Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Not A Bad Day,Really

So the aborted excursion was not a total loss. Highway 101 is probably the most variably scenic several hundred miles in the nation.
Going from dense city, to green hills, to coastal bluffs, mountain passes,valleys, vineyards, row crops, back to city again. It's not boring. Rarely straight, and when it is straight, it is not flat, and a full day's ride really is a full day's ride. And I hadn't even gotten to the forests north of Frisco before I aborted the mission.

The hardest part about leaving Los Angeles is the leaving. Seems this beast just grabs hold of you and won't let you escape without a fight. A two hour fight; and is the price I paid for the late start.

When I finally broke free, it was views such as this that made it all worthwhile.

Hwy 101 is also known as El Camino Real, an historical highway that linked the California mission settlements from Frisco on down to San Diego. It follows the same trail blazed by the Franciscans way back in the Spanish colony days. To celebrate this fact, the California highway czars decided to place these marker bells all along the route. They did a rather thorough job, one marker every mile or so. After about the first hundred miles these bells start to get old and tiresome. After about two hundred miles, I was wishing they'd replace some of them with pink flamingos or plastic sunflowers, just to lighten it up a bit and kill the monotony of it all.

You see some weird shit from the road. Just south of Gilroy(Garlic capital of world), I pulled over to check out this funky contraption (and to relieve a case of 'numb butt'). While stompin around I caught a five-foot gopher snake ...(cool!) ... and put it in a plastic bag.
Just then, I ran into a local. One of them Steve Irwin types, he was casing the fence line and we started chatting. Seems his intent was to find a hiding a spot for his truck that night, jump the fence in the pre-dawn hours, and hunt wild pigs. It was private ranch land, loaded with boar, and the huntin was a cakewalk.
(The central-coast of California has just about the best pig hunting you will find anywhere.)
"Just over that first hill, a small valley, and more pigs than you can count, living along the bottoms".
Says he poaches five or six a year from this spot, and since I wasn't doing anything important, invited me along. Really tempted. Had everything I needed with me, and been jonesing for a pig hunt for a long time.
I took his number. Maybe next time.
And I gave him my snake.


Jade said...

*grin* Has the smell of garlic been washed out of your clothes yet, or is it still lingering?

I love garlic. Every year I wanted to go to the garlic festival, but they hold it in the summer time and the entire time I lived in the area it was over 100 degrees for the festival.

I don't love garlic *that* much.

Gino said...

jade: you were likely gonna get a call from me that nite. if andy and kr didnt want it, i was gonna give the snake to you.

Jade said...

We have great habitat for it back in the raspberry area too... maybe next time! :)

Tracy said...

That ride you took is one I've been wanting to take for awhile...though southbound. Did part of it in my younger days (sheesh I sound old) but by accident.