(This is the last part of the story. If you missed any of the previous parts scroll down to the previous posts. Any feedback or comments on the story is welcome. Thanks for reading!)
I woke up to the sound of the creek, blue sky. Breakfast was like dinner, oats, banana, some energy brick, no sardines. The room was equipped with a little coffee maker and a couple packets of instant coffee, “Guaranteed the freshest”. The last time Matt and I shared coffee it was fresh espresso in Italy. We looked at each other, figured why not, at least it might be a funny way to start the day. We brewed up a pot, took one sip, and decided, “Yes, quite funny”, and promptly poured the rest down the sink where it would serve better as drain cleaner.
Monday’s route was 110 miles of rolling, quiet roads. West on Highway 62 to the town of Prospect, then south along the Butte Falls-Prospect Highway, skirting the base of Mt. McLoughlin and eventually connecting me with Highway 140.
The last fifty miles of Monday’s ride I re-traced the route my Dad, Brother and I took the previous August for our annual, “Berra Boys on Bikes”. Headed east from Fish Lake on Highway 140 to the start of Dead Indian Memorial Road. Just before I reached the junction for Dead Indian Memorial Road a shape that was becoming strangely familiar, almost expected, caught my eye, and yes, it was, a fork! I broke the rhythm of my breath and cadence, quickly picked up the forked, slid it into my jersey pocket, and smiled.
I passed by Big Prairie, a solid sea of beautiful brittle waist high golden grass. My speed slowed as I climbed a small hill and again my focus was drawn to the side of the road. Not a fork, it was softer, more natural, a feather from a Red-tail hawk. The feather joined the fork, omens, symbols, guidance, and perhaps most importantly, affirmations for my journey.
The last twelve miles was a long, open descent down Dead Indian Memorial Road. The smooth hum of my wheels, caressing the golden grassed bosom curves of the hillside. My Grandpa Don enjoyed a similar hum over terrain like this, He and my Grandma would take their Volvo on Sunday drives on California’s country roads.
I rolled into the driveway, back where I started, in the last thirty-six hours, without a motor, without much more than what was in my pockets, my mind, and my heart. And realizing there is a lot to sustain me along the way.