Fast forward 14 years. Blue Mesa passed away on March 30th 2011. A month after Mesa passed above the earth plane, I was on another bicycle tour. This tour was along the California Coast near Big Sur, from Carmel to Santa Barbara, along PCH1. Cloudy skies created a surrealistic atmosphere as we pedaled south along the California Coast. Rained fell on us from the very beginning of the tour. Just like the tour in Colorado back in 1997, the rain started at the very beginning of the bike tour and continued for the half of the tour.
Four days later, we left the coast and climbed up over the coastal range from Cambria. The rain turned into a downpour as I made my way up the climb. At the top of the climb, exhausted, soaked and very cold, I felt once again pushed against the edge of my mental and physical limits.
After a 2000 foot climb from the Pacific Ocean, I met Blue Mesa at the top of cloud shrouded summit. On the top of the summit, rain continued to pour down. I was frozen, and winds were whipping around from all directions. Then I looked up and saw a lone hawk circling. I instantly knew the hawk was Mesa’s spirit. Mesa was telling me he was fine now and in a better place. I cried. I stayed on the summit for a while, watching the hawk circling. Then the hawk flew away. I started the descent from the coastal range summit. The rain stopped about an hour after I met Blue Mesa’s spirit. The rest of the ride consisted of rolling steep hills up and down through wine country. I didn’t even think about stopping and visiting any of the wineries. I knew the rest of the afternoon’s ride was going to take every ounce of my energy just to make it to destination of the day’s ride. We ended the day’s ride in a town called Paso Robles.
The next morning, I awakened to a surprising sight. Rays of sunlight beamed through my room. I saw sunshine for the first time this morning during the bike ride. The sunshine lit grounds of the lodge looked so bright after all the dark skies of the previous five days. The sun shined brightly the rest of the tour, just like the sun shined on the second half of the tour back in 1997
On top of Blue Mesa summit in 1997, I met the spirit of my dear departed black PC. A year later, I got Russian Blue kitten and named him Blue Mesa in honor of that place.
Fourteen years later, Blue Mesa passed away. During this ride, in a town called Paso Robles, history repeated itself. So I named my next cat Paso Robles. And the cycle of life continues.