Years ago a friend made the comment about me and my riding, something along the lines of “What’s with you? Always with the crazy.”
In my experience though, crazy is what makes the good stories, the epic rides and the memories. So when I got up at 4:45AM Monday morning that was the thought that kept me from going back to sleep. Keeping to the normal doesn’t make a great day, doing something fun and sometimes crazy does. Crazy like getting up early so on the Summer Solstice and the 2016 Ride to Work Day you can take the “Long Way To Work”, and watch the sunrise from the Skyline Highway 35.
It was so very worth it.
Right away it was special since there was a full moon on Monday as well as it being the Solstice. It was amazing riding south on 280, I had the sky slowly getting brighter with color on my left and on my right I had the full moon shining down on me as it set in the west. It wouldn’t be the first time on this ride that I wished I brought my GoPro so I could have had some pictures of this to share with you.
The adventure really started as I got on to 92 heading west toward the top of skyline and the coast. My plan was to stop at the vista point at the junction of 92 and 35. This was ruined by a nice blanket of fog that had settled in over the crest and the visibility was down to 500 or so feet. I began to get anxious since the sun was cresting the hills in the east by now (or that was my guess since I couldn’t see it anymore) and I wanted to make sure I got some good pictures. I debated turning back, but instead I pressed on hoping that I would get a chance soon. My perseverance paid off and luckily the fog disappeared after just a mile or so along 35. While I still couldn’t see the sun, I could see the moon setting over an ocean of fog. It was breath takingly beautiful and the pictures don’t do it justice.
I continued on keeping an eye out for a place I could stop and get a picture of the rising sun. The sunrise was lovely as I kept getting glimpses of it through the trees and just above the low growth along the highway but there was nowhere to stop safely for a picture. I rode for a little while before I got lucky with someone’s driveway, and I got a few shots of the rising sun. I wish I could have stayed, but it wasn’t the best spot for a prolonged stay and I did have to eventually get to work.
The only down side to the ride was the constant worry I had of coming across deer. I know they like to move about in the early morning and dusk, but no idea of when this actually was and in the half light I could have trouble seeing them. Luckily the only living mammal I saw on four legs was a coyote.
The half light did more than hide deer though, it created some magical moments as I rode through the redwoods. The light shining between the magnificent trees was amazing at times and again had me really wishing I had thought to grab my GoPro. Maybe next year.
Thank goodness I am always with the crazy.