Nipomo (Bill’s Farm Hostel) to Hollywood, CA
I think Bill’s hostel needs more description. Bill owned goats and chickens. The roosters
woke us up sometime around 5 a.m. or perhaps earlier. Bill himself hardly heard a thing said to him, but he energetically talked your ear off if you let him. Everything in the house felt dirty, but for very many years, Bill’s guests cleaned his house. I doubt he ever cleaned his whole house by himself in his life. The sun heated Bill’s showers and his hot tub. Many plants produced fruit all around the home, but these, too, appeared as though they received no care. Often, Bill told us stories which he transformed in to life lessons. Articles he wrote peppered the walls along with pictures of women he respected and proof of his environmentalist exploits. Bill owned piles of bumper stickers with catchy slogans on them. My favorite read, “Copulate not Populate”!
What seemed 100% clear was the fullness of Bill’s life. After our time with him, I came to believe Bill loves people with a deep passion. A sign on the front door reads, “This is not
a business. It is my passion and my hobby.” Bill’s passion centered on providing for others and allowing them to provide for him in return. Essentially, cooperation with and love for strangers coursed through Bill’s veins. I felt this deeply when he gave us delicious fresh goat’s milk and pork. It is a hilarious story. Bill once owned a pig named Sarah Palin; he slaughtered it; and he gave us some bacon and sausage from it. In the morning, I cooked Sarah Palin and ate her. Hysterical details like this nearly hide Bill’s heart overflowing with generosity.
Bill gave me more than just milk, meat, and a place to stay. He inspired me. Bill showed the best of humanity. He displayed the beauty of a life lived with love for those who needed a place to stay and a meal to eat. One day, I hope to be just like Bill.
From Bill’s, we rode through a very depressing town called Guadalupe and onward to a city called Lompoc. Lompoc is a military town with a very large air force base next door to it. We ate at a Chinese buffet there. I love Chinese buffet. From Lompoc, we rode to
the sweetest campground of the whole trip. It is called Refugio State Beach. As soon as we arrived, we saw dolphins swimming in the water. The hiker/biker ended up being the best campsite in the entire park. We set our tents up under large palm trees on nice grass right next to the beach. We watched the sun set over the ocean and fell asleep to the sound of the waves. My favorite part was the giant birds who dive bomb the water to pull out fish.
From Refugio, we went to Santa Barbara. We rode through the bike paths of UCSB (University of Santa Barbara), and it was amazing. I feel jealous of everyone who ever went there. That night, we stayed with the daughter, son-in-law, and grandson of my great friends Kevin and Marian Neuhouser. This ended up awesome. Staying in people’s homes really feels great when on the road. They owned a wonderful house, and they were very friendly and hospitable. Becca and Tovi were there names; there son Cruz tried tirelessly to speak to us. It felt good being in a loving home.
When we awoke that morning—it was a Sunday—I looked at Tyler and told him we were going to Hollywood. I said, “Let’s go. Let’s go the whole way.” So we set off, and we rode 116 miles. The ride was amazing. We met another rider named Debbie who took us out to lunch at In ‘n’ Out in Ventura. We rode in a bike lane on the freeway, and for over 10 miles, we flew passed bumper-to-bumper traffic from the middle of Malibu all the way to Santa Monica. When we reached Santa Monica, we rode for a couple hours inland until we reached Hollywood. We made it. We did it. The first thing I did was call my mom.
We did not find ourselves. My perspective changed, yes. My sense of what I can do changed. My capacity for perseverance increased. G-d never appeared in a bush. No powerful revelation came over me. What happened on that bike trip may never be easily definable, as often as I might try. What we learned and the refreshment of the self may never be clear. We began to see more obviously the walls that separate us as people. These walls come in the form of amenities that prevent us from expressing and accepting love. They keep us safe, stuffed, and isolated. Part of living in G-d’s kingdom where love abounds involves deconstruction of these walls, both physical and metaphorical.
The final thought I have is one of encouragement. If there is something you want to do, do it. Do not let anyone tell you that you are crazy. Live in the power of your hopes. The only thing stopping you from doing what others will call impossible is believing them. With G-d, all things are possible. Focus yourself on Love, and nothing will prove too difficult. Nothing.
I Love you.