Maps and naps.
The first morning in many days, waking up late and feeling refreshed. As the pressure of the past vanished as the new day began, I was lost on what to do. No bags to pack, no bikes to prep. Almost as if half of my life was missing, a life of consistency and repetition.
I would pack my sleeping bag and sit up, harassed by the cats before I can make a move. Robin threw down some cat-nip on the porch, instantly away the cats went. Rolling, purring, tripping on what seemed like a feline narcotic. Never seeing this before, I couldn’t help but laugh and watch in wonder.
As we all staggered about within the apartment, Robin, Dirk, Jen and I started the day off with more twisted jokes and laughter that would have you gasping for air. A big bowl of oats and some coffee, we set off on our separate ways. Robin was tied down to studying, Jen needed to work while Dirk and I was left to wander the huge city of Vancouver.
The legs became tired quickly, the loss of “walking” muscles was to blame. After two months spent on bicycles, a vehicle felt too fast, yet walking seemed too tedious. I will admit, walking block after block of downtown mayhem while watching cyclists cruze the streets made me miss the efficiency of two wheels.
We saw the bay, walked the beaches and got lost in the maze of streets crossing the bridge into a magnificent park. Overflowing with people enjoying the summer sun, the park was the place to be. We picked a nice grassy patch and dozed off. Waking only to remain seated and begin a good hour of people watching. Special lanes for cyclists, skaters and pedestrians snaked about the park, flowing with as much consistency as a highway. I was amazed at the fact that I did not see any accidents.
Later on that evening we found ourselves back at Robin’s place, hungry and tired. With another one of my power bars, we set off to the beach. A local hangout known only by those of the neighborhood, we sat back and watched the sun set to the west. As the shadows grew long and the air became cool, the last rays disappeared behind the mountains, reflecting off the bay like gems. It was now time for a fire.
Making a field-trip to the local store, Robin, Dirk and I picked up an array of sausages and snacks. Navigating our way through the dark, missing the rocks scattered about and short stairs leading to the water, we returned to a fire and our friends. As a huddle, spears and raw meat in hand, we hung our dinner over the embers. With much patience, our eyes remained fixed on our food as we socialized. Rotating the stick to speed up the process, some sausages lost their lives that night. Falling into the fire due to the clumsy hands bearing the sticks, laughter erupted as the sausages or marshmellows met their doom. As we began to become full, conversation began to slow and the night sky opened up. The sound of waves laping onto the shore along with the laghter of other groups in the distance echoed in my head as I sat back and enjoyed the night. A good day in my book, one that was stress free and totally sporadic. As I lay falling asleep on the floor of the living room once more, I begin to think of ways to pursue north. How we will reach the last state on the list. One so vast and so far, I hope it doesn’t remain only a dream.