Our new friend Richard from The Netherlands told us that he met a man during his ride along the coast from Wisconsin who lost his job two years ago and left by bike with his dog in tow in a trailer. The man was aiming to ride back to Wisconsin. Today we saw a couple who were traveling on bike with trailers who appeared to be homeless. The tell tale sign is the bikes may not be of the correct size or type for touring, the clothing is not biker clothing, large amount of stuff in a trailer pulled behind the bike, and an accompanying animal. The road for the homeless seems less about adventure and more to do with survival.
I have a play list on i-Tunes labeled California. It includes all songs about the Golden State. I love my home state. It’s the land of opportunity and it is the promise land for my family. My father was retiring from the Navy in 1970 and he wanted to retire in Japan his adopted country and where my mother is from. His ship he was stationed on, the USS Mars, home port was changed from Yokosuka Japan to Alameda, CA and the family moved as well. I was four years old. When my mother arrived to California she saw the opportunity that it afforded our family. A warm climate, an opportunity at that time to own a home with fruit trees, and a welcoming place for a mixed race family (Japanese and African American) to live. My father interestingly was not fully bought into the idea but there was no stopping my mom once she had an idea in her head. My father retired and we stayed in California.
This is my legacy and the root for my love of California. When I saw the welcome to California sign as we left Oregon it had a deep meaning for me. It always does when I return for our travels. On this Mother’s Day I bow in honor to my mother for planting the legacy of love and belief in a place and a land that’s provided opportunity for my family and for me.