Everything feels different. For two days our bikes rested in a garage while we rejuvenated ourselves and visited relatives. By the end of that time we were itching to get back in the saddle. A good sign. But in that short span of time, so much has changed. We are calling this Part 2 of our trip, as it bears little resemblance to the first 960 miles we cycled.
The most glaring change is the weather. The days of endless sunshine and 90 degree heat are long behind us. The clouds have moved in and the first major rainfall in months soaked the area overnight. More showers are predicted. Add to that moving over to the coast with its own weather patterns, and cooler wetter weather is inevitable. Our mantra on leaving this morning was, “We know we're going to get wet.” And yet, we didn't! For today, anyway, our amazing luck held and we felt no more than a few drops now and then. We called that a day without rain.
The scenery is entirely new on this stretch. At 11:40 this morning, 983 miles after leaving the Glaciers, we made it To the Sea! Cycling the coastal highway, the wind and the waves are now our constant companions. Last night the stormy weather really churned up the sea, and all day long huge waves pounded the shore.
Fog joined with the gray skies to tone down the views. And the crashing waves produced thick root beer foam which rolled over the rocks. Despite the monochromatic hues, the ocean was impressive and a commanding presence.
Even our menu choices have been transformed. A few days ago, zapped by the heat, we sought out tall glasses of cider and a cool meal. Tonight, steaming hearty bowls of Slumgullion really hit the spot. This cheesy clam chowder is a specialty of the Luna Sea Fish House, a small local eatery where all the seafood is hook and line caught by their own boat. Just the type of home town place we love to find.
The desert and rivers provided beauty, but the sea is built-in entertainment. We were barely settled into our motel when we ventured back to the water. I never tire of walking the beach, watching the waves and feeling the wind on my face. The only thing left to make it perfect would be a colorful sunset. And we had that too. There is a lot to like about being back in the saddle.