wear your helmet, mm’kay

In life, some times you find yourself cruising down a hill on a small windy country road dotted with unobstructed views of the Pacific ocean, that which lies so close the scent permeates every cell of your existence, the skies blue and the wind calm, and the only thought that breaks up the silence of your content mind is the ever pressing question as where to stop for lunch.

In other moments, like even seconds after the previous, on that very same same stretch of road you’ll find yourself straddling the non-existent shoulder as cars in both directions meet each other at a very timely interval that coincides with your tiny existence, and you might even find your front wheel veering off the road on a 1/2 foot drop to the gravel ditch (a mind that was thinking of lunch is not the same mind you wish to have when facing a matter of survival, though certainly lunch=survival in the most superficial sense). While physics declares this situation unsuitable for forward movement on one’s bicycle, the natural order of things agrees that you are still quite capable of such travels – prooooooooojecticle! – and thus the head goes first, helmet to pavement, soft flesh rubbed raw on asphalt, bones and muscles jarred with sudden and direct contact.

Time stood still for only a moment as I lay there, but when faced with trauma there is a fight or flight reaction that takes place, and I am instantly back on my feet, and wheeling my bicycle to the ditch. I stood there unsure of everything, my head is pounding, my legs are shaking, and the burning of my skin is slowly beginning to make itself known. There is very clearly an ache in my left shoulder that starts to show itself more and more as the adrenaline coursing through my body dissipates, but am relieved to find that everything else is business as usual. The vehicles who had front row of my mysterious self-induced crash are quick to ask if I’m OK, and I assure them that I am though I really don’t know if it’s true – in the true order of Carol-Anneism, I did not want to cause any more of a scene or inconvenience more than I already have (slap me plz). They leave promptly, and I stand there in the ditch, and just stand, standing standing standing away.

Eventually I take assessment of my bicycle, and find that the handlebars are bent to a 45 degree angle and therefore I’m unable to ride anywhere, and do not have the strength left in me to straighten them out, so I stand some more waiting for someone to come along to give me a hand. A few minutes pass, and another bike tourer comes by who I flag down, and it is just my luck that he is also loaded with all of the needed tools to get my bicycle back on the road, as well as a first aid kit to help clean the wounds. I thank him profusely for his kindness, and wave him along his way as I regroup in order to get back on 2 wheels.

It takes only a few minutes back on the bike to allow reflection, and tears start to flow once I realize that if I had not been wearing my helmet, which I have spent years riding without, I surely would not be here right now, not in the way I am or at all. The scars on my helmet tell me what could have been, and I know that I’ll never get back on a bicycle without one again. You can go through your entire life without getting into an accident, but if you do… The experience I’ve gained reminds that when you brave the elements of the \road~life/ that the more prepared you are for survival, the more likely you will survive should it ever come about.

I suspect I have fractured my clavicle, but it’s too soon to tell amongst the swelling. The pain is chronic, thus I gain empathy for those who live in pain indefinitely with no sense of recovery or relief – I know that this will pass eventually, so I ride it out.

The contrast between this time yesterday, and today, reminds me of the fluctuations of life, that the attachments built up around anything so inconstant as life itself is best left written in a journal should you ever wish to remind yourself of once was, as the present moment will never show itself again.

Today, the biggest obstacle I face is my own mind, because there carries all of the resentment and dis ease that grow from the fast-and-easy car centred culture that this country is founded on. The farther I head south, the more apparent it is that the roadways are really not for anything besides vehicles, unless you are able to find acceptance in the constant drone of vehicles, the smells of exhaust, and the ever pressing reality of fatality in crossing over the white line.

To keep humour in my spirit, with the vehicles that press forward and the ones that come from behind, I envision the people in the vehicle without the massive confines of steel enclosing them from the realities of this BEAUTIFUL land, and seeing them as small and vulnerable as I am (but still in their sitting form which is the funny part, those silly people).

The vehicle is the illusion.

You know that you know that you know, no?

Instant gratification – pleasures of the moment and the bloated aftermath of, are often based, and caused by, decisions of a suspicious nature. The decisions that are made too easily, more of an urge than a rational weighing of the pros and cons. ‘Should I forgo a days worth of food in exchange for a bottle of wine – Yes. Should I spend my last $10 on a dime bag off the sketchy guy on the street- Yes. Should I put off paying my phone bill for another day and instead lounge around in my underwear and watch movies all day – Yes.

