Blowin’ in the Wind

Julie drove us 50 miles to Jennifer’s house in Berkeley.  We transferred our gear to Jennifer’s car.  Jennifer chauffeured us another 50 miles to Valley Ford.

L to R: Jennifer, Joey, Jeffrey.

Jennifer insisted on driving us two miles past the hill on which we ended our Pacific Ride last March.

Events proved Jennifer’s wisdom.

Jeffrey assembled and loaded our machine in a B&B’s driveway to the barking of watchdogs (look to the right of the flag in the middle photo).  Jennifer captured us setting off for Seattle at 12:45.

Sonoma County is beautiful.

Alfred Hitchcock filmed The Birds in Bodega Bay.

The winding road narrowed.

The high Pacific Coast cliffs go on for many miles.

The wind today—headwinds and crosswinds from the NW—was powerful and frightening.  We met two-wheel cyclists walking their bikes lest they be blown off the cliffs or into traffic.  Our three-wheeler was safely stable most of the time, and except for two diesel pickups that deliberately expelled clouds of black smoke, drivers respected us, many hanging back to read our sign, many offering toots, waves, and thumbs-up.  But we could average only 5 mph (8 kph), and even that speed was exhausting.

A tough stretch of howling wind and rough pavement forced Jeffrey to push the Sprint 26 steeply uphill for a mile of a 2-mile hill.

Sunset was at 5:55 PM.  At 5:30, Jeffrey was pushing our machine up a second long hill where the shoulderless pavement was too rough and steep for pedaling.  We were 9 miles from our destination.  Even our well-lit machine wouldn’t be safe on this road in the dark.

Jeffrey takes risks, but he tries not to be stupid about it.  As he struggled to push us along at 2 mph (3 kph), he started looking over his shoulder to size up approaching vehicles.

He spotted a truck and signaled the driver to stop.  Jeffrey explained that with darkness approaching, we needed a lift to the Ocean Cove Lodge at Walsh Landing.

The driver’s destination was next door!  Matt and Luis put our gear into their truck and invited us to hop in.

The trike aboard, away we went!

But for Jennifer’s insistence that we start a little farther north, we would have been biking rather than walking when these gentlemen reached us.  We would not have flagged them down nor gotten safely off the road.

We arrived at Walsh Landing at 5:55.

L to R: Matt, Luis. We had a great discussion about immigration injustice, the lack of counsel for asylum applicants, and the effect of cannabis on California road safety. Jeffrey offered to pay for their gas and their trouble. They wouldn’t hear of it.

Matt and Luis wished us luck and drove off into the sunset.


The Ocean Cove hoteliers are a particularly interesting group, fun to talk with after we spent the day with the wind howling in Jeffrey’s ears.  (My ears were sheltered in a plastic bag.)

Richard worked on software for the old USINS nearly 20 years ago. He’s thoughtful, openminded, sympathetic to immigrants, wants laws to be obeyed, and recognizes that we need legal reform.

Tim owns the motel. Tim’s mother is German and Bolivian and speaks 7 languages; her grandfather was mayor of Berlin. Tim has an interesting perspective on immigration law: If a driver’s license took 10 years to obtain from the DMV, or cost thousands of dollars and required legal help, or was unavailable altogether, wouldn’t most of us drive anyway?

Tamar, who tends bar, bicycled across Australia (Melbourne to Albany) and around Tasmania. She gets cycling!

Julio grew up in Honduras. He gets the human tragedy of the present incarnation of U.S. immigration law.

Tim said the roads farther north are better.  We hope for better winds too.

But come what may, and notwithstanding the occasional rude driver, we know we can count on road neighbors like Matt and Luis.  You’ve met others like them on these pages.

Real Americans, regardless of status or pedigree, don’t card us.  They just help.

4 thoughts on “Blowin’ in the Wind

  1. A difficult trip on a gorgeous day in a beautiful area…you sure have had plenty of the same on previous trips, each different and each worth reading. The other perennial is the wondrous generosity and other shared values with those you meet on the road. Reading you gives me hope. Thanks as always, Jeffrey. Keep safe.

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