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June 22, 2005


Esalen MoonLast Thursday I called the Esalen Institute to book a late night hot bath atop the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Big Sur. Sharon's friend, Joanne was visiting from Toronto and we've been meaning to go there for a long time. I also booked us a room at the Fernwood Resort, twenty-five minutes north of Esalen on highway 1. The girls drove down to Big Sur in the afternoon on Monday and I rode down on my motorcycle after work. It's about a 125 mile drive from Palo Alto. In Seaside, just north of Monterey, I pulled off of the highway into the parking lot of an Econo Lodge to put on a sweater under my riding suit as it was getting cold along the coast. As I was getting ready to leave I noticed that when I squeeze my clutch that my kickstand did not retract automatically as it was supposed to. So, I pumped the clutch three times and the cable snapped. Profanity ensued. On long trips I usually carry a spare clutch cable. I could visualize the cable back home, sitting inside the side pocket of my BMW travel bag. At the same time Suzanne called because she was feeding and walking the dog. I asked her to look for my BMW bag and she found it and the clutch cable inside. She kindly offered to deliver the cable to me, 50 miles away in Seaside where I was stranded. What a great neighbor and friend! The taco stand across the street filled me up with chicken quesadillas as I waited for Suzanne. She arrived at 8pm with the cable and I installed it in about 15 minutes. I've heard that some BMWers pre-install spare throttle and clutch cables along side the existing ones so that when they break you just have to attach the ends to the components and you're done. Mental note: order spare throttle and choke cables tomorrow. I slipped Suzanne some money for gas and I was on my way south to Big Sur. The sky was bright orange-red along Pacific's horizon as I had just missed the sun going down. At the motel the girls and I played a game of Crazy Eights and then slept from 10pm till 12am. We then drove down the highway to Esalen and arrived at 12:45am. At 1:00am we walked down the steep entrance road in the dark with other late night bathers and arrived at the kiosk where we signed in. Cost was $20 per person for 2 hours. We walked over to the poured concrete bath house which was pretty new as the old one fell into the ocean after the big earthquake. Not a bad commuteThe change room and showers were co-ed and the theme was clothing optional. The lighting was subtle and relaxing. We acquired our own square tub that could hold about 8 people. The spring water had a slight sulfur smell and it was heated by elements in a retainer basin just behind the tubs. You just had to pull a plug to let more hot water in. It was a beautiful moonlit night and the view was spectacular. The sound of the ocean lapping up on the rocks as the oil like water reflected the moonlight. Massage table were scattered throughout the room and Sharon and I took advantage of them and gave each other massages. At 2:30am we headed back to the motel as we were all tired. I was looking forward to the morning commute to work up Highway 1 along the coast.

Posted by stephen at June 22, 2005 9:49 AM


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