Mouth Full Of Barbs

location: El Capitan, CA
time: jan 20, 2007 5:52pm
~~ lba ~~ -prev

Another bunch of miles decimated by the power of two feet. Well i guess decimated is an improper word. That word comes from the act of killing every tenth troop in a battalion. Some general whose name i forget did that when he lost a war. So maybe I should change that. Nah Decimated sounds to cool.

I started my day at the Youth hostel in Santa Barbara. Real nice hostel that one. They let you drink beer there which usually isn't allowed. They had free toast and coffee in the morning. Not quite the pancakes of the San Diego hostel, but still free. Which I like very much. After downing a couple of cups of coffee and partaking in a little shameless self-promotion I hit the road. Santa Barbara is a really nice town. I enjoy it thoroughly. I had a bit of trouble findin a route out of town, but it wasn't long before I found the cross-town bike route. It was dead straight. I was pleased with that. Straight routes are good for distance walking.

I stopped at a coffee Shop In Goleta. the punks behind the counter were in fantastic mood. I told them I was from Canada. The one wearing a Led-Zep t-shirt informed me that he just got back from Vancouver. He was there for New Years. I asked him if he was taking advantage of our lax drinking laws. He replied with a sheepish grin "of course."

Goleta is the First town that I have encountered which has adequate sidewalks. I didn't have to walk on the shoulder the whole way through. It was amazing. Even in the areas that were heavy commercial zones. There were no other pedestrians in these places yet they still took the time to build sidewalks. Good job Goleta. You get a gold Star.

At the edge of town the road i was following disappeared into the freeway. There was another road, but i was blocked by a self closing gate and had nasty "No Tresspassing" signs. Thankfully the train tracks were right underneath me. I crawled under the bridge. There was a large of amount of boxes there. Right on that little ledge that is good for sleeping on. In the boxes were bags. In the bags were more bags. It was most strange. In total i think there was maybe 20-25 boxes filled with bags in bags. Pretty wierd. I wonder who put them there and what purpose they served.

A little ways down the track i found a prickley pear which had 4 tempting fruit on it. I picked one very carefully. Then i got hastey. I peeled half of it and tried to stuff just the inards in my mouth. I failed misrablely. Those desert fruits are deadly. Instantly my mouth was filled with numerous little barbs. Terribly awful. I still have some stuck in my gums. They are fine like hair and next to impossible to pull out. As Treebeard would say "Such hastey Creature! Harrrrum."

the name doesn't lie

I walked on. There were two guys sitting on the tracks up ahead. They looked like they were drinking beers. As i got close to them they pointed behind me. A train was coming. So i quickly got out of the way. When it passed i walked over to them. Sure enough they were drinking beers. The one Dudes Dad had just died and they were out there to find some peace. I asked them how far it was to El Capitan. They told me it was 15 minutes by the freeway. I calculated that to be 2-3 hours. So i didn't stop.

open road

Further along there was a path that opened up on my right, as it seemed to follow the cliff edge i thought i might be a bit more senic than the tracks. It was, as well as more of a detour. It took me all over the place. Through some really nice grassy slopes, and far away from the tracks. Eventually i hit a barbed wire fence. There was a pretty menacing bull on the otherside. As I have left my Matador Costume at home I decided it would be foolish to mess with the bull. Instead I followed some random surfers back to the tracks.

I cruised on down the tracks for 4 more miles and took a break. There were some Falcons and a white Kite Hunting in the pasture. I watched them for a while. The Falcons were a bit more successful than the Kite. The Kite couldn't hover quite as well as the Falcons. A that point a couple came through a gate i was sitting next to. There was a nasty No Trespassing sign so i started by saying. "Don't panic, I am mostly harmless." They didn't get the Douglas Adams reference. They asked me if i had hopped a train. I said "No just walking." and they continued on in current saunter.

the defunct Naples Train Station

I made it to El Capitan A half hour before dark. Looks to be quite the Campground. The store here is pretty good. Expensive coffee, but free refills, I am on my third cup. I am going to engage in a little dicipline to not abuse it to hard. Anyhow Thats the story so far. Stay tuned as I disappear into the hills. No towns for another bunch of miles. I should be in Lompoc in 2 days with any luck. Not sure if I will find any internet until then.

-prev A Californian Saunter next-