His Heart Comes West

[With a nod to Yehuda Halevi.]

We didn’t have time to enjoy the view.  The road was calling!

But first, breakfast.  And our breakfast companions.

Katy and Dudley are dancers and dance teachers.

L to R: Dudley, Katy

Katy teaches immigrant kids in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.  Dudley branched out into math.  The three humans had a great discussion about immigration, politics, education, openmindedness, and the importance of art. Kindred spirits!

As we left Point Arena port, we met two more Californians.

L to R: Kelan, Austin. You’ll have to guess what they were doing in the ocean in those wetsuits.  We won’t tell.

Kelan and Austin have art degrees.  Through Kelan’s love of food and Austin’s boredom with desk jobs, they came to establish Wavelength Farm.  They enjoy producing healthy food.  Perhaps their respect for nature carries over into their respect for humanity; they support the principles of Human Rights First and the Interfaith Welcoming Coalition.

And as weather-wise farmers, they gave Jeffrey a grave warning.  They said a large “atmospheric river”, sometimes called a Pineapple Express, will arrive early next week from the tropics, bringing at least two days of downpours.  Floods, landslides, and highway crashes are expected.  They advised us to find a safe place to wait out the storm.

We biked through Point Arena on our way north.

Soon we were in cattle country.

Like the beeves, we enjoyed the sea view.

Sometimes we glimpsed wildlife.

The road was well paved, mostly narrow, and often steep.

Descent followed ascent followed descent.

Another day of headwinds and hard work.

We stopped in Elk for route advice.

Guadalupe was interested in the Ride’s history and goals. She was surprised to learn that criminals are provided free lawyers if needed, while innocent asylum applicants are not.

Guadalupe was interested in the Ride and sorry to learn how criminals are provided free lawyers if needed, but innocent asylum applicants are not.

Jeffrey overheard Paul’s strong New Hampshire accent.

Paul is a newspaperman with MendocinoSportsPlus. He’s friends with Steve, who interviewed Jeffrey yesterday. Paul is deeply sympathetic to immigrants and refugees. It’s no wonder: Paul’s refugee grandparents fled Ireland in 1916 following the Easter Rising. He said it was America or the hangman’s noose.

Paul took Jeffrey’s photo and put us on his Facebook page.

We met Jonathan and his sandwich.

Originally from Chicago, Jonathan pieces together a living from working for a local school and various projects. He’s now studying healing arts. He is pro-justice, pro-immigrant, and concerned about economic inequities that make it impossible for many people to live near where they work. Like Austin today, and Tamar on Wednesday, he earlier had passed us on the road.

In Elk, we got a call from Nancy—she’s the heart Jeffrey left in the East—who had come to the West on business!  Our friend Jennifer insisted that before Nancy’s meetings, they come to Mendocino County to check on us.  We met along the road.

Jeffrey. (I’m in the yellow duffel.)

L to R:  Jeffrey, Jennifer.

Nancy! Always surprising us. Always wonderful.

We are staying with them in Mendocino.  Jeffrey (the sap!) is overjoyed to be with Nancy.  And he values her advice.  Our time on the West Coast is limited.  Already behind schedule due to weather and terrain (and maybe Jeffrey’s chauffeurage has something to do it), we are sobered by Kelan’s and Austin’s Pineapple Express warning.  We have to come up with a strategy for making progress despite the approaching storm.

5 thoughts on “His Heart Comes West

  1. Pineapple Express = warm south-ish wind and much rain. They come from Hawaii and head northeast. We get them in Seattle, too, though none is predicted here anytime soon. If you have to lay up for a couple of days while it passes, we’re here for you whenever you get here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy to see that you got your “biking legs” and are making good progress. You are meeting so many interesting people–all for human rights. Good luck avoiding the rainstorms!

    Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.