the whole thing seemed so different.


Lilly and I have both travelled, but this was the first time I got the feeling we were actually on a journey.


It’s an easy analogy to make. My journey as a student. Your journey as an artist. That road trip, it was a journey.


But actually getting from place to place, using your own body to cover the mileage, taking three weeks of physical effort to do this thing and problem solving along the way--I’m not there yet, but I think I understand just a little bit better what it actually means.


After spending a lifetime getting places in cars and trains and planes, I felt surprised that we actually arrived at our destination.



We walked the last three blocks to our Airbnb. After being out on country roads for so long, all the cars rushing around and hunting for parking, the delivery trucks occupying half the street with their flashers on, the pedestrians looking down at their phones, the urban bikers ignoring traffic signals--it all seemed so overwhelming.


When we found the apartment, actually got inside, and leaned the bikes against the entry hall, we hugged again.


“We made it,” we said. “We made it.”


We’d resolved to explore the City on foot today and tomorrow, to give our bikes a rest and avoid the stress of navigating SF on wheels. We changed into dry clothes and headed out to find lunch.


Before walking out the door, we paused, and looked at our bikes. They stood there against the wall. And we left.