Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day 21 (Monday June 1) Point Arena to Mariposa CA

Went for a run through Manchester State Park because I wanted to go all the way to the beach and see what it looked like and that was a little far for Max.  I came around a little corner and there was a deer up the trail in front of me.  He just kind of trotted along a few hundred yards in front of me, and was eventually joined by another one.  They didn't seem too alarmed, but didn't want me too close either.  After about a mile, though, I was on very soft sand so it was like running through 6 inches of chewing gum (or something equally sticky and difficult to run on).  So that was enough exercise for the day.  I really enjoyed this campsite and so we lingered a bit in the morning, had a very casual breakfast, etc.  

By around 10:30 we were on our way South to San Francisco.  I'd always wanted to go there and, while a drive through is not really "experiencing" a city, I would say from the drive through that I definitely want to go back and spend some time there.  We went over the Golden Gate Bridge (with fog on top), saw Alcatraz out in the harbor, went through downtown SF, Chinatown, and then over the Bay Bridge to Berkeley.  Ever since I was, I don't know, 15 and getting into punk rock I had always had a mental picture of the UC Berkeley area.  It was exactly right on.  I think I would fit in there quite well.  Punk rock record stores, "End Empiralism Now" signs tacked to lightposts, all kinds of hippies and punks and rockers and college kids and bums all living together in some kind of harmony.  Very nice.  Max and I walked around the campus for a little bit and then we were only a block or so from Ned's Bookstore.  I had helped one of my employees from Orlando get a job there about a year ago so I stopped in to say hi.  Kelly seemed to be doing good and her boyfriend Ron is working as a P.I. in SF so I guess they're making their dreams happen, which is great to see.   

For the record, and this has nothing to do with anything, but I think Berkeley sounds like the best dog name ever.  Not sure why, but it just does.

It was getting a little late in the afternoon so I tried to hit the road and get out of the SF area before the traffic picked up.  I think we pulled it off as well as anyone ever does in a real city like that.  We went pretty much due West to get out of town and head towards Yosemite National Park.  I didn't intend on going all the way out there but there were not really any places to camp until we were pretty close.  As soon as we got off the freeway and past Manteca (where the 580 dumps into the 5) the land opened up and soon we were into the Sierras.  Pretty mountainous, desert-like terrain with steep, winding curves.  We saw a red fox trotting down the road out in the hills near Moccasin, CA.

After a brief stop to get groceries we arrived at the campground in Mariposa, California, just before dusk.  Set up camp pretty quickly, ate dinner, and went to bed.  While Max likes the tent better than hotels (too much noise from other rooms), he really did not like the tent this night as there were too many animal sounds outside.  We were the last campsite way up on a hill and could hear lots of movement.  At one point I looked up and he was trying to push his head through the corner where the zippers come together.  I think that was step 1, with step 2 of his plan being to figure out how to get in the Jeep.  I calmed him down and eventually we both went to sleep.  

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