I've made it to my first campsite. This is Ventana Campground in Big Sur, which is insanely beautiful. As I'm writing it's 10PM on Friday night (a late arrival because of several complications). I've just set up my tent, an overly-large 4 person tent which I had before the trip so I thought, why not, I'll bring it and live like a king. The king's dinner tonight consisted of undercooked burnt pasta (right? how is that even a thing), a mug of hot water because I was freezing and a half sleeve of crushed powdered 7/11 donuts. Donuts have never tasted so good. l've got a headlamp strapped to my head, and feel pretty good about it.
I have the good fortune of spending my first night out with my buddy Pras (my old roommate) and his girlfriend Genny, two excellent people. They're arriving in about 3 hours so I've got plenty of solo time to soak up this beautiful dark camp alone-ness. I had my first go with my mini camp stove and despite the burnt pasta, I consider it a roaring success. Making a meal on a camp stove automatically means that it's going to taste good.
Today was a Murphy's Law day. It started yesterday evening, when I broke my motorcycle battery trying to attach a cell-phone charger to the terminal. Driving to the mechanic this morning, I got into a minor scrape and dropped my bike and bruised a Porsche, for which my insurance will be put to the test. Considering that I'm totally fine with only a bump on one leg, this was a lesson well learned: never get overly-confident on a motorcycle. Later my saddlebags' zippers broke (both of them) so they were no longer affixed to my bike (a problem). Having taken care of that, and with all the rest of my gear strapped on in a way that only looked half-ridiculous, I hit the road with the sun at a late 4:30. I made a pit stop to don additional layers (I was freezing), and my bike fell over, and my helmet which was resting on the seat fell off and got some nasty scratches on the windscreen. (I can still see fine, only now it's got that distinct flavor of badassery.) So in one day I've tallied more fumbles than even the most accomplished motorcyclist could hope to.
I've also learned that yes, it is possible to be freezing your balls off even on a sunny day in California. But I'm thankful to be safe at my campsite and with a bike that seems resilient enough to handle the 3,800 miles ahead. Sitting at a picnic table in a dark campground sipping hot water has never felt so good.