Sunday, March 6, 2011

And So It Goes

Buen viaje. Suerte. Vaya con Dios. Live long and prosper. Saying goodbye is always hard. To make the goodbye easier, we have been trying to fine-tune our farewell wishes. May you one day produce beautiful children. May you write a great American novel. Find wisdom? All are awe-striking endings to a good visit but nothing closes the day like a good sunset.

I have seen the sun set more times then I can count, but I have been waiting twenty-two years to see the sun rise out of the ocean. But that day finally came.

It was hard to leave Todos Santos, but with a couple of Mario’s fish tacos in us we were on our way. The 60 miles to Cabo shouldn’t have been so excruciating, but after not riding for two weeks, I found myself struggling to remember how to pedal. Plus, crossing the Tropic of Cancer provided us with a little more sun and a little more sweat. To say the least.

Well anyway, we couldn’t have picked a better time to come into Cabo. At dusk, on a Friday night equals lots of tourists and lots of loud music bumping. Everyone was maxing out the Ford Ranger’s subwoofers, Baja’s auto of choice. Well, we were pointed in about a hundred different directions but finally found ourselves tucked away in a dark parking lot corner. Beachfront view. Woofers bumping and mega-hotels lighting the granite sand beaches. We were ready to call the night and pitch the tent.

I’m not proud to say we ate peanut butter and jellies for dinner, but when you’re bike touring, a PB&J is almost equivalent to a Dairy Queen Blizzard or a jar full of Nutella. Like I said, not our proudest dinner, but it was delicious.

After dinner, this is how it usually goes: Davin, smelling particularly ripe, usually reads something classic before closing his eyes, right now, Hemingway. Acey will carefully fold every article of clothing to form the perfect pillow, and me? I will scroll through the i-thang to find some tunes to sing me to sleep. I fall asleep so fast though, I barely make it through the first song.

And last night, I slept like a bear in hibernation. I was actually so wiped out that I’m amazed I was able to walk the next day. But nothing could keep me from seeing the sunrise. I woke feeling well rested and walked to the beach.

Alright, so I haven’t ever given birth, but it was like how a pregnant woman knows when the baby is coming. The sky started to become more intense with light. I was thinking, it looks like the sun just set. You know, when the light is still lingering after the burning ball of gas passes beyond the horizon? But the sun didn’t set, it was rising. I started to get butterflies in my stomach. Not yet, almost. Almost. The sky was getting brighter and brighter but still had that soft, early morning glow. And then... Hark! The crown of the baby’s head coming through the vaginal canal! No, just kidding, but it was kinda like that. I felt the moment that the sun crested above the horizon, I was thinking, NOW! And so it was. It was beautiful. A slim glint of light that was rapidly growing in size.

I looked over to my right. And next to where I sat, a local guy slept in what looked like an easy-up cover. A rectangle that zipped up, basically. He unzipped it from the inside, put his hands behind his head, interlacing his fingers and watched the sunrise with me.

Maybe this says something about me. Maybe something that I don’t want to admit, but within a few minutes the sun was fully out of the water and it was beginning to cast little shadows on the cold sand. I began to think to myself, wow, I have seen the sun set, and now I have seen the sun rise. But now I just have to see them both in the same day! Visualize a greedy grin spread over my face.

I didn’t think this was going to be attainable, at least not in the near future, but little did I know I would be watching the sun set into the Pacific almost 12 hours later. Bound for La Paz, from the bus window, a great ending to a beautiful trip. The sun dove into the ocean.

So how am I going to send my farewell wishes from now on? It’s going to be hard to think of something concrete, but it has to be something original too. Maybe something like: In your travels, may you have the sensation of childbirth when you look at the sun rising out of a large body of water? A little wordy and maybe something actually got lost in translation. But so it goes.