Then there are the decisions that are made in the middle of a random conversation with a stranger, or made in the middle of the night as you lay awake looking at the ceiling. It is not as though you don’t already know The Way in which to proceed, else there would be no doubt in the first place – there is always one path that goes against the current, and it sits uneasily in the back of the mind. Somebody, somewhere, maybe even your other persona, put an idea in your head; gave you a suggestion, offered unsolicited advice, or attempted to convince you that The Way is not the way for you – whatever, it was enough to have question marks shoot out of your skull and drool dribble down your chin in an adolescent vulnerability.

When I say ‘you’, I am definitely meaning ‘I’ but am assuming that everyone at one point has stood on a street corner watching the traffic lights change from red to green to yellow repeat, wrestling with their self about the direction in which to start walking in. The one direction will lead me to Pizza, and the other will lead me to the Farmer’s Market – kind of like that.

What spurred me to write this, is the series of events that followed after finding myself at an Astoria coffee shop, and a well-meaning man telling me that the back road I intended to take to Portland was ‘too hilly, bumpy, winded too much, has no shoulder, and just plain ol’ no good’, and insisted that I take the road more travelled – the busy highway which was faster, straighter, and flatter. His sincerity and insistence immediately made me doubt my decision, and I thanked him and told him I would take his word for it. The two roads went in opposite directions across town, and I started pedalling towards the highway that he suggested. Except that I just couldn’t shake the feeling that it was wrong, and so just before the mouth of the highway that would lead me out of town and into the country, I stopped and stood in a parking lot and stared at the highway that would soon become my home for 100 miles. I talked it over with myself, weighed the pros and cons of taking the road, and came to realize that if I remained so undecided about taking this route, that it was very clear that it was not The Way for me, even if the other road did prove to suck.

It was a huge win for me – a road that yes was super hilly, windy, and bumpy, but the quietest, humblest road I’ve ever taken, leading me through little hamlets and forest thick with life. On the highways I had been riding on, I was perpetually making noise pollution with my mouth as it was no more disturbing than anything else, yet the sacredness of this road naturally kept my mind calm without the incessant need for expression, other than perhaps a few silent tears and breathless words of ‘You’re beautiful!’ (breathless cuz I was scaling mountains) to the rivers and creeks and trees I came across.

After one of the most incredible rides of my life, I found my self in Vernonia, a town I was excited to get to just because of the promise of romance (assuming they misspelled Verona), and though any resemblance of romance was questionable (unless you considered being wooed by a few intoxicated men as romantic), I did end up having one of the best nights on the road thus far.

Cue Paco. I had just pulled into town, hot and sweaty, tired and thirsty for food (what), and I see another bike tourer sitting at the only Mexican joint in town. Mexican food is by far my most craved genre of food (tomato, avocado, and tortillas F YEAH), so I too stopped in and decided to ‘treat’ myself to a veggie burrito (see paragraph 1 of entry). I walked right by Paco, in true form- a little shy, and sat at the very corner of the restaurant and proceeded to down the complimentary salsa and chips – make that 2 baskets of tortillas chips and 3 cauldrons of fresh salsa (bless the waiter who kept it coming and coming and coming), toying with the idea of conversing with Paco over our one clear shared interest – travelling by bicycle. I went back and forth with myself on whether I should or not, until it was clear that I did in fact want to, else I would have left it alone. I approached him just before my burrito came out, and just after his was finished, and we agreed to meet for a beer down at the local pub. Ballsy and charming, I met him there, and naturally we were able to engage in conversation of biking, routes, and the experiences of travelling solo on the greatest road in existence. A few beers (me, wine) in, we ventured over to the other town pub, which promised to be grimier, more local-y , and thus more exciting.

Had I went against my instinct of introducing my self to Paco, I would have most likely spent the night alone crying into my sleeping bag again, on some uneven rocky hill in the forest with wild animals clawing at my tent, but instead spent the whole night laughing and getting to know the locals, breathing a little life into an otherwise usual night down at the ol’ watering hole. The events that ensue are not necessarily worth sharing – you know, the typical ‘night on the town’ of questionable decisions, alas Paco was the instigator (yes you were!), and I hadn’t have met a few fine folks, or been offered a couch and a place to shower otherwise. In Paco, I found a partner in crime for the rest of the ride into Portland 40 miles down the road, and an amazingly kind James to host me on my first night in Portland.

