March 18, 2013

March 12

Staying in Moorpark, California with a wonderful couple, James Hurley and Melinda Gibson. Musicians and super nice folks.

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Notes from the past few busy days: Ricardo Legoretta designed the Red Enchilada Central Library in San Antonio, Texas (where my CS host, Cynthia works).

I stayed at Naco Pass with Chris McConkey in San Antonio (had 3 CS hosts in that town). Funny, since in Mexico City I was writing about Nacos (rednecks) and Fresas (preppies).

In Mexico City, the pedestrian walk signal is a green “man,” running. Here in the US, it’s a white “man” just standing still (but his legs are in a walking stance).

How did I know I was back in the USA? At the San Antonio Airport (where I flew into from Mexico City after almost 5 months on the road, outside the US), I said to an airport policeman: “Hi.” He answered, “What’s happenin’?” Ha ha. I love it!

“What do you miss most about the USA?” Bronson asked me. Countryside, the wide-open spaces, the land, fields and woods and creeks and rivers, vast expanses of wilderness. We both agreed on this. And just familiarity. What everyone misses about “home”: it’s familiar; we KNOW it; it’s OURS in some old, longed-for way.

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March 13

Here’s how I see my society:

1.)     Travellers like me. We are usually “homeless.” We move around the world.

2.)     Homeless locals. They don’t travel; they stay in their town or locality. We Travellers don’t have much to do with these people; we have very little in common. Sometimes, though, they help us out when we get in trouble with locals.

3.)     Long-distance truckers.

4.)     Other people who travel a lot.

5.)     The settled (sedentary) population.

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March 17, St. Patrick’s Day

Back in Ojai, camping in Horn Canyon up by Thacher School in the East End of town. Walking all over the place, picking oranges off the trees, seeing old friends, hanging out downtown, hitching rides into town on Thacher Road.

Saw a big, beautiful skunk out in the early morning today up on the Thacher campus. Hearing owls at night and California quail in the evening. Seeing white sage and mugwort on the Horn Canyon trail.

Having Lapsong Souchong tea right now at the Ojai Coffee Roasting Company in town. The Farmers’ Market is happening since it’s Sunday. Listening to Cajun and Zydeco on WWOZ, streaming live from New Orleans. Every Sunday at noon (10 am here) is Cajun and Zydeco for two hours. My favorite show they have on WWOZ.

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March 18

Freezing at night in my flimsy, little tent! It’s a nice tent (and cheap), it’s just cold at night here. I wasn’t prepared. And I forgot how the ground hurts my hips for the first few days of camping on the ground without a pad under me.

Today I got a used sleeping bag for $5 at an Ojai thrift shop. Should help immensely. And I’m putting my new 8′ X 12′ green tarp over the tent, both to hide it and to keep it warmer. And it will certainly help when it rains! My tent has no rainfly. Running out of money fast. Going to save by eating less and eating cheaper.

I’ve been bathing in the creek (water at the second crossing [i.e., where the creek crosses the trail the second time]; first crossing is dry). And I’ve been washing my clothes there.

A scrub jay comes up close to my tent and checks me out sometimes. The owls call at night, a very reassuring sound to me.

My first night up there in the Canyon (March 14), I slept in the dry creek bed down a little from the first crossing. It was rocky and really uncomfortable. I spent a lot of time just getting the tent up: it has to be staked down and tied up. Probably the last tent I ever get that’s not “free-standing.” I heard something (bug?) moving around in the ground (or on the ground) under my head as I often do when I sleep on the ground without a pad under me. I heard a little one (what?) humming under my head last fall at the Rat Alcove.

Now, I’m at my old, familiar, favorite spot which a piece of land on Thacher property at the very beginning of Horn Canyon trail (which is Los Padres National Forest land). I found a couple of little alcoves in there a few years ago, and I used them back in summer/fall 2012 when I was camping here in Ojai. No one uses that space. One is ruled by the wood rat and California rat that live in there (I wrote about this back then), so I use the second spot (which also has a wood rat and its big nest). My tent’s fine in there because there are lots of rocks and branches to anchor it down.

When I walk down the trail in the morning, I often see Dennis Shives walking barefoot up the trail. He’s a musician and artist who lived here back in the day when I first got to Ojai (1968). I didn’t know him then.

Today I’m at the Thacher School Library using the internet. Feels good to be here. I am full of confidence and self-respect. Of course, respect for others goes along with self-respect.

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Thoughts I Live By:

1.)     Trust. Don’t chase people or places or situations. What’s mine will come to me. Wait.

2.)     True Love is falling in love over and over again…with the same person.

3.)     It’s not about finding yourself; it’s about creating yourself. (Rumi)

4.)     Positive energy is the key to life. Why not be happy? And silly?! No reason at all. Have fun.

5.)     Love all. Trust few. Harm no one.

6.)     Let it go!

7.)     It’s not too expensive; you’re too cheap.

8.)     Don’t sweat the small stuff. And don’t make mountains out of mole hills.

9.)     We call to ourselves (from birth) what we want and need. Don’t blame others when things go “wrong.”

10.)    Do what you want to do, not what you (think you) need to do.

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