Baja Divide: day one

I woke up in my lower bunk bed around seven thirty. There were four other women in a 10-person room, and all of them tidy and silent. My kind of hostel. After a bagel and coffee and shower, I spent an hour or so packing and rearranging my befuddling mixture of bike bags. How come I have less stuff than I did on PCT? This huge bike and I only have one pair of pants. What if I get really cold? It gets cold in the mountains, even in the desert. My last minute choice to leave my leggings behind was nagging at me.

I felt alright for not having slept much for two the last two nights. I’d stayed up most of the night packing, then took Amtrak from San Jose to San Diego. On the last train, Los Angeles to San Diego, every single passenger seemed to be loudly drunk. I’d spent the four hours dozing off and then waking up in a panic to go check on my bike.

It was a sunny morning in downtown San Diego when I rode out of the hostel. I spent the first couple hours playing with my electronics. Probably I should have spent more time learning how to use my Garmin before leaving.

I rode by a naval base and for a second I was part of a motorcycle gang of navy guys. Just like Top Gun, except wearing helmets. I did pass a BBQ that had some “as seen in Top Gun” posters. Maybe that’s where Tom Cruise serenaded Kelli McGillis.

I rode by a bunch of malls and suburbs. The traffic wasn’t that bad but sometimes I just skipped it and rode up on the sidewalk. The GPS track jumped from roads to trails. There was one section of actual mountain bike trail, this groovy little trail that was full of mud and puddles. Also, some sand trails. I even fell once, a long, slow motion, overly dramatic, downhill skid into deep sand. Last second, I got my foot down and walked off my bike as it went down.

I ate some oranges and an energy bar in a park and later I stopped at Carl’s Jr. for some fried zucchini and to fill up my water bottles. Around sunset I came to park with a little lake and rolled around on the side trails. I found a flattish spot next to the lake. A little too close to the road but maybe traffic would die down later.

I couldn’t find my spoon at camp. Could be it dropped out, could be I packed it someplace and it’ll turn up. Too early to mourn. I ate my tuna packet and chips with my hands and later some peanut butter with my knife. It was nice to finally be back in the tent. I should write something profound about being on adventure. But really I’m tired and I think I’ll just watch Netflix while I still have cell service.

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