August 14, 2007 GMT
Feeling high...9,500 ft

Seems strange, here I am writing away just the way I normally would in my own journal and then I get these people sending in comments that never fail to bring on the tears. Well keep it up people, its good for me. I could also do with a better sense of self worth, its been missing for too much of my life. And Cai can't personally help me with this anymore: but his memory can and does. .Thank you all, and thank you Cai! Please excuse the non-publication of all comments sent, some I'd like others to see; others I take as personal and wouldn't publish any personal details anyway Of course I wouldn't write anything that was personal to me either; and pigs might fly eh?

Those redwoods are really awe inspiring, they've had me speechless, whooping in delight and feeling well and truly earthy. The size of the large ones are humongous, this one is named General Sherman and is 11 metres in diameter. They reckon its 2,200 years old, mind you there are a number of others claimed to be the oldest living tree; so who knows, or cares really. I just love the smell and sight of them, how small and insignificant we seem in comparison: until some idiot goes and chops it down!

What self respecting climber doesn't get a stiffy at the thought of Yosemite? Especially El Capitan! I stayed in Yosemite Valley for three days and never stopped looking around gobsmacked at the gorgeous rock. So how many can claim to have climbed on El Capitan? Actually not me, I couldn't be bothered to scramble any further in full bike gear just to make a bullshit claim. Shame the photo just doesn't do it justice.

The pass going through Yosemite started yesterday's ride and is the highest I think I've ridden a bike before at over 9,500 ft. I rode up to 8,000 ft in just a thin top, and don't lecture me about safety! Its my risk and I've not got a death wish, I know the risks and will take what I feel right for at the time. Besides its excruciatingly hot, in the 100's. All the roads were great yesterday, resulting in me riding for over ten hours. Just so awesome I didn't want it to stop! Most was in what I'd call the high country, only towards the end of the day did I descend below 7,000 ft. No way was I going to stop to take photo's, even if there had been turn ins at the convenient places. It was joyous riding that route; Highway 120 east through Yosemite, 395 north to Carson City then Route 50 down to Sacramento. Actually starting to feel good with it all; even the grief when it emerges. For a long time on the ride I was having to control feelings of uncontrollable tears; to the extent of not being able to breath. I feel very lucky to have learnt the various techniques for breathing and relaxing with my meditation and Tai Chi. Take my word for it, they are very useful skills. It also does me good to address Cai at such times, for sure it makes me cry but its feeling good to let the tears flow now. But now onto San Francisco and the northern reaches of highway 1. Laid back beaches and wild cliffs.

Posted by Leslie Kay at August 14, 2007 08:21 PM GMT

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