Getting out of Dodge: San Francisco

Philosophy, so-cal style.

One friend says it’s the lunar something. Another friend says it’s hormones. Another friend doesn’t want to be friends. And me? Well who knows what I want – and who (more importantly) even cares. In any case, there’s a weird vibe on the semi-deserted campus right now – something to do with something about the way some unknown force affects men of a certain age – and I just had to get out before the emotional undertow sucked me into its murky, self-destructive depths forever.

Orange may look like a nice enough place. But you’d be surprised what a combination of bad judgment and cheap booze can achieve.

And the alternatives to the undertow are just… getting boring. I didn’t come all the way to the amazing USA to sit in my one-bedroomed apartment with the blinds closed, surfing the web, watching stuff on Netflix, talking to people on farkbook chat. I can write anywhere, right?

So I filled her up and put her in drive, turned Gomez up full blast and typed “Golden Gate Bridge” into my GPS: Come on / Come on over / When we collide, we’ll see what gets left over. You said it Ben, you said it.

A good long distance drive is like making your own movie on an endless dolly. Beats any ride at Disneyland. You need supply is a soundtrack, snacks and caffeine. And USA’s roads are tailor-made for my romance with the all-American obsession with burning gasoline. Miles and miles of unexplored terrain. Generally good drivers. Cheap gas. And the opportunity to eat the kind of junk food that only tastes good when you’re going 70mph – chili cheetos and starbucks energy-coffee combo. Brown mountains and misty farmlands peeling back in full 3D while the music tears a wisdom-sized hole in your eardrum. I’d do well to keep these words in mind: When all’s said and done / The things that were given were the things that you won.

I stopped near Bakersfield for a curry at The Taste of India – mostly because of their massive billboards, advertising for about 5 miles before and dominating the little stop that consists of three motels with Jacuzzi suits, a McDonalds etc. etc., a truck mechanic and a gas station. They specialise in Vegan food.

See the circle on the map? That's where I was.

It may not be the best curry I’ve ever eaten. In fact, it isn’t really curry, if curries are spicy by definition. But it’s definitely the most expensive curry I’ve ever had… not counting the $20 in gas it took to get here in my ‘stang. God I love that car. Not because it’s practical. It’s not. It’s rear wheel drive and I’m rear-ending the planet every time I put foot. It just SCREAMS “I couldn’t afford a corvette”. My suitcase doesn’t fit in the boot.

But I feel like a racing driver every time I accelerate.

A no-horse town. The perfect place for an air-field, a prison, a military base, chicken farm, or a bicycle race - flat for miles and miles.

Four hours remain, according to Maggie Magellan; my constant companion, my first American friend. To make fun of myself, I searched Google for motels in San Fran with lunar-themed names. So the Luna Inn – yes really. That’s where I’m headed.

Cause sometimes surrendering to my inner crazy-person beats actually beats making another bad decision.

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2 Responses to “Getting out of Dodge: San Francisco”

  1. Jannie Says:

    Jean, if I may suggest something. You should also visit a truck stop or two along your journey – they’re interesting.

    Then there is Solvang, a small town close to Highway 246, which will teleport you straight to Denmark. They sell yummy pastries as well.

    San Luis Obispo is on Highway 101 and the Apple Farm Restaurant is worth a visit.


  2. jeanbarker Says:

    Thank you! I’m not on the 101 but will see if that route’s an option. I don’t have the time to do the scenic as I have class on Tuesday AM.

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