"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Monday, June 16, 2008

6/16/08: Highway 1-San Luis Obispo to Cambria

Pat woke up at about 4:30 to relocate the RV from the Distribution Center back to the parking lot where we originally met. We slept a few more hours then got up, had some coffee and chatted a bit more before I started packing up my stuff to hike toward the library to upload pictures and update this.

While I was packing my things up outside Pat saw his ‘boss’ spying on us from the bank parking lot. He came over and told Pat that I ‘couldn’t be there’. After the conversations we had the night before about ‘throw- away people, this pissed me off royally! You’re worth nothing in this country unless you’re lining someone’s pockets with your cash. I kept my mouth shut for Pat’s sake, and for that reason alone, but it would have been nice to ask that Fascist exactly what I was hurting!

Pat gave me general directions to the library, we exchanged information, and I hiked toward downtown feeling grateful I had had the chance to spend some time with someone so real who had so much to offer.

After about an hour I came upon the library only to find it was CLOSED! On a MONDAY! Not just this Monday; every Monday. And not just this branch, EVERY damn library in the state thanks to what one guy called Arnie’s Budget Cuts. Apparently California’s not so fiscally sound. This set the tone for my short time in San Luis Obispo, henceforth called SLO so I seem hip.

I figured since I was downtown I’d try to find a used bookstore to get a map of SLO County, and a Laundromat to cleanse my dirty self. The map I found, but when I went into the Visitor Center to ask about the Laundromat, I was informed that Laundromats aren’t ‘Chamber Members’ and, since they don’t let the Chamber of Commerce extort money from them, no information was to be had about their locale. Let’s see if I have this straight…

Visitors Centers aren’t centers to provide information for tourists about attractions and services to be found in these towns. Their places to funnel clueless visitors into ONLY the places that pay them to refer those who don’t know any better. Sound about right? The Chamber of Commerce can kiss Todd’s ass. I’ve dealt with these sweaty, slimy people for years when they came into the radio stations to use the airwaves to prostitute themselves. Never have I had much good to say about them and now I know my instincts were right. If I see a ‘Chamber Member’ sign in the door, I’m walking on by-Fascists!

One good thing that came from that visit is that I became aware of the best part of SLO: mass transit. I found that I could take a bus from SLO to Morro Bay, a good 15 miles, for $1.25- NICE! So, I did. Funny thing happened too: they dropped me off a block from the Laundromat! HAHA!! Clean clothes for me!

I did my laundry and tried unsuccessfully to find Internet access for less than $7 an hour. I began to walk to the north along Main St., which ran parallel to Hwy 1 and realized the bus continued to go further north. I called, got the schedule and pickup point, and plopped down on the bench for about 2 hours waiting. A long time yes, but worth it because it would take me all the way to Hearst Castle if I wanted it too and I wasn’t encouraged by how far the Morro Bay Sprawl seemed to go.

I eventually got on the shuttle and asked the people on the bus for information about where to get food and water, They all said Cambria was my best bet, and one guy told me there was a Hike N Bike a couple miles north of Cambria where I could camp for like $3 a night. All about that! I took their advice and got off at the grocery store, taking a bag of cherries that were given to me by my new info-giving friend. God they were good!

I went into the store and loaded up on tortillas, peanut butter and Cliff bars and was off, I thought, toward the campground. But somewhere along the way I thought it a good idea to stay close to town so I could get the Internet access the next day not knowing when my next chance would be. Fateful decision.

I started looking for a place to camp, first on a bike path then through a nature preserve. I followed a creek as far As I could until I either had to cross it or turn around. I should have turned around. But… it didn’t look so deep so in I went…and out I came with soaked feet.

I wasn’t too worried about it because in front of me was a HUGE field that looked promising (see pics) and I was sure I’d find a place there. I did. I found about 200 of them, but for whatever reason I kept looking and looking for something better. Just couldn’t choose. It was getting steadily darker and as it was I traversed the WHOLE field, and I mean to tell you it was HUGE!

Eventually I found myself back on the other side of the creek (uselessly wet feet!) near a church. I must have walked another 3 ½ miles needlessly and the wet shoes were causing my feet to blister much more quickly than normal.

I stopped right next to the church, pissed off at myself and decided that I’d just find a suitable place to throw down the Thermarest and sleeping bag. When I found it I looked down and noticed my SOG multi-tool was gone!! Now, this made me sick! Not only was it expensive, but useful as hell! I called myself everything in the world but a white male, and hoofed it back toward the church with my head lamp hoping against hope I’d find it…across another smaller field this time!

Of course there was nothing and I lamented my lost friend, and lost money. While I was next to the church I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask God, whatever He is, to help me find it. Still nothing. At this point…and here it is again…I just went numb in my mind and began walking; just as I had the night before when I'd met Pat. I walked all the way back across that field… again… not really following a set route; just walking. I was just compelled to do it and was thinking that if I went with it I’d find my little friend.

It turns out I didn’t, but I found my nesting spot for the night and went to sleep really mad at myself…