Dream of a dream…
After a day in Yosemite we decided to bolt back to Long Beach. As much as we wanted to stay an extra day and pedal further south, Long Beach was calling. We needed to make some money. My birthday was on Friday and I wanted to spend it with friends. After almost four months on the road, we both had a need to see some familiar friendly faces.
So we took a bus. Then a train. Then another bus.
We watch the scenery change from a warm, temperature controlled seat with a window. First the majesty of Yosemite’s great peaks shrouded in morning rain. It is mysterious and poignant. We want to stay but we can’t.
The scenery flattens to foothills, to rolling farm land, to nothing. We take a combination of the YART bus from Yosemite to Merced, to an Amtrak train from Merced to Bakersfield and then an Amtrak bus from Bakersfield to Long Beach. We are traveling at what feels like incredible speeds compared to our pace during the last four months.
We pass through the grapevine at night. It is black except for the lights of cars on the road. At some point we peak the pass and there are city lights. Los Angeles is near. The amount of pavement compared to uncovered earth increases until it is all asphalt, concrete and glass. The only trees are those confined to four foot squares of dirt in sidewalks.
Soon we are home, or rather close to where our last home was – before we sold everything. It feels strange to be back, knowing that we don’t want to be done yet. Have we failed? Did we succeed? What does it mean to be back?
As we ride home I notice all the changes. The city is largely the same, but slightly different – a Bizzaro Long Beach. There are more med pot collectives, the small art supply store I use to frequent is going out of business, some storefronts are shuttered, some are different. It’s as if you went to bed and while you were sleeping, someone moved your furniture without telling you.
We’ve been here a few days now – transients in our old city. We’ve been to Happy Hour and it felt good. It felt like “home” or as close to home as we are allowed to feel. It was good to see old friends, to tell stories, to catch up on what is happening. For the last four months we’ve been without our network of friends or family, sort of roaming untethered in our vast land. While extremely liberating, it can also be extremely lonely. We are social animals.
I’m updating from what use to be my local coffeeshop. I am falling back into my old routines and it feels strange.
I can’t tell if being in Long Beach again is a dream or if our bicycling for the last four months is the dream. Things are infinitely strange like this.
The plan now, dear readers and fans is to make some cold hard cash and keep going – to monetize. It sounds so crass to think of it in those terms, to think that all that stands between us and this beautifully fluid life is petty cash.
We want to go, to keep moving and we will. But for a few weeks, atleast, we will be here in Long Beach. If you have any suggestions for products, books, etc., Send us an email. If you are an outdoor/bicycle/clothing company and want to see your gear tested, photographed and ridden across these united states, email us. If you’ve got any leads or ideas to help us keep the momentum, email us.
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