Well, the trip really began on July 14th, that was the day Hanson and I planned on leaving for an all American cross country train hopping adventure. That was until we discovered the severely heightened rail security that's been in place since Sept. 11th and that being caught hopping meant 6 months jail time. Abashed but still up for adventure, we decided to bike from San Francisco back to LA and within 30 minutes had bought 2 plane tickets.
We gave ourselves 1 day of prep time (or rather, we saved 20 dollars by buying the tickets for the day after) which proved invaluable. We bought all kinds of supplies at least half of which were useful and one, although being the single worst buying decision of my entire life, proved hilarious. See, I figured that bungeeing my sleeping bag to the back of my bike would be impractical, necessitating a new much more expensive backpacking style bag. Until I saw the emergency bivy. That's right, the crunchy aluminum kind. Only 6 Oz. and rated 50+, how could I possibly go wrong? Anyway, we'll come back to that later. Oh it's also worth mentioning at this point that when I lost the last pair of good biking shorts available at Sports Authority to Hanson over a game of rock paper scissors and picked up a pair of similar but slightly less durable looking shorts, Hanson noticed. Remember that.
We left the next morning all supplied up and ready to fly out of LA, or so we thought. Apparently, to fly with a bike you need a special bike box, of which none are kept by ANY airliners ANYWHERE under any circumstances. Fortunately for us, Hanson has an iPhone, which we used to find a moving place 1 1/2 miles away. We hailed a taxi and raced off with only an hour to spare before our flight. Upon arrival I was informed that a cardboard box big enough to hold my bike would be $50. Whatever, we had a plane to catch; I shelled out 50 big ones and stuffed my bike into the box, literally.
I was down $70 (taxi + box) but my spirits were still high. We landed late morning and didn't make it to Hanson's apartment until 3 or 4 at which point he had to pick up the bike he was borrowing for the trip and take care of some pre trip business. We didn't leave until 6PM; Hanson wanted to wait and leave the next day, but I wouldn't hear of it, there was adventure to be had! So we set out and rode from the north eastern edge of San Francisco west and then south along the coast, getting lost every 45 minutes or so. Eventually we stopped for dinnerat a grocery store and picked up cups of hot wings from the deli and some mac n cheese. Bad idea. Oh, and my back light was stolen while I was buffalo winging.
About an hour later the bike path turned to highway and with me tail lightless we decided to pull off into the next available stop and make camp for the night. This turned out to be Fort Funston. We hiked into some bushes and cleared a patch big enough for our sleeping pads and bivys, ate some more buffalo wings, and tried to sleep. One thing about northern California: IT'S FREEZING! Those of you that know me well, know how anti tent I am. There we were, in the freezing cold lying in fetal position trying to stay warm, I didn't even bring a sweatshirt. We had to sleep back to back but even then, I only got about 1 or 2 hours of sleep. The rest of the night was shivering and sweating, which you do a lot of in a stupid emergency bivy because the thing doesn't breathe at all; during the few minutes you do find sleep you sweat and wake up moments later in a pool of freezing perspiration.
But despite all of this, I was still excited. It made me feel alive to be out, sleeping under the stars in a place I probably didn't belong, knowing I'd be on the move for days to come with one of my best friends. The possibilities were endless; it was like one of my daydreams had come to life.