Point Arena, CA
time: feb 16, 2007 1:11pm
|~~ lba ~~||
I left Point Reyes sometime around noon. Much later than i had hoped. A mere 6 hours of Daylight for walking. Terrible for distance walking. My foot has really chilled out on the whole pain thing. If i had left at 6 am I would've easily walked 20 miles. Loping strides kill miles pretty quick. I was averaging 3-4 miles an hour (some hours are longer than others). The highway was the only option out of Point Reyes. No trails, no tracks. Just 6 inches of asphalt beside the white line. Sometimes there was a grassy shoulder, but most of the time it was ditch. Sometimes nothing at all. There were parts where the apsphalt itself was crumbling away down precarious sodden slopes.
It was a tough walk to Marshall. I had missed the quiet time of the highway. Traffic was pretty intense. I got a couple of angry honks. People giving me the finger. If cyclists can do it then so can I.
Marshall is pretty much a hamlet. There were two restaurants there. One of which only wakens on the weekends. I stopped at the one that was open. The owner/operator greeted me with a smile and idle conversation. She was most friendly. I had a sandwich and a cup of the “Famous Clam Chowder.” Funny that, Famous chowder. Its almost as if everyone has the same chowder. I think i may open a restaurant and sell “Infamous Clam chowder.”
I walked halfway to Tomales after leaving Marshall. Stopping because it looked like rain and i had found one of the only trees which would provide decent shelter. It was a cypress sitting on the beach. Underneath the tree was a large open area. I dug a little trench around my tarp and watched as the sun came out from behind the clouds. I was already set up. I wasn't about to pack up just to walk another 2 miles before dark. So i watched the twilight make its way across the bay instead.
The next morning i woke to clear skies. The cypress needles were exceedingly comfortable. springy, and very un-rock like. I loathed to get out of the bag. Boredom drove me to it though. I had studied the branches above me for most of the night and had become very familiar with their patterns. So i gathered everything up and made my way back to the highway.
There is a surprising amound of dead skunks on the highway. I passed at least a half dozen of them. Possum's too. there were 3 of those. Deer not as many 4 very old carcasses. The skunks were by far the smelliest. I poked one with a stick as it was still on the road and i thought it was disrespectful to allow it to be squished further.
Most of the drivers on Highway one give pedestrians some leway. They will use the lane to its full potential. Gliding over to the middle to pass me by. Some however seem to try and get as close as possible. One in particular tried to kill me. It was an old lady. I don't think she should be allowed to drive anymore, but i don't have the rights to take her license. I had to leap over the ditch and onto a hill just to avoid her meandering wobble around the lane. It was most shocking. Gave me an adrenaline boost and everything.
Upon arriving at Tomales i stopped at the local Deli and had a sandwich. I talked with someone who installs those counting hoses across roads. A road sweeper showed up for some coffee, and he was instantly chastised by the rather large man. “The bane of MY existence” is how he started his onesided conversation with the poor road worker. I slipped out at that point and started walking. A little later the hose man stopped next to me and offered me a lift. I turned it down. I Didn't like his vibe.
someones private residence. Formerly a bank.
Seconds after the hose man drove off a truck stopped and offered me a lift. He was going to Valley Ford. A nice bloke. He told me a few stories about living in the region. Its mostly farm work he does there. There isn't much else around. Its cattle country around those parts. Rolling hills of pasture land. Appealing to the eye not to the nose.
a lone bay tree
I took a brief break at the General Store there. Then continued on down the highway. There were alot of cyclists on the road. They are having a race here on the 19th. I suspect that was the main reason that they were kicking it.
Bodega Bay is the next town on the Highway. I got there at around 3pm. There was an information booth there. I stopped and talked to the gent behind the counter. Asking him all sorts of questions about the highway. He gave me maps and brochures. I slipped the brochures back on the rack when he wasn't looking. I then asked him about local bus service. As luck would have it he knew all about the one bus that services the coast. It is run by Mendocino County, not Sonoma, and it takes people up to Point Arena where one can catch yet another bus to Fort Bragg.
I sat down on a hill to debate this through in my head. He is a way to continue along the proposed route with less fear of death, and less fear of damaging my foot beyond walking capabilities. It wouldn't be walking though, and i dislike Public Transit. There are a few other nagging realities that have become to real to ignore. Most of them are Finacial. One is a bill that hasn't gotten paid yet. I had tried to set something up before i left but apparently that didn't work. I have no credit card so I have to pay it in person. The other is, my resources are getting to that point where I may go broke doing this. A problem that i have dealt with in the past. In the past i have said “Fuck it.” I made a pact a year and a half ago that i wouldn't allow myself this option again. Going broke causes strain to other people. It puts one in the postion of needing. I prefer to have no needs. Life is nicer that way and a lot more sustainable.
I took the bus.
It was 15 minutes late. As it pulled up i flagged with the whole of my body, to be sure that it would stop. My experience with SAMTRANS lead me to this action. Bob stopped like a good bus-driver. I rechanted the details of the Sam Trans episode. He reaffirmed the flagging method for getting a bus to stop.
There was a lady sitting directly behind the bus-driver. She was entirely absorbed with telling the bus-driver about her life. She was loud and laughed constantly. One of those slightly awkward laughs. She rambled on and on about all things under the sun. At one point she was relaying some knowledge she had gained from the TV. Something about how Mosleums aren't allowed to dance or sing. This brought on a rebuttal from a lady sitting behind me. She said that Belly Dancing comes from the Mosleum world. the lady would have nothing of it. She was adamant that Mosleums don't dance. I tried to jump in and break up the potential arguement. “Certain sects of christianity believe that dancing is a sin.” The lady still didn't budge. “If your a devout Mosleum then you don't Dance. period.” An ingrained nugget of half-truth. I didn't persue the thought further as it would merely have made for more aggrevation on both sides. At which point the argument grows stale and each side believes that it is right.
I got off the Bus in Arena point sometime after 7 pm. I was a bit sleepy and had a notion of trying to get a room somewhere. I checked at the two places available. The rooms above the Liquor store weren't into loaning rooms anymore. the place down the road wanted $65. So i found a little patch of grass behind a building, slept there for the night.
Another bright and clear morning. I strolled on to the local coffee hang out and had some Yerba Mate. I was feeling a little south american. That stuff is strong. I was wired in no time. There was no wireless inside the cafe. The pretty girl behind the counter told me about the Tech Centre across the way which had it. I went to check what time it opened. No signs to speak of. So i went back to the cafe, found an outlet and jacked in to a weak signal.
From here on in i am going to utilize a little speed. It is imparative that i get back to Canada by the end of the month so as to maintain a good credit rating. Not that i want a credit card, but i surely don't want bad credit. I am a bit miffed at Rogers for dicking me around with this phone. I avoided getting one for years. I used to even swear that i would never get one. However to be an active/productive part of the world rather than an outsider is my current agenda. A cell phone i feel is a intricate part of this. even though they exemplify throwaway culture. I would get a land line and hook-up my crappy phone from the 80's, but then i would need a very long extension for the cord.
|-prev||A Californian Saunter||next-|