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YouGuysAreStupid.com Walking across the country so you don't have to...
4/22/24 8:13pm
0 Days
Walking across the country so you don't have to...


Andy: It’s coming to an end

Thursday, October 16, 2003 - 12:00:00 AM

We woke up in the cemetery and started to pack. As we did a guy in a truck pulled up and “you guys can’t camp here, this is a cemetery”. So I said ”Well, we already did”. I didn’t say it like a jerk or anything; I was just telling him what we had already done. Then I think it was John that continued the conversation with him as I finished packing. The guy didn’t actually have a problem with us being there, he just didn’t want us getting caught. Something we didn’t know, the police station was across the street from the cemetery… oops. He told us that a few years back they actually had a problem with bums moving into the cemetery. The cemetery itself was much larger than what we’d seen. The area we had camped in, the area we thought to be the main pert of the cemetery, was actually just the entrance. He told us the actual cemetery was much larger. Since there were a lot of trees and this area was very hilly, we just couldn’t see most of it. Some of the bums were even growing pot in the cemetery, so the police are pretty strict about people staying there. Seems the residents weren’t too happy about a community of pot growin’ hobo’s taking over the cemetery (geez, so picky). I guess we just got lucky, which is good considering we aren’t doing so well with the law here in California.
We walked into town to look for a place to eat, and found a coffee shop with plenty of people out front. This place had breakfast, but it was more along the lines of typical coffee house breakfast (like little pastries and stuff), we wanted a more traditional breakfast place. So we were directed to the Black Bear. John also tried to get some information about roads along Highway 101, since we couldn’t walk on that either. We got some leads that there were some bike paths along and around highway 101. And Erik got a crazy Christian comic. I’ve seen these before, they’re scary. It’s these comics by some guy with the last name chic… or something, but anyway these comics are insane, and not in a crazy happy fun way either. There written by super fanatical crazy Christians. This one featured Jesus spewing his blood on children to cleanse them of their stinking filthy sin, seriously (the “sin” being represented by drawing the children to look similar to Pigpen from Charlie Brown, then the blood made them all sparkly and clean, as blood often does). We moved on to breakfast.
We ate at the Black Bear (I think it was the Black Bear, or Big Bear, maybe the Brown Bear, well anyway it definitely had Bear in the title, but I’m almost positive it was the Black Bear). Good food, big portions, nice prices, I recommend it. They also had a gift shop up front with much bear related paraphernalia. After that we had to backtrack a bit to get to the road we wanted to take out of town, so away we went. Then, while still in town we met an older man (whose name I’m still struggling to remember) that we talked to for a few minutes. He was out walking and asked us what the packs were for. So we gave him the lowdown. He was really impressed and thought or adventure was very cool. He went on to tell us a few things about himself. As odd as it may sound he said the best thing that ever happened to him was when he had a heart attack fifteen years ago. He said it helped him appreciate life much more, and made him stop running himself ragged with the business he owned, he was so busy being successful he couldn’t take anytime to enjoy life, which kind of defeats the point of being successful. Ever since then he’s also been walking a few miles today, like he was now. He even gave us advice on wich roads to take out of town for the easiest and fastest route out of town. Then we said our goodbye’s and parted ways. Now at one point when we were still in Sonoma, John called the Novato chamber of commerce to find out if there really was a bike path along 101. They said that, indeed there was (Novato being the city in which we’d end up running into 101). About five miles later we ended up at a gas station for some food. While there we met Amy and Lane, two girls on a road trip, well sort of a road trip, they were coming back from a friends wedding. We also met a guy with a cool car, a Porsche 911 GT2. We actually just wanted picture of the car, but after finding out he was flying to Chicago we had to tell him that we were from Chicago, and that we’d walked here. So we ended up talking to him anyway. He was going back to Chicago for a high school reunion. Hell, if I was going back to a reunion, I wouldn’t fly, I’d bring the car. Out of curiosity, I just jumped online to see how much that car costs… $200,000. That’s neat.
It would be another 14 miles until Novato and there wasn’t much in-between here and there except vineyards. This was wine country out here after all. The roads had very little shoulder and made some of the more traveled areas a little nerve racking to get through. Not that it was anything as bad as coming down the mountains in the dark. But there were still a few spots, not many, that it was a bit tight between us and traffic. We also saw something burning in the distance, and not something little either. It almost looked like a brushfire, but it was out in about an hour. It could have also been a controlled burn, I understand some farmers will burn a field to make it more fertile next year (I guess the ash helps the soil somehow, but I’m not sure I really now what I’m talking about). We made our way down rt. 121 until we made it to 37. This part of 37 was safer than the part we’d been warned about. The dangerous part was the causeway that 12 went around. The area where we joined 37 had a large shoulder, plenty of room to walk.
This may not have been the “dangerous” part of 37 but I still almost got hit by a car. A smaller car with a female driver was in the right lane, and a truck right next to her started to change into her lane. She started to pull of the road to avoid getting hit by the truck (mind you, their both going about 55 or so). Then there we were, right were she was trying to pull on the shoulder so as not to get hit by the truck. She saw us and started pulling back onto the road put the truck was there now, so she stepped on the break to slow down just enough to pull back on the road behind the truck and avoid hitting me (I was walking closest to the road at the time). Now, mind you, this all took about a second and a half to happen, which gave only enough reaction time to open my eyes really wide in surprise. Good thing she was good driver.
Another few miles and two bridges (with not much walking room) later we were finally on the edge of Novato. As we took a break Erik got a call from some newspaper reporter (or some media guy or something). The call ended up lasting a long time, as did the break because of the call. It had already gotten dark and after a while (I’d say almost 40 minutes) John looked at me and kind of shook his head, then he said quietly to me “why the hell can’t he walk and talk at the same time”. John started putting on his pack, as did I, and he made a motion toward Erik as if to say “C’mon lets go”. Shortly after we were walking again, the phone died. Once we made it to Novato, we had to find the bike path. At first we couldn’t and I just suggested that we walk down an old unused set of railroad tracks that ran along 101. It turned out to be a good choice, since within a half a mile we found the bike path. It cut across the old railroad tracks, so we took that. The bike path rejoined the road in a business park. We then followed the road up and over 101 and ended up eating at another Jack in the Box.
By the time we finished eating it was after 10, and we still had another five and a half miles before our night was done. We met back up with the bike path a few block later, which was now on this side of 101 (we’d taken a bridge over 101 to get to the Jack in the Box). That led us to more surface streets, and eventually, after our way through residential areas and commercial districts we finally found a place to camp. Behind a church that didn’t look very used. We had originally picked out (on the map) another cemetery a block or two back. But it turned out to be a WWII memorial cemetery, and was gated and locked. So we had to look elsewhere. This church worked out well. We picked a spot in a back corner out of view from the road. They had a playground out back and I checked the sand. Weeds and grass were growing up though the sand so I figured no children had been playing back here in a while. That at least made me feel better about sleeping back here. This would be the last time this journey I would set up my tent and sleep outside.

- Andy