Don't Pass Me By

location: San Francisco, CA
time: feb 7, 2007 6:48pm
~~ lba ~~ -prev

The night at the lighthouse despite the perfect setting for horror, remained wholly unfrightening. No midnight spectres, no axe murderer, no lurking monsters-- Nothing. Just plain old sleep uninterrupted. I am kinda disappointed really. Could have made for some good things to write about.

The morning was your typical hostel morning. Toast and coffee, and idle banter. I had chatted up some Middle age ladies the night before. They were very entertaining. Always on one another for some little slight. Hilarious. In addition to the ladies, i met the other hostel dwellers. A retired gay couple from San Fransico. They gave me some excellent biscotti to dunk into my not so tastey coffee. The flavour of the biscotti mellowed out the bitter sludge actually and made for better drinking.

The ladies offered me a lift over to Pescadero. I took it. It was only 9 miles up the road. Along the way we stopped at Bean Hollow beach for a little stroll in the morning sun. There was that soap opera glow to it. The constant dialogue from the two grew pretty intense. They both talked incessantly about everything around them. I am not sure if the were both talking to me or to each other or to themselves. I threw in the odd item and question. Each one causing a ripple effect in the steady stream of verbs, nouns, and other various parts of language.

i wish i hadn't forgot their names

They Brought me to the bakery in town. They were imense fans of the place. Its hard not to be a fan of a place that has lovely high carb food dipped in liquid sugars. I had a raspberry twist myself. The ladies tried to buy my twist for me, I declined.

Upon departing from my lovely chauffers i stuck out on a mission for information. The night before i had found out that a bus frequents the town quite infrequently. Two buses a day. One at 7 am, and one at 6 pm. I had to locate the stop though. For that information i inquired at the post office. they laughed at me at first. “Boy you got a long wait.” They did tell me where the stop was. I had 6 hours to wait as it was only noon. I tried to be touristy and go into the shops, i don't really buy souveniers, so they didn't hold my intrest long. I looked at the tavern sign across the street. Hmmm... Nope thats an expensive idea. What to do?

I had a burrito and a soda at the gas bar then walked back out to the highway. Pescadero is 2 miles inland from the ocean. I figured that I would stare at the ocean for a bunch of hours instead of the giant flag pole in the centre of town. One can only be entranced by a massive phallus for so long. The ocean is always good for action. The walk out of town was the most distance I would cover on my two feet that day.

I turn heads

The ocean is a meditative thing. Repetitious, and constant, but changing with the push and pull of each wave. Ever in motion. An easy distraction for the mind. A great way to quiet the chatter. A lady arrived and fed the seagulls. Throwing crusts at the wind. The gulls snatching them out of the air. Letting poop rain out in my general direction. I almost had to break out the tarp. When she left the gull dispearsed and some little black birds with yellow rings around their eyes showed up. They brought some redwing blackbirds with them as well. They landed next to me as i ate my peanuts. I sent forth a small sprinkling cracking some of the larger nuts prior to throwing. These birds weren't suited for cracking. I know its bad to feed the wildlife. Feeding birds is theraputic though. A way to build mild trust with something.

Pescadero Point is not a popular spot to stop. Very few people came around besides the gull feeder. Compared to the beaches of Southern Californ this place was deserted. Just the noise of the highway to remind me of the rest of the world.

6 hour view

6 Hours is nothing really. It was nice to sit still for so long. to feel somewhat rooted in space, not just gliding through. I walked back over to the bus stop across the road at around 5:30. I am a paranoid bus rider. I've never been to much of a fan for public transit. Its the whole schedulyness of the experience. Public Transit has been one of my motivations for walking for many years.

When I was a wee sprat. In grade 8. I developed a serious dislike for riding the bus. I had to take a school bus for 45 minutes everyday. It annoyed me that i had to be stuck on that bumpy loud mule of transportation. So i started walking, in an attempt to prove that walking is faster than taking the bus. Naturally i never was able to prove it. There is something about internal combustion that makes it tough thing to challenge with two legs. It was great escape though. I could take a slightly different route each day and find something new to explore. I would also stop at my friends houses that were on the way. I developed a pattern after a while. My friend Ryan's family had pancake nights weekly. I am a bit of a fiend for the flat dough. On wednesdays I would always make sure my route passed the Plas residence. So I could indulge my desires for the crepe.

