Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 1: 07/30

DUNC: After 3 incredibly frustrating hours of trying to jam all the things we’ll need this month into Raffi’s VW Golf, we finally departed from my house in San Pedro, CA at 1 p.m. yesterday. Our goal: reach Raffi’s brother Levon’s place in Berkeley by the end of the day. Our departure was somewhat discouraging; traffic was worse than usual on the 405 and didn’t clear up until well into our route on the 101.
When we got hungry we made our first stop in Santa Barbara at an incredibly indie health food place called Backyard Bowls. Like reaaaaaaaaalllyyyy indie. Its menu consisted entirely of things like organically grown acai berries and goat’s yogurt and hemp seeds and stuff. I even asked the guy who worked there if the plastic spoon he gave me to eat with was recyclable. When he replied that it wasn’t, I was for an instant deeply disappointed, but then breathed a sigh of relief when he elaborated that it was compostable and offered to put it in the store’s own compost heap.
We were still running way behind schedule so we hauled ass to toward 1 and didn’t make any stops for a long while, which was kind of a drag. The only way this trip is going to succeed is if we stick to our itinerary, but it also won’t be much of a success if we don’t have time to jump out of the car and climb a mountain or chase some goats every once in a while.
The second stop was this beautiful viewing point near Big Sur on the 1 at around 7 p.m. We snapped a few pictures, threw some rocks off the cliff, and hopped back in the car. After that it started to get dark, so we didn’t get to see the rest of the coastline or Big Sur, but that wasn’t too much of a loss seeing as the three of us plus Mark and Danny camped up there this past winter.
Around 9:40, we passed through Monterey and decided to stop for clam chowder bread bowls. On the way out of the parking lot, some guy who was stranded with a bunch of kids asked us if we had jumper cables, so being the outstanding samaritan that I am, I ran back to the Golf while Ra and Hor went to go order the chowder. After 15 minutes of excavating our mountains of bags and supplies to find the jumper cables all the way at the bottom of the trunk, and somehow spilling motor oil all over the car in the process, I ran to the poor man’s aid. Only he was gone. Someone else had given him a jump, and he hadn’t even waited around to tell me “thanks, but we’ve got it”. Well fuck you, stranger in distress. You’re a complete asshole. Waiting around long enough to say thank you wouldn’t have killed you. We ate our chowder and left.
The final 100 miles to Berkeley passed without incident, unless you consider getting pulled over by the police a incident. The guy stopped us for going ten miles per hour over the speed limit. Ten. Just our luck, I suppose. However, through Raffi’s superhumanly persuasive negotiation skills, we managed to get a break and the guy let us off with a warning. It wouldn’t bode well for the trip had we received a speeding ticket during our first day on the road. Thus, we sucessfully dodged the first bullet this trip shot at us.
We finally arrived at Lev’s place just before 1 a.m. We chilled with Lev and his roommate Konrad for a while and called it a night. Day one: classic.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

There And Back Again

RAFFI: Here is our curiously-shaped route. And here is a list of the obscure states it runs through: Oregon, Washington, Idaho (panhandle), Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Arizona. Major points of interest are marked by those blue things. We leave July 30 and probably will not return until August 20-something.