Well, folks: I made it to Santa Barbara. I'm in the public library right now (good old libraries and their internet access for the masses:) so won't say much more than that I made it, I'm safe, and I'm super psyched!! This has been an absolutely amazing trip and I can't wait to take some time to actually write about it (preferably with pictures attached!), sometime..... probably after Christmas, and the craziness that will ensue when James and I try to make all of our respective family feel equally that we've spent enough time with them. heh.
It's going to be hard to not spend my days biking, starting tomorrow. I've definitely gotten into the habit of looking at the whole day in terms of where I want to stop and play, how long I have to bike in between, and how I can maximize the (very short!) hours of daylight. The meditative pedaling-along-the-road indefinitely mindset is also something that I'm going to miss once I'm in the swirl of holidays. Plus, fricken biking along the ocean every day? Camping with the waves in the distance? Feeling like I'm bringing bike touring to the masses, each time someone new I talk to says "wow, I would never have thought traveling by bike was possible until I talked to you"? (I'm not making that up. At least three people told me that, almost verbatim.) There's something about this trip that I can't quite put my finger on, but it's amazing. I'm so ridiculously sold on long-distance bike travel.
Ironically, it's rainy and grey in Santa Barbara, not too unlike what I imagine Portland to be right now--except that there's an ocean right by me, and it's not as cold. And there are palm trees. I suppose it's only to be expected that a tour taken in the dead of winter would have its grey days, and I'm lucky that this, my last day, is the worst of them. But more on the littler details of my trip later.
Goodness. I'm so bursting with life and enthusiasm and happiness. Seriously, guys, take a bike trip. It'll change your life:)