Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day 8. Ashland to San Fran.

Day 8.
One week into the journey!
The thick forests & lush pasture of Oregon projected on our travel pod windows, soon gave way to the brown grass, shrubs & hardy plants of northern California.
We passed Mt Shasta & mused on what could have been.



The heat was stifling and after a few sweaty hours of attempted sleep in the comfort of our projectile bed, we pulled in to San Fransisco. On time?! We couldn’t believe it. We bid our crew farewell & thanked Mara for bringing us quickly, safely & comfortably the 530 miles. (850 Km)

Wee Pam, or the famous Pam Pam, became our taxi service, collecting us from our drop off point with her characteristic smile & taking us to her beautiful apartment building, where she fed us, did our washing & provided facilities for us to wash our monkish bodies as well.
Once fuelled & sparkling, she took us to town to meet with our fellow bloggers. We began at Erin’s (otherwise known as Agent Handy) party, who had friends over & were celebrating her birthday, which coincided with the new laws for gay marriage. We were welcomed in, despite possible controversy due to our attire & offered food, drink & good conversation. (I wondered & hoped the hospitality would be extended as openly if Erin & her friends arrived at a monastery.)

We couldn’t stay too long as we had to leave to get to our meeting at The DNA Lounge.
Unfortunately they were having a fun raiser night & door sales were equivalent to a few days eating for a couple of monks. We had a conundrum. Food or friends. We figured we had Wee Pam already, so…. we could do both. 
We regrettably forfeited The DNA Lounge and instead went to Shanghai Kelly's with Pam & another friend we picked up along the way, Nate. (Nate biked 10,000 miles into South America, which is how he & Paul met. It’s interesting; the difference between people who’s identity is in their sport, compared with those who just do it for the love of the sport. Not once did I hear either Paul or Nate talking about cycling, though both of them have spent more time on a bike than most teenagers have spent wearing gangster clothes. Instead they were content to simply be themselves & enjoy the company without self promotion.

Here we met with a bunch of incredible people, including Jes who puts the integrity back in the cartoons. His job involves establishing & writing in moral value to Pixar Animation. Again, hope for the future abounds. What we instil in children in the first 7 years, apparently stays with them for life. Jes understood this & the significance of his job wasn't lost on him. (And he picked up our tab at the end of the night?! Thanks so much Jes. That was way over & above.)



We met many interesting & colourful people, had confessions from police officers & regular citizens alike.
Paul briefly went in incognito just to get away from the monk stigma & get a little human affection.



It seemed to work.



Perhaps too well.

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