Biking along the Pacific and passing the homes of wealthy, aristocratic families. For a few hours I soak up the sights that they wake up to every day. The truly wondrous, childlike sensation of riding a bike as the wind whips thru my hair and I take in salt air with each breath. I get toasted by the sun and bitten by endless insects, peddling along the edge of America.

Looking out at the enormous waves crashing into the jagged rocks along the west coast, I fix my gaze on the tide pulling at the sand. The sea-birds racing after fish that are swept to the surface, their black feathers clash with the deep blue dyed ocean. The white frothing foam atop the waves’ crests collapsing onto it self. The mystical and timeless energy being transferred, taking and contributing to plants, animals, and people with the uncontrollable flow leading life forward.

Looking at the King’s Canyon River to my left, there the transparent green water rushes down from the mountains and flows to the sea. This fluid starts as hydrogen and oxygen that melt from frozen flakes of snow and shards of ice. The billions of drops of water that combine to a trickle, to flow into a stream that cascades over brown granite cliffs that are centuries old, which have carved a valley out of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The water all collects into a creek that builds to a river and the rushing current crumbles the soil and carries it down stream. The ceaseless movement marches on day and night, shaping the boulders, smoothing their surface and creating titanic rapids.

The scorching sun steams the moisture back into the air and the cycle repeats. I feel small in such a complex system, but at the center of it all. The sound of whoosh, shush, splash, roar and crash emit from the water’s collision with a deafeningly soothing melody. The incredible scenery compiled of enormous slabs of brown dusty granite rocks, towering all around me. The earth standing erect pilled into lumps of tiny pebbles and gigantic boulders, which have been ripped across the land from glaciers that are long gone.

The morning light of the dry, hot Mojave Desert sun charring my skin red in absolute silence. As I struggle forward, watching tiny lizards’ race across the sand, leaping around a spiky cactus without a sound or sense of time. The coast curves to a cove, far off in the distance, an oasis where the water collects and is mixed in a subtle current. I go for a swim, finding my right foot in ice cold water and my left foot in a patch of warm waves. I get fatigued swimming up stream as the current pushes my body down with enormous friction. I pull myself onto a sizzling bumpy boulder of limestone to dry off and regain my strength. I loiter in the soft golden beams of sunlight, watching the tiny blackish fish swim around my toes and rub my feet on the soft, slick algae that gives that pond its green tint.

The enjoyable spectacle of universal forces leaves me thinking, reflecting and dreaming of the lonesome freedom that lies within the urban life, which is realized in the spirit of the wilderness. Thinking how odd it is that I was in the hustle and bustle of the city’s smog and noise only hours ago. Now here I find myself, a world away, but having never left the nation. Simplistic moments of nature that make me feel more natural. Staring at the sunset and trying to recall the countless times I have watched it go down. Still it is always different and fascinating, compelling and captivating. The sight of the closest star in the sky, this ball of fire we call the sun, offering heat and light.

The same can be found in a campfire’s glowing dance of flames and graceful flow of destruction, which leaves an ash of white from the enormous logs that once towered and fed it fuel. Its gets very cool at night, but the sky is filled with thousands of stars, dotting the deep blue night sky. Moon beams glow down to offer enough light to read by, I guess people can adapt to just about anything. For one person’s niche is another’s rut. I have nothing but high regards for those who help balance out the universe, offering sharpened skills that most others have dulled. Those who make an effort to seeking out the path over the mountains, following the cobblestone road, dealing with storms of fire and brimstone, only to find a tropical, fertile oasis awaiting them and discover that their diligent efforts as appreciated and admired by those who continue to wonder what lies ahead.

 

Background:
Only a few miles from Monterey, CA on the south side
of the Monterey peninsula, lays Carmel, CA. Here is where you will find the 17 mile drive, where I took a day trip by bike in July of 2007. The
trail is seventeen miles of sea and sky, along the Pacific coast of
California. The trek begins at Pacific Grove Gate and then goes along
the Pacific coast and for part of the way through the Del Monte Forest,
where there is a number of large villas. The forest is impressive by
reason of its rich abundance of cypress trees and the Monterey pines.
The surrounding area is rich with lush green golf courses and decedent
dream homes set graciously behind elegant gates. Ranging from zero to
150 feet above sea level, the entire route rises and falls over such a
wide range that it feels mostly flat. The rises are moderate with a few
slightly steeper but short hills.

The first seven miles is graced with
a comfortably wide bike lane. The last 9.5 miles follows narrow and
often shoulderless roads. Fortunately, the roads are curvy and that
effectively helps to keep speeding motorists at bay. Starting from
Lovers Point in unpretentious Pacific Grove, the route follows the
rugged shoreline on Oceanview Boulevard and Sunset Drive before turning
into the gated community of 5,300-acre Pebble Beach Golf Course.

The
trail skirts along coastlines of pure white sand and treacherous rocks,
and encounters flora and fauna found in few other places. There are
several scenic spots along the way. One is Shepherd’s Knoll, which
looks out over Monterey Bay and the Gabilan Mountains. Another decedent
view comes at Huckleberry Hill, a higher elevation that is known for
its native huckleberry bushes. In addition, there is the Cypress Point
Lookout, which offers magnificent views of the Big Sur coastline. Here
you will find a spectacular a 200 year-old cypress tree whose tenacious
hold on the rocks offers inspirational accolades.

Suggested links:

The Monterey Bay Coastal Bike Trail
Monterey Bike Rentals
Monterey visitor’s info

Bio: Aaron Karmin is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in
the state of Illinois. He recognizes the need for flexibility and
creativity to address the mind and body.