Trapped Once Again

location: Santa Barbara, CA
time: jan 19, 2007 6:21pm
~~ lba ~~ -prev

I didn't make it much farther last night. about 4 miles or so. Then the road i was following went under the highway and ended. The bike route went onto the freeway. It being very dark out, and I dressed in black, I decided to call it a night. I threw down my tarp next to a oil derrick. It was a bit noisy but then the freeway was louder, and the intermittent train traffic wasn't quiet either. All in, I slept pretty well. Its an easy thing to accomplish when one is tired enough.

I woke up in the morning to a methodical puffing. It sounded like a distant steam train. I looked around and saw a gentleman out for a jog. He was swinging 2 dumbells and puffing with each swing. It was a humorous sight combined with sound. I smiled and said hello. He didn't miss a huff, he nodded in recognition, and on he went. I had a powerbar and a grapefruit and was off myself.

the freeway hike was ridiculous. Plenty of shoulder, but there were bushes that portruded out over it. At one point i was a mere foot from heavy, heavy traffic. I tried the tracks to my right but they were worse. No spots except right dead centre. It is a busy little corridor. I pushed on. Eventually I made it to the private villa of Sea Cliffe. It was at this point that a nice little road developed next to the tracks. It was wide and flat. Much of the aggregate was swept away by heavy foot traffic. The large mansions ended and it was just me the track and the ocean. The water down a rather large cliff. Probably the reason for the name of the last town. No it wasn't a town. towns have stores businesses and at least one church. It was a private community. Yes thats it.

Down the tracks a little further a park opened up to my right. I clambered up a small slope and found a beautiful set of trails. There was a lady Walking her dog with a coffee in hand. I reacted quickly as she passed. "where did you Get that Coffee?" She said "At starbucks." Curses I thought. I didn't notice the sleeve. She informed me of the location and quickly said "I'll walk you to the road and show you where to go." We chatted, I told her what I was up to. She was intrigued. Her dog Jasmine bugged me to play fetch. Dragging a huge stick out of the bush. It reminded me of my Treeplanting Supervisor's dog Abbey. always on the stick. Like doggy crack. Jean took me to the parking lot and offered me a ride to the Starbucks. I took it. It was but 1/2 a mile and I was glad for the company. Her car was packed with all her personal belongings. She told me how she was a nurse and currently engaged in getting a job in the area. She was from Georgia. He thick accent prompted me to ask. I barely fit in her car. She had plants in her back seat and the rest of her personal effects everywhere else. It was an act of human origami to fit in there. I am sure that she could smell my stinky dirty socks, as i keep them in the top pocket of my pack and that was directly in her face.

I bought a coffee at starbuck in hope that there might be an open port I could tap into. No such luck just that T-mobile stuff. So I left sipping the rather tastey coffee. Pleased to have met yet another person who isn't afraid of pleasant people, even if they are strangers. I don't feel bad for getting in the car. Its as my friend J said "flexibility and reasonableness are positive qualities of realistic individuals." I feel that getting in the car was more about communing rather than driving. Jean is a traveller. Far from home, On The Road. I as well am in the same predicament. She was able to put aside her fears and help a stranger, trusting that feeling that one gets about a fellow human in the same state. The feeling that we are not alone in our troubles.

I hoisted my pack and was on once again. Further down that road to nowhere in particular. Onward and upward. Well i was headed to Santa Barbara but that really isn't that important. I followed the tracks once agian. As they still had a very passable route next to them. I stopped sometime around noon. To take in the beach and watch the Godwits. I set my pack down and started hoping the large rocks down to the beach. My camera, which was in my breast pocket, flew out and bounce of some rocks into a small hole. "Holy shit." My worst nightmare. I have been keeping it in that pocket for easy access purposes. When i started the habit i was worried that i may loose it that way. When it happened i nearly shit my pants. But this is the Good Karma camera. (yes i know "good" karma doesn't exist) I call it that because. It was given to me by a friend. He bought it with money he collected from all my friends and family after my prior camera was stolen from my house. I have misplaced it once before in a drunken planting mishap. that itself is a great story for some other time. this time I had to bloody my hands pulling at large imovable stones. Eventually i broke down and used a tool, thanks to millions of years of evolution. A little stick coaxed it to a locale that was within the reach of my skinny arms. Success! I breathed a sigh of relieve and vowed to always do up the button which will hold it in place.


Further down the track the city of Santa Barbara revealed itself. the path next to the tracks disappeared. I jumped a fence and started walking down this really pretty road. The houses were HUGE. As I turned a corner i found myself on the wrong side of an automatic gate. Trapped. The fence I had jumped now had razor wire on the top. Thankfully a Jeep was coming up the road. The gate opened and i snuck through after them. The neighbourhood was quite rich. All the roads i tried to follow ended at stupid places only to start on the other side of a fence. It was clear that they didn't like the thought of someone walking through that neighbourhood. So I took my cue. and headed out and back to the highway. On my way I stopped to ask a couple of dudes where i might find a cheap motel. The one guy told me that there was one back the way i came by 5 miles. and another 10 miles up the road. The other guy told me about a hostel downtown Santa Barbara. He gave me some directions and I was on my way.


I stopped at a gas station to use an ATM. The gas station was a direct representation of the neighbourhood. They were selling booze as all the gas stations sell. But it was extremely high end. As well as a bunch of expensive cigars. They had a case of Grey Goose out next to the register. A vodka which typically resides either behind glass or in a special local. They had some vodkas behind glass but it was even more expensive. I didn't bother to check the price. I went to the ATM. It didn't like my card. So i went in search of the next one.

On my way downtown the chaps who i had asked about a hotel stopped up next to me. They offered me a lift to the Hostel. I took it once again. Really nice dudes. Even the one who seemed to be giving me a negative attitude at first. They informed me that Highway 154 would be a poor choice for walking. Apparently there is a bridge there that is a common choice for suicides. I am taking that as a bad omen. I will be sticking to the coast. As much as i would like to walk through the Sierra Madres. I think i will just view them from a distance in Santa Ynez. There is a campground just up the road named El Capitan i really want to check that place out. Its got a pretty cool name. Not as cool as bandits but cool none the less.

Just as an aside i had my first brush with fame. The truck those guys were drivin was that Ron Popeil guy's. Or at least formerly. It goes along with passing Barbra Striesand's ranch. I remember being a child and watching that dudes infomercials. I think he invented the Informercial. By the way Bill the dude who picked me up has a website check it out here. If ever you are in Santa Barbara with a bus load of people. He will drive your drunk asses around. Unfortuantely I forgot to get their picture.

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