Monday, July 16, 2007

Pardon me, I believe his

Pardon me, I believe his name is actually Nick Gambino, not Nick Gambini. Just wasn't thinking when I wrote that.

Santa Barbara

Nick Gambini gave me a ride from Ventura to Santa Barbara this afternoon. In Santa Barbara he also bought me a sandwich at the gas station. Again, it was very nice to put in the belly, but there's still room for more. I walked around town for close to an hour but never made it to State Street, as Nick suggested. I found another on-ramp before I found State St, so I decided to hang around here while there's still nearly a couple hours of daylight left. Santa Barbara seems like a very cool town, too. It kind of feels like a park, but there's a bunch of houses in the park. If I don't get a ride before night falls, I might spend some more time checking out the town, particularly KFC at closing time because KFC is the kind of place that has to throw out all the food they don't sell. But I can't spend much time checking it out because I didn't get much sleep last night; I need to try to get
plenty of sleep tonight. I can treat this like a scouting session and come back in another season.

California isms

It seems that southern Californians universally mind their own business, which is both good and bad. It's bad because they drive right past you by the hundreds of thousands, but it's good because they don't freak out and call the cops whenever they see a traveler like myself, nor do they seem to mind if you sleep in visible places. (I've slept on the beach twice, 2 sidewalks, and on the steps outside a mobile office trailer.) At 10:30 CHiPs told me I need to scram, so I walked a few miles with a badly blistered foot (which has since popped, I suspect) to another on-ramp (Victoria Av). Along the way (now in Ventura), I went into a 7-11, mostly just to find a plastic fork or 2. After talking to the attendant, Amit, for several minutes, he set me up with a hot dog. It was nice to eat something, but I'm still hungry. The cop wasn't a dick or anything; he was cool. Just doing his job. It
kinda surprised me, though, because I walked more than 5 miles along a freeway yesterday without a peep.

Sleep & whatnot

It's kinda strange how my sleep/overnight patterns have changed on Aimless Leg 2. During Leg 1 I almost always slept in the tent. I can only think of 11 nights spent outside the tent before arriving at Allan and Ann's house. I think I stayed 4 nights there, so it looks like I stayed in the tent 41 of 55 nights during Leg 1 (75%). So far during Leg 2 I've only slept in the tent 5 of 23 nights (22%). Aside from those 5 nights, I've spent 7 nights in trucks, 4 in residences, and 7 in the open air... Oxnard seems pretty cool; I'll be back someday to check it out... I have a lot more to say about my short mountain retreat whenever I can... I have walked at least 85 miles the last 6 days; 22.5 yesterday. I also have eaten very little over that span; maybe 1 moderate-sized meal per day. I think my weight is down to 157 or less; I weighed 165 when I began Leg 2. Right now I'm waiting on the
on-ramp from CA Route 1 to US 101. Need someone to pick me up and feed me. Very hungry.

Encinal Canyon Road

At about 4:00 Saturday, as I crossed a road, I had a "No, you go first" moment with a driver turning onto that road. After I crossed, he called me over to his Mercedes and said if I was looking for a safe place to camp out, hop on in. I declined at first, saying there is still a lot of walking time left in the day. But he persisted, so I got in the car. He drove a few miles up the canyon road until we were close to 1,000 ft above the ocean, where there is only one other house in sight. This place was incredible. The 73-year-old Louis Winter had built a house in the side of the mountain. He and his wife are nearly self-sufficient, with solar/wind power, a high-tech outhouse, and all kinds of things you've never seen before. I got a shower and a meal, then from out of nowhere "Father Winter" says, "I think I'll take you back down to the beach; it'll be too hot to sleep up here." Clearly
he didn't like something about me and he was trying to get rid of me. He's a dick for being dishonest.