The bus passed on its way into the town of Pescadero i waved to make sure he saw me. Not that he wouldn't see me as there was little to the landscape. No bush taller than 3 feet. I stuck out pretty well. I lit a smoke and waited for his exit. 15 minutes passed and I saw it come around the corner again. I hoisted my pack and waved to the driver. He was coming in fast. Slowing very slightly. I stepped out towards the shoulder. He blew past. I waved and ran after the bus. Pounding on the window as he preformed a rolling stop at the sign. BAARRUUUUMMM the diesel downshifted and then sped up. Away it rocketed from my slowing jog of fruitlessness.

It was a pretty mean gesture. It really pissed me off. I have had a bus blow past me before in the past. Some operators have no decency. I shouted some obcenities at the tail-lights as they flew up the hill. There were two options ahead of me. I could walk all night and make half-moon bay by morning or sleep and wait for the morning bus and hope it didn't pass me by as well.

As I unrolled my tarps under the closest bridge the thought occurred to me that if i had started walking at noon i would've beaten the bus no problem. It was an adequate head start. It was a tempting thought for a night walk. Highways are treacherous for night walking though. So I slept it off.

I woke up at 6:30. The birds were begining with their chortles and warbles. Singing there little asses off at the rising sun. I packed up and had a slam of water. Back to the bus stop Where i proceeded to wait once again.

I waved at the bus driver as he passed. He waved back, very promising. I lit a smoke. 15 minutes later he was back again. Sure enough he stopped. Miraculous. A bus that actually picks up people. The bus driver was one of the good natured types. A pleasant old man really. He had white hair but his Eyebrows were black. They looked like one of those Oscar wide angle brooms. The ones that have that splayed bristles so as to be able to get into those pesky corners. I told him about the blow-by i had recieved. He promised to have stern words with his colleague.

We drove all over the place he and I. Picking up every last person waiting at each stop, and dropping them wherever they wished along the route. Ahh things as they are meant to be. I got off in downtown Half-moon bay. They don't have a transfer system in San Mateo county, so i wasn't pressured to get on the connector bus. I was going to have to pay another $1.50 regardless. So i hung out for a while. Walked up and down the streets. Looking in the windows of all the shops. I had breakfast in a neat small town diner. I listened to the conversation of the people next to me. The one man was doing most of the talking. He talked entirely about how his one kid was doing poorly in school. The man seemed to only talk about this. the other man listened half-intently. I think I was paying more attention.

the back alley in a small town

I mopped up the remaining egg juices with my toast, paid and left. There isn't much going on in the town of Half Moon Bay. Alot of people like to hang out in the town square though. I am not sure but it might've been the place farmers go to get workers. Every country town has a place like this. Its much nicer than the “Labour Lounge” of the city no free donuts though. If that was the case it was a pretty slow day in the fields.

Eventually I caught the bus. It took me into the hilly suburbs of Pacifica. I had to transfer there to get to Daly City. Another $1.50. That bus took an equally circuitous route. I am glad that I don't walk all over like that. It would take for ever to get anywhere. But such is the nature of Public Trans. It is rare to find a place that has effective and efficient PT. Most big cities are all over it. In the Suburbs everything goes straight to hell. It probably has something to do with the way suburbs are built. With winding roads that don't go where you want them to. Suburbs are designed for the car more than the bus. The bus in these areas tends to facilitate movement to those who have no need to travel by the quickest route. Hence my fellow bus-mates were people with alot of time. The Elderly, students, and me when i shouldn't be walking.

The Terminus for the route came at a BART station. I think BART stands for Bay Area Rapid Transit. It is a light rail system, much like other major cities. It took me about 20 minutes to divine what the fare was to downtown San Fransico. Eventually i asked a person and they told me it was $1.65. Not to shabby. I was expecting a couple of bucks really. It brought the total to $6.15 spent on Public transit. For 30 miles of travel, and about 3-4 hours of my time. A car would make the trip in under a half hour, it would be direct as well. The gas would have been less than the fare, depending on what i drove. But the ecological cost is spread out a little more thinly. None of the buses were full or close to it. There was one stander for 5 minutes that is all. He could've sat some where but he spent his dollar fifty on 3 blocks and didn't really need to sit for any reason.

BART took me right where i wanted to go. To the heart of the San Fran. Where upon arriving i checked into another hostel.

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