Santa Maria, CA
time: jan 20, 2007 5:52pm
|~~ lba ~~||
Last night after I posted the last diatribe, I talked at great length with the lady behind the counter at the El Capitan deli/store. She was most knowledgable. She informed me that I had just passed Brad Pitt's house. Another chunk of fame passed by. She also gave me a weath of knowledge of the area I was about to pass through. Highway 154, the one that I didn't take, is loaded with little bars where there are $1 beers and all the pistachios one can eat. I am a little miffed that I didn't take this route. Although I am glad to have not walked next to that highway. She informed me of a particular back-route that is easily passible by foot. It is a road that extends from Refugio State Beach. She said that it was only travelled by locals. Quite barren as compared to the 101.
I woke up this morning to the smell of menthol. I think the tree I was sleeping under was the epicentre of this good stench. I am not sure what type of tree it was. It is foriegn to me. I can describe it as an Arbutus. The bark was all a peel and there were some really strange seed pods that dropped upon my sleeping bag throughout the night. The leaves looked more like a willow, in that they were fairly narrow and eliptical. Slight seration about the edge. Some neato bugs dwelled in the tree. One fell in my hoodie. I noticed only when it when I pulled it on as a result of the cool temps. I felt it crawling around. It kinda freaked me out. I might have killed it, not sure, I flung it away like a stone from the hand of the spanish inquisition.
Where is that matador costume
There was a frontage road all the way from El Capitan to Refugio Beach. I followed it past some divine Ranchos I waved to all the pickups passing. They seemed real happy. I would be if i worked in those Ranches. I got to Refugio Beach a little before 9:00am. Ditched my pack in the bushes and descended into the park. The smell of hotcakes was thick in the air. I looked around for a vending machine. I needed another bottle of water as I knew I wouldn't find much on my new route. No such luck. There were no vending machines in the area. So i filled my litre and a half and prayed for the best.
Back on the Road. Refugio Rd. started out fairly well. There was a slight incline. 4% grade at its worst. I waved to a fellow checking his mail in an off-road golf-cart. He didn't seem that mean. Eventhough all the signs leading into the road told me otherwise. They seemed to disuade anyone from trying to get to Santa Ynez by this route. I trusted the advice of the coffee Lady at El Capitan. She seemed to think it was a good route so i continued. There were some lemon orchards along the valley floor. The slopes were all ranch land. I mooed at some cows as i passed.
4 miles in the grade slowly started to grow. I passed some Avacado orchards at this point. None of them were ripe. Curses! I even tried to time my trip to coincide with the avacado season. I stopped at one anyways. Just to eat some oranges I had packed in. The peels discarded in a discreet fashion.
Onward and Upward. It wasn't long before i came across a man who was out for a morning stroll. He asked if I was "coming or going". I replied both "I came from there, going there." pointing in the adequate direction. He replied "good luck." On and up. The grade increased. I passed Circle Bar-B ranch. Some horse came over to say hello. On and up. Water getting scarce 1/2 litre left.
Delirium set in. A mini-van passed. I watched as it was being chased by a group of marauding dwarves with pitchforks and torches. Around the corner they had overturned it and were dancing around the burning carcass. As i got closer the vision diminished and I drank the last of my water. I blame Tom Waits for these visions. I had listened to him for 4 hours the day prior. I had no music on because of the solitude. But I'll be damned if the sun wasn't hallucinogenic.
I finally made it to the top of the pass at 12:00 noon prompt. The otherside was shaded and very cool. A glorious change from the hot southern facing side. The road changed from narrow pavement to nothing at all. Whoever put up the signs had labelled it as gravel. Complete misrepresentation. There was rock, but it was solid, no gravel to speak of. Some dirt here and there but other than that just rock. I continued on. Passing some brave cyclists pedaling their moutain bikes to the top. I walked maybe a half mile before i heard the sound of a VW rabbit. I knew it was this type of car because of the engine noise. I have worked in a scrapyard. I know the noise of a bleageured 3 cylinder diesel. This one in particular sounded pretty horrible and in need of some serious tuning. I waved as it passed. The driver halted as best as he could. It was one of those pick-up rabbits. A truely bizzare incarnation of the rabbit. I am not sure who thought it was a good idea. Germans, those dudes are crazy.
I took the ride. I hopped in the back. The back of a pick-up is possibly the best ride one can get. I have had oneride in particular that stands out. I was hitch-hiking with a french girl. Out to Tofino, BC. We got a ride through Cathedral Grove in the back of a pick-up. I sat on a sundial the whole way. The seat sucked, but the view was spectacular.
He dropped me off at the main road around Santa Ynez. As I was saying good-bye I saw a "I'm Powered by Bio-Diesel" sticker on his bumper. HO-ray. There ARE people out there working at the change. Pessimists would say that Bio-Diesel is just another form of Carbon Nasty. I'd like to point out that these particular carbons come from the existing carbon-cycle. They aren't dinosaur bones. They aren't dug out of the ground and dispersed into an environment that has long forgotten their presence. Bio-diesel, while it still gasifies carbons into the atmosphere, uses carbons that are already there. A good alternative to locked carbons of ancient dead things.
I stopped at the local Organic Foods store. It was a delightful change from the burritos. I still had a burrito. but it was a little different, and twice as exspensive. I tried to find a local outside the store. The people that were sitting and eating outside the store were there to taste wine. Santa Ynez is a huge grape producer. I went back into the store to find a local. The girls behind the coffee counter were locals and sent me in the right direction.
