Last Night In the Orange

location: Sunset Beach, CA
time: jan 13, 2007 8:03pm
~~ lba ~~ -prev

Today was by far the longest non-road hike. It started off on a hill. Overlooking a state park. Just past the Mansions of Emerald Bay. I slept well on that hill. there was too much of a breeze to sleep like an open face sandwich. I stapled a tarp over me using some tent pegs. The highway traffic died off around 9 or so and I was lulled into sleepful submission by the methodic rocking of the surf, and the intermintant hooting of a neighbourhood owl. The hill was on a 10:1 slope so every few hours I had to claw back up under my tarp. It was a welcome change to the motels which have been my haven of late. cheap too.

The town of Newport Beach was next. I found a coffee shop in a plaza filled with very expensive stores. There was a plastic surgeon to boot. The demographic of the neighbour hood was evident by the cars parked outside. Each domestic was a luxury edition, and the imports were in greater density than the domestics. There were mercedes, porches, lamborginis, and a row of ferraris. It appear like there was an expensive race car convention. Inside the coffee shop there was a large table of 30 somethings all wearing ferrari jackets. I was tempted to ask them what it was like to have the blood of american soldiers fueling their cars, but that would have just been mean of me. No matter how Cathartic my arse is capable of better flush. I held my tounge. It is counter productive to make people angry. I feel that a revolution can only happen when people realize for themselves what it is that they are doing that is making this world such a shitty place for some. Its not my place to rebuke someones lifestyle because of their privilege. I myself am privileged. Wealth is relative after all. There is always someone richer than you, just as there is always someone poorer than you. It is tough to find the richest in the world as wealth becomes very abstract once it passes the million dollar mark. it would be impossible to find out who is the poorest, as the masses involved are intangible as individuals. I really shouldn't attempt to define these things as I am no philosopher and am not qualified to make these sophic hypothesies.

if i were evil i would've busted out the keys

I stopped for breakfast in New Port. At a 50's style diner called Ruby's. The food was pretty decent but then it hard to screw up breakfast. I enjoyed the place not for personal nostalgic reasons, but for the hommage it paid to the glory day of the automobile. There was fiftys paraphenalia everywhere. It was gloriously tacky. They had model cars driving around a track hanging from the ceiling. The wait staff were robed in era-style clothing. The girls in short stripped skirts and the gents in ice-cream man uniforms. The place was bustling. As a saturday morning should be for a breakfast joint. I sat at a for two. My backpack serving as my date. She looked pretty sexy on the vinly sofa.

A few miles up the road from the diner the terrain flattened out finally. The highway swooped down to the shoreline and straightened out. It was long and straight. perfect for distance walking. A path had been built for pedestrians and cyclists. I was thankful for it. Finally there was a open clear path for miles.

Huntington Beach is spectacular as far as beaches go. It being January there were few people out on the beach. If it were high tourist season that beach would be packed. It was still pretty busy but mostly on the paved part. Cyclists and rollerbladers were in high concentration. The sandy sand was all but deserted. There was a small contigent of surfers.

The crowds grew in number around Huntington Beach Pier. At the pier itself there were all the usual suspects. Rotund tourists with cameras dangling from their necks, some dirty old men, a religious Zealot, and a Ojimbay player. The Zealots partner handed me a Million dollar bill. He was handing them out to all in the vicinity. I read the bill and on the corners, in very small print, was the million dollar question. Am I going to heaven or hell? Following that in similiar sized font were questions intended to be asked by me to answer the first question. The questions were all geared to make me feel guilty about myself. Questions that any person on the planet would have trouble answering without feeling like their life was somehow inadequate. Who was the final answer. Thats right J-E-S-U-S. I might have paid more attention to the Zealot yelling at the crowd if he wasn't being so blasphemous. Another dinosaur denier. Another person trying to refute historical and archeological evidence. He even had an animatronic ape with him. I didn't hang out long enough to see how he used this prop. I am not a fan of listening to lies. Even if his intent is somewhat noble. I don't hate religion, I am a pretty big fan. I don't like the method of his indoctrination. It is perfectly acceptable for another person to have a different world view than mine. Its when they try to trick people into believing something that is only half truth that I turn my head in disgust. Its similar to my beef with the military. Using an idea of the perfect human to sell something which is just as flawed as humanity. In this case it wasn't turning people into killing machines. He was trying to kill off ideas. Which is just as evil, because it kills potential for furtherment. I am interested in the beginners mind rather than the one that has the arrogance to assume their mind is truth. To quote Lou Reed "if art is the tip of the iceberg than i am sinking below." No one person has the answer. We all have but a piece.

Onward and Upward. North I mean. The beach was just as straight past the pier as it was before. There was a campground marked on my map. I passed it. It was not the campground that I am used to. It was eccentially a parking lot. There were no tents. Just those buses that they call RV's. They were packed in there pretty tight. on angles, excellent use of space. each RV had a family, as well as a fire. I am not sure where the tree bones came from as there were only palms in sight. Shipped in no doubt. I chatted with a family for a little while. They were on vacation. They were just as worried about gas and the price as I am. Slightly different reasons but the same worry all the same. They bid me good luck and I them.

mind the gap

The sun set as I was on the beach. It was terribly beautiful. That ball of fire sinking slowly into the water. Inevitably going out. One thing that I have noticed about these american cities inside the urban centres is that they are almost devoid of the crust of society. Compared to Vancouver that is. By crust i mean, that segment that is on the edge. Walking that fine line between life and death. In Vancouver there is large group of people living on the street. It is rare to walk through Vancouver and not run into one of these folks. Here they have been driven out it seems. I am not sure where they have gone. Prison maybe? I have walked through two counties of excellent sleeping-outdoors-all-year-round weather. I am pretty sure it is because that kind is not welcome here. Perhaps they actually pay them a decent wage here. Perhaps that segment is swept out of the way a little more efficently here. I was expecting a larger population. As the amount of people here is greater. There is evidence of them around but they aren't nearly as prevelant. This fact has lead me to stay indoors here. That and there is little open space left. In Canada and especially Newfoundland it is possible to walk out of a town within 20-60 minutes. Making it easy to avoid confrontation with people who don't apreciate this lifestlye. This is what has led me to this current motel at which I am writing this. I was hoping to camp a lot more than i have been. It is more scary here though. Because it is such a tough market. With any luck this will change once I leave LA county in 2 or 3 days.

I have been tempted to short-cut through this city for these reasons. That would be the easy answer to this feeling of camping insecurity that I face currently. However it would be cheating the cause. I would rather fail trying than to succeed by avoiding difficulties. I am pretty sure I will get my fill of camping soon. Its a bit of an annoyance fearing taking advantage of such an excellent climate for sleeping outdoors. One thing I have learned on the road is to trust your gut. Its a very cliche thing to say. But my gut is telling me that something bad will happen if i try to sleep outside here. It may just be paranoia. I have enough funds to stay in hotels. So will for now.

On the flipside I am starting on the fifth day tomorrow. The first week is always the toughest. Thus far it has been fairly easy. My ankles are a little sore still, they are adapting quick though. I have made good progress. A little over a hundred miles. if the coast is 1200 miles then I am due for 11 more weeks. Which is close to the 2 months and 2 weeks I have figured it would take. Everything is on schedule.

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