"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

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

6/25/08: Marin Headlands, CA-Day 1

Got up at 8:30 again. Slept reasonably well, but San Francisco's marine layer mad things a bit moist. Plus, I was sleeping on a slight incline so the sleeping bag would slip n' slide down the Thermarest. I had some cold coffee and oatmeal, packed up and started toward the visitor center across the highway when I ran into a cyclist who told me that Rodeo beach, about 5-6 miles down the Coastal Trail, had water etc. That did it. I was going into the woods. An 11-mile hike toward Muir Beach. No hitching. That raised my spirits a bit. My cell phone needed charging though, and I needed water.

I found a Mobile Satellite truck, of all things, at the visitor center. Good thing too, because there is not one power outlet at that 'rest stop'. Luckily the truck had power and the technician (who was literally sleeping (pic)) let me plug in and I proceeded to write in the journal and let the phone charge as long as I could.

Turns out the satellite truck was contracted by the Fox Business Channel to do some stellar, I'm sure, report about tourism from the Golden Gate Bridge. The meat puppet was a woman who reminded me of Jack Nicholson's deformed girlfriend in the original Batman. Probably my own jaded perspective. I'm sure most guys would think she was
smokin'. I kept my opinions to myself, of course.

Eventually the truck packed up and left. I had my water and was ready to hike off. That's just what I did. Over the big hill that separates the Marin Headlands from 101. As the views improved so did my attitude. Felt good to be out of San Francisco and back into nature.

The initial part of the hike was the hardest, and I was carrying
alot of water making me heavy. I was ecstatic at how my body held up, and the new inserts seemed to help the blister problem.

Rodeo Beach was my goal for the day, but I got started late, about 1:30, and was unsure of the terrain or ANYTHING about the hike. Turns out, it was great. Once to the top of that first hill, it had the accompanying decline on the other side. Life was good. Along the way, I began to ponder the idea of how things seem to present themselves along the way, and how they seem to accompany the effort I put forth, and the openness of my mind to finding them. A bit of foreshadowing.

I was making good time, so when I saw three cyclists sitting by the side of the path, I just said hi and continued on, but seeing my Canadian flag, they asked where I was from, saying they were from Montreal. I told them that was my ultimate destination, and that led to a short, but restful chat.

The trail markings then became less clear; just few vague signs. One advertised a "hostel" near Rodeo beach, so figured I'd aim myself that way. About the time the confusion set in was also the time I stumbled into some stables where a very nice, and attractive, woman offered directions. Apparently the fact that I was spinning around like a top with a 50# pack indicated that I was a a bit..."confused". I like that term.

I snacked on a
Clif Bar then realized that was probably half of my problem and continued on toward the well-placed hostel, envisioning cheap accommodations and even a shower!


When I finally arrived, the Lisa
Loeb look alike manning the counter informed me that it would be $21 to stay there. I believe she was slightly offended when I inadvertently laughed at her. She then told me about a free campground that was right around the corner. I laughed again, much to her chagrin. I thought the whole idea of a hostel was to be affordable to travelers rather than paying $21 to immerse yourself in some pseudo-hippie culture.

Am I cynical?

I found the visitor center, registered to stay, for free, at the Bicentennial Campground and proceeded to hoof it past the Nike Missile Cold War era nuclear weapon site. It reeked of death. I can't explain it, but it was creepy. I got to the campsite, which was already occupied by two tents with no people. I set up the tent figuring I'd have some company that night. Nope. I collapsed at about 7:30 after my day of hiking the hills! I woke up briefly at about 10 when I heard them, but never did see anyone!