Not much to comment on the road through. there were horses of all shapes and sizes. There were some cows. A few freshly planted fields of what i think is wheat, and many orchards. Apples, grapes, and of course oranges. There was an abundance of songbirds that were deceased at the side of the road. I watched as a hawk was harrassed by some crows. Its always a funny sight to see. Large birds being chastized by something smaller. I have seen this before. many times. It is the life of being a larger bird. The littler ones will always kick you in the wing.
I made it to Highway 154 at around 3:00pm. I was worried about the next course. My really shitty map doesn't have half the roads that are around here. I wish I had that lady from El Capitan in my back pocket. She seemed to have all the answers. Pretty sure she wouldn't fit though. I walked bacl out too 101. There was 5 or 6 miles to Los Alamos where i could catch a smaller road back to the coast.
I was hoping for ride. I know that this would defeat the purpose. I didn't stick out my thumb. That would've been accepting defeat. I resigned myself to sleeping under the freeway when i got to it. On I went. At 1.5 miles to the freeway a Honda Rav stopped. No thumbs. I ran to catch up. A lady was driving. Her 7 year-old son riding shot-gun. I hopped in. She was headed to Santa Maria. About 20 miles from where I was.
There was the local christian station on the radio. I prepared myself. One of her first questions was "Are you christian?" I replied "I grew up christian, reformed, and yourself?" She told me that she was a protestant. A similarity. Go with it. She handed me a $10,000 dollar bill. Very similiar to the one that the Ape toting man handed to me. This one has some words about the "Da Vinci Code" There is a great album by David Byrne entitled "Uh Oh." The cover art describes all. She was all about evangilism. I don't think that evangilism is bad persay. However one has to be very careful when they are trying to convince others of the "right" way to think.
She was a very good soul. The most important thing that we agreed upon is the nature of the Universe. I feel that one must follow their gut. She is of the opinion that the gut is god speaking. Very similar if you can diseminate between the two. She picked me up because god told her too. I didn't stick out my thumb as I was sure that the universe would provide me with the right answer. I try to cut god out of the picture mostly because god tends to attract religious nutz. I may be nutz. But there is truth to following what outside forces are telling you. Where we differ is that she was of the opinion that everyone needs to be "saved."
I feel that salvation is already there so long as we can keep our intentions and actions as pure as we can. It is a difficult thing to live a life like this character Jesus. I don't feel that anyone should perscribe to a particular method. UNLESS, that method is what makes that person feel that they are on the route to ultimate salvation. I am starting to sound like an evangilist. YUCK. Who needs someone to tell them what is right. In religious terms: The devil is all around, God is around equally. The two can't exist in this world without each other. I cite Stephen King's "The Stand" for historical evidence. There are numerous others this sort of thing goes back as far as religion itself. I don't even want to attempt to try and find those references. It would take a life like Salman Rushdie, or numerous others to even try to touch that subject.
For all intesive purposes I kept myself from days upon days of religious debate with a stranger. I blame my desire to understand the whole rather than a piece, for this flaw. I don't think that one person could ever describe the whole of the universe. As I stated before we all contain but pieces of the answer. IF we can get past this idea that the individual can redeem souls then I think humanity will have no problems. IF not then i feel that another option will become apparent soon. I have faith. Not in god, not in religion, but in everything. After all there are more than 6 billion of us here on the planet. If you consider the possiblities of 8 billion then you obviously have a large brain. One can't count to on billion in a lifetime afterall.
This is fast becoming something other than I intended it to be. I am not sure why. Perhaps it is because I am too open about the whole thing. Life is very strange. I haven't been able to pin it down for 25 years now. It is too fluid. To dynamic. I am not sure what makes it so. There is one quote which describes this quite well. It is from the Buddah "The only thing Constant is Change." I am not saying that I have given up for the quest for "The Cure From Cars." In the past I have been accused of being to diverse. That I need to focus more. This may be true. Perhaps I am rationalizing. Perhaps I have taken this trip not to find a cure from cars but to find the cure for the self. I doubt it. People have said that i am Crazy. "You'll never end Car Cultre." I beg to differ. Life in its essence is a dynamic thing. People adapt. The World adapts. What I am interested in is this. I don't believe that Walking will cure anything. It is merely a means to an end.
I must remind you that I am human. Looking for the same escape from the current dilema just as we all are. Never give up! Use the methods which are available. The ways around the "system" are subtle. You must rely on your wits as did our ancient ancestors. We are all Human. Seperate Idealism and Reality. Then reunite the two. Do it again, and again and few more times. It will never be right but it will never be wrong. Look at what Bush wants to do with Iraq. He wanted to oust a dictator and bring "freedom". (one put in place by american authorities that is another detail.) He hasn't achieved it yet. This is evident. But it is this battle between Idealism and Reality that has put him in such a place.
I may have gone to far with this one here. I need to walk some more. Flush out some more ideas. Think. Without thinking at all. Duality. Another topic entirely. I suppose that what I walk for is Hope. Hope that faith, not in one particular god, but faith that we will be able figure this one out. I hate to mention it, the world is in turmoil. Maria from Santa Maria made an interesting point in saying that we are in the last days. This is a pretty bleak outlook. I would like to say that days are just begining.
Then again I do not wish to be an evangilist.
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