From Beach Sleep to Bakersfield

Sleeping on the beach was both great and sketchy, venice beach. The first night I slipped down there, avoiding street lights and making my way down quietly, unsure of the legal and general safety of sleeping out there. