This trip really has been about being on the other side of healing; rejoicing. I rejoiced at every place we visited. I'm thankful...so thankful for life and living it; for the adventures we were experiencing and for the ones that are ahead of me. I have learned to openly embrace life. The joy, heartbreak, challenges; all of it. Without sorrow, joy wouldn't be so sweet. Without heartbreak, love might take things for granted. Without death, life would mean nothing. I've never breathed so deep and felt so fulfilled.
We stopped at one of the Coastal Access points and walked the path that overlooked the cliffs. There was a small peninsula that occupied a little pocket of the ocean. Beautiful cliffs adorned the sides of the walkway out to the endless blue. The peninsula had rare plant species sprouting out from the rocks and the dirt. I was mesmerized by the most unique succulents I have ever seen. Green succulents that made the abrupt decision to turn red on the tips of their puffy pointy leaves. The flowers, yellow, orange and purple, all competed for the spotlight. The plants clothed and gave life to the bare, stagnant cliffs. The ocean crashed in trying to get a peek from below. It spat and raged at the rocks and turned white with fury as its waves came in for a ferocious landing.
We approached a beach with access off the road and turned in. Although it was foggy, this beach was still very beautiful. We trudged through dark gray/brown sand and I marveled at the charcoal colored smooth stones on the shore. The waves crashed on the beach threatening to become the master of anyone who dared to advance the line it made in the sand. The misty look made the beach feel mysterious. Like anything could happen. I felt like I was walking the beach with Chris Martin in Coldplay’s “Yellow” video. It was actually pretty cool to see the beach in this attitude.
We got down the road a ways and I looked up at the sky. Immediately I was breathless. I told my Dad he was going to want to pull over and see this. He stopped at the next turnout and we got out of the car. The stars were absolutely breathtaking. What made it even better was there was a new moon, so the stars were the main attraction. There has only been one other time that I have seen so many stars and that was in Flagstaff, Arizona at a star observatory. My Dad was in awe and said he had never seen so many stars. I could’ve stayed there all night dumbfounded. It was a beautiful moment and a wonderful memory.
The way down was interesting. I fully acknowledged this thought in the back of my head that if I fell and hurt myself no one would be coming to my rescue. There was no one following me and certainly at that point no one coming up to the top that late in the day. My phone had also died at the top of the mountain so I would not be able to contact anyone if something did go wrong. The trail was definitely physically demanding. Going up was hard but going down required much attention and caution. There was loose gravel, wet rocks, rocks with a coat of dirt that were more slick than the wet rocks and at some points there was water flowing down the middle of the trail. Also, if you remember, my shins and the rest of my legs were hurting pretty good from the downhill run and hiking from yesterday.
Day 3 - May 13 We got up a little late at 2:30 am. I got a whopping 2 hours of sleep. I have to admit time management is not my strong suit. The drive to the shuttle was pretty intense. My Dad was in his zone again. I reached the shuttle at 4:30 just [...]
... Day 2 - May 12 We woke up late today after having such a long travel day with little sleep. Our hotel is an hour and a half away from Bass Lake (where the half marathon is). When we walked outside it was cold and misty. We drove the mountainous route to the expo [...]