While I was offered a place to stay to rest my weary head in Portland, I once again had this indecision in staying there, knowing that it was just too easy, and it once again didn’t sit right. So I bid farewell to Paco and his dear friend James, and continued my solo journey- this time in the big bad unknown city of Portland. Confusion ensues – what the fuck am I doing here? I head to the hostel downtown, a gift my sister Nicole gave me in times of need – 3 hostel nights paid for by her, when ever I need them. The hostel felt good in the moment, a warm bed, free WIFI, and a secure place to leave my stuff as I perused town. I immediately paid for a second night, feeling so warm and safe, giving in to my comfort zone. Still, I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing there. I didn’t intend to have it easy in Portland, I knew that if I were to get out of it what I wanted, that I probably wouldn’t find it holed up in a hostel – I wanted the true grit. I spent that night laying in bed, listening to the droning of the snores in the dorm room I was staying, and volleyed the thought of whether I really wanted that second night here. After a few hours of sleeplessness, the decision was made, and in the morning I asked for a refund, packed my stuff up, and decided to leave it to chance- exactly what one does on the road.

I rolled my wheels north, 11 miles outside of the downtown area, into an absurd street festival in St Johns called NoFest, where I instantly felt at home in the helter skelter makeshift set up of live music and ramshackle eccentric folks, feeling more like Commercial Drive than anywhere else I had visited in Portland. Here, the theme of the neighbourhood seemed to be about socializing and networking, with small streets that begged to be jay-walked (this is a must), dive bars heavy with patrons, and dogs and children roaming about without leashes. I found some music that pleased by ears, rolled my bike towards the tunes, and set up my lunch of salsa, kale, avo, peppers and cucumber (all of it not-certified organic for $4.00!!), where ‘Chinook’ instantly introduced himself and decided he was to be my escort around the neighbourhood for the day. I was introduced to everybody that he knew milling around, had my steed looked at in the local bike shop, and was promised some free food and a place to sleep later on that evening.

It was all coming up Milhouse, and THEN! I meet Galen. Granted, it was a predestined meeting, as I had wrote to him on Couchsurfing the night prior looking for a place to sleep, though I had no idea that I would be meeting him at the festival, or at all. When the cute guy in beige, with long wavy sun bleached blond hair approached me, I knew my eyes lit up slightly, because I had been quite interested in meeting — composer, musician, bike tourer, and lives on an old river boat on you guessed it, the river, among other endearing qualities and talents. He promised great conversation and inspired living, and indeed laughs and unique moments presented themselves as we spent the rest of the day, and inevitably the evening, on his boat. I was offered the couch to sleep on, and was softly rocked to sleep on the waters by NOW the best sleep yet. Had I kept that room at the hostel, well, you know- Regret.

The moral of this post is that, YOU ALREADY KNOW what to do, so do it.

Today I take care of some of the mundane tasks that staying in the city beckons, and later tonight am heading to, to my surprise, a Michael Hurley show (he’s still playing music?!). I’ve been at this for a while, and really need to pee and check up on my bicycle, to be graphic of my state of affairs, so please leave me alone while I tend to business. ;p

On the magical road again in a few days.

Loving you lots, really, YOU



I hesitate

as I pull out words from the finite supply of expression

words that reflect my current situation

words shot-gun married with one another

words that can not have meaning with out each other


this mind’s eye needs a varnish

doubt leaving these fingers tarnished

on a keyboard that has no soul

lest I channel mine so bold

my soul reminds when it comes from the heart

there’s no time for rehearsal let. it. Out.


Alright alright! Already.

 Astoria Oregon, the miles no longer matter because this life is beyond the passage of roadway, winding its way through forest and hills, like a fun house corridor. After hours on the road, new dimensions open up and I’ll find myself in hysterics, as though the world is a cardboard cut out without clear definitions until the rattling of a logging truck shakes me back into this plane of existence. Ohhh yeah, must stay alive, want to see more!

 My experience remains that everyone is afraid of each other. Word of mouth paranoia spreads like a pandemic, and I sometimes feel myself getting sick just by contact. What’s a pretty girl like you doing going off on her own? Where’s your husband? Aren’t you afraid?- I’m afraid for you! May god protect you, from others and your own insanity. I almost kill myself with paranoia every time I set up my tent in a random locale; sleeping with one-eye open assuming every crackle of a branch or a leaf brushing against my tent is the sign that a knife-wielding burly man is out there looking to get me. I’m more afraid of the sounds of people’s voices than I am of a black bear (which I did see, and ended up belting the first song that came to mind ‘Time of your life’ – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes). Yet despite the paranoia, I’ve yet to come across anyone that has any other intention than wishing me well with their palms opened offering their love, support, and concern. Until I have a reason to worry, I at every moment have to remind my self that the worry takes me away from living.

 Thus far, I have been apart of a quilting meet up for seniors – oooooooooooooOOoOOO TERRIFYINGly fun with giggles and cookies, walked into a grocery store playing old-time country music where immediately the produce clerk greets me ‘Hello ma’am anything I can help you with? – avocado’s are over there ($0.89) – we sure do play some hokey music in here hey? – Oh yeah? I like it too, never gets old. -you be safe now y’hear’, shared space with a group of super cute boys heading to San Fran on their bicycles (oh if only I weren’t heading to Portland ;p), and have eaten more salsa, avocado, bread, quinoa, and split peas than I have in all of my existence. It’s a hoot being a stranger, because people are more likely to let their guard down and approach you for conversation and shooting-the-shit is a good time when you have no where to be.

 I need to cut this post shorter than I had wanted, because my stomach beckons and the road calls.

 For any bike-tourers out there; the Astoria-Megler’s 4 and a half mile bridge is not scary! So long as you plan it well – 6am start, and the bridge was a breeze. There is an amazing little spot on the cliff at the state rest area just before the tunnel, spend the night overlooking the pacific amongst trees and ferns, just be sneaky lest a burly knife wielding man sees you.

Talk to you for real for real, in Portland.

a quick jot of ‘I’m alive!’

230km in 2 days


I’m writing in the bustling metropolis of Aberdeen WA, which I have not once been able to say without Paula Deen influencing every syllable ‘Ah-burr-dheen’. It’s so fun to say that I’ve been saying, screaming, singing, it for the past 150km since finding it on the map. When I said I do my best thinking on the bike, I meant 1/4 of the time there are profound moments of clarity and insight to be had, and the rest of the time is spent ‘durping’; singing the most awful songs that I didn’t even know I knew and talking to myself about nothing I care to ever rehash. I sit on the sidewalk using a closed coffee shop’s wifi , a carton of wine not far from reach, and a body aching from exertion and sun. When you read one of my posts, you can almost guarantee that I am exactly as I am now, more or less spirited or cliched depending.

Aberdeen is exactly as it sounds zzzz, but has presented me with one gift, and it came in the form of 2 travellers. Meet Alexander and Eina; a son and mother duo from Arizona, who at first glance are unkempt and weather torn, dressed in sun bleached tweed and impractical layers of varying degrees , skin bronze and hair yellow like straw, their eyes mad with life and knowing. They went for a bike ride from his farm in AZ to escape the heat of the day and 4 months later find themselves on the 101 in Washington state. They just decided to keep going. They’re riding cruisers, and have bags strapped to their handlebars with bamboo and twine holding it all together, which they spend a lot of time pushing because the setup would make any hobo proud. They shared cherries freshly picked off the road side, grilled me with questions and sound advice, and left me a very important contact in N.Cal for when I arrive there. They’re heading down the same road I left behind.

Oh and that road. The absolute joy of riding on a desolate rainforest highway, the fog just above the tree line so thick with moisture that drops of water hit my grinning cheeks and what comes is a mystery until I happen about it. The grandness of the ocean pressing so closely to the shore, so hazy and obstructed by fog that only the sound of the waves can fill in what the eyes can not interpret. I spent last night at Ruby Beach, a place so beautiful that any name or word you use to describe it only putrefies it. A sign with an arrow pointing down the road that leads to the beach could be the only marker and it would be the better for it. I arrived so torn up after a long ride, that despite the ‘no camping’ signs, I ended up there for the rest of the evening and into the night, so peaceful and comfortable, noshing on avocado/kale/sprouted bread/cayenne/pink salt sandwiches, snoozing, and breathing to the sounds and smells all around me. I watched the sun set, one that only the west coast could ever do justice, and pitched my tent in the only space where prying eyes and the mighty winds could be kept under control. The best sleep.

This road was not without its challenging times. Imagine yourself straddling a white line because the highway gods decided against a paved shoulder, and the sounds of a beast of a machine coming at you on your left. The wind picks up and the sounds of engines revving and rubber on pavement become your prime focus as an RV comes careening only a foot away, chubby children pressing their nose to the windows as they watch you teeter due to the immense amount of energy that just molested your space, as the back of the RV swerves into the white line just shy of your front tire. Thus was my experience for a good 40 or 50 miles (miles?! ah), profanity and screams replaced the happy-go-lucky songs of times gone by, and the thoughts of ‘WTF WHY AM I DOING THIS’ replaced the idyllic thoughts of ‘ahhh yes, where I ought to be mmm yes’. I rationalized that no one wanted to kill someone on their family vacation, so I did eventually find peace amongst the imminent fear of death, and when the road gave way to silky smooth pavement a full meter away from the white line, I appreciated it, and appreciated it – true love.

It’s 7:30pm, and that means the sun is due to set in less than an hour and I have not an idea of where I’ll be pitching my tent for the evening. I feel inclined to skip this town, in search of greener pastures south of here. Normally at this time of the evening I would locate a community park and set up for the night, but with the amount of reported theft and the amount of hillbillies that I’ve come across (I can say this, having grown up a hillbilly, sorry mom), I think I’d best get on the highway before shit goes down and I’m stuck here in the dark and lonesome.

More to come in Raymond, where I hear there are some amazing cherry trees to climb.

Sending love to you (you’ve come across my mind)



First peep

Some times the desire for something ~~ annnnnnnything ~~ to happen, shoots streams of sensation into the lower extremities of my body until I feel mad with passion and the only temporary relief I can muster up the courage for is hands on, which barely registers to the fantasies that come along with it.

I don’t necessarily mean in the sexual nature either, though they are there and they are wicked. More the desire to vomit up my inner world into the outer with full expression of the chaos that resides, and the feeling that only a meniscus of doubt keeps the massive flow of energy from realizing itself. The energy that bounces through out, that pulses and burns with unresolved tension; words left unsaid, smiles left unsmiled, boogey woogeys left unboogey woogeyed, what ever the fuck (fucks left unfucked, too). Whatever remains unexpressed is shouldered in the confines of body and soul, and my shoulders are aching.

It is not as though ~ that all life is pain and suffering ~ but there is no remedy required for the joyful, ecstatic spaces of time and mind that separate the crises that are undefined and buried. Let those continue without boundaries! I say. Only illusions of grandeur keep guard to the reality that presses forward, that everything, and nothing, matters – all is one and the same! Every thing said or done by you is done by me! ~~ The separation of another, nothing more than ego stating its case. I find comfort in these thoughts, assured that my fears of expression are futile and selfish, as only the ego can be.

Bringing me to the point, and pointlessness, of this blog – to share my inner world with the outer, which is nothing new but new to me. I’m so far touring the west coast of the U.S on my bicycle, alone for now (but oh I would love to ride with another!), and will be writing whatever comes to mind; I do my best thinking on my bicycle. My first real destination is the Redwood forest in N.Cal, and there lies a flurry of question marks and ‘ohhh shit what am I doing”s, split decisions based on what I hope is intuition and not insanity, with focus on cultivating an open heart. A free mind does not, nor does a free spirit, equal a free heart, something that needs differentiating though they are all connected. A closed mind doesn’t know the heart is closed, so therein lies the power of the free mind, and a free spirit is aware of both and needs only a direction.

I am writing this entry sheltered in a cemented open-space area in downtown Port Angeles, and I’m not really sure why it exists but it is loved nonetheless. Today was the first rain in the area in over a month, (giggle giggle smirk) so though the spot lacks any life at all save the signs of – cigarette butts, wrappers, and graffiti – the roof stops the rain from falling on my keyboard so I am blessed. I got off the ferry from Victoria this afternoon with the intention of making it to Forks, Twilight fans rejoice, but had doubts about leaving town as the day grew shorter and wetter without all of the comforts I wanted to buy, and so decided to spend the night in town. I remind my self that there is no hurry to get any where, and to examine any doubts I have in the process, because ultimately any indecision in life is the precursor of denying intuitive thought. Oh we already know.

I felt the urgency to start this blog, content and appearance be damned, so at the very least I have a point of focus on which to operate on. So now that I’ve dipped my toe into the proverbial sea, I’m going to stake out a spot to pitch my tent for the night, meander through town, and see what the evening brings.