I’ve spent more money in the last 24 hours than the previous 24 days. Alive, yes but barely. Waking up deep in a canyon just miles from the Santa Rosa fire has taken its toll on me. I’m crushed as a human being, shaken, rattled and sicker than I have ever been in my life. My health insurance was canceled the day before I left on a journey that is little more than a distant memory as I sit glued to a filthy toilet in the San Francisco Greyhound terminal. It’s over.
One day faster or slower and this nightmare never need come to fruition but there is no use crying over spilt milk, no matter how sour it is. I haven’t stopped puking in 3 days, from either end. My body is shutting down. It may have been fool hardy but I made my break, just shy of 60 miles through the hell of thick smoke. I woke up drained having eaten or drunken very little in three days, my body felt like I had just been run over by a Mack truck but in true fashion I passed every single rider that had left camp before me.
The night I arrived relatively safe from my back country ordeal I fell violently ill. The next day my lifeline to civilization was stolen, my iPhone. I know who took it, they were shipping in people from the local fire shelter. The same ones who were being fed, clothed and given free showers. They were very well taken care of but not well enough to steal my phone, the only way to communicate my situation to my family and the only source I had to navigate the fires. I won’t go on a tangent here but when you let people get away with felonious acts it sends a clear message, a very bad one.
Through the whole ordeal I couldn’t get any response from anyone for help, or info or anything. This changed when the rangers and camp staff learned of my illness, they treated me better than words can describe but I’ll thank them all in my own way when I’m safely home and fully recovered. Getting to Marin was a struggle but I’m in the best shape of my life regardless of how sick I am. With no phone to navigate Marin I was hopelessly lost but no humans would give me the time of day, I felt like a ghost as I tried and failed on so many occasions for any form of assistance. It’s kinda funny I ended up at the gates of San Quentin prison, a place that thieving bastard that stole my phone will never know.
Several hundred dollars later I found the only hotel I could and settled in for a sleepless night. I asked to be moved from the third to the first floor but was given the second. It’s funny how a guy who has spent the better part of the last decade happily phone-less is now so dependent.
Yes my ITB gave me issues but I learned to deal with it. Everything else worked like a dream but in the end, when you least expect it, expect it. There will always be a monkey wrench thrown into the mix. Finally after feeling so invisible for so long I met a really nice guy on the ferry to the city, a fellow cyclist. I was trying to talk and remember spending almost a minute trying to pick up a rubber band I had dropped, thats how far gone I am. He stayed with me till he put me in a cab, my faith in humanity restored. REI shipped my bike and apple sold me a new iPhone 8 yay 🙂 in 24 hours I’ll be in Seattle for a night at the Tortoise and then home to pick up the pieces and start planning the next ride, I’m thinking the Dalton HWY in the spring but for now it will be a a slow recovery with lots of big red to thicken my blood.
I look down at my naked wrist, of all the creature comforts I’ve done without the only thing I really missed was my Rolex. Shaken, not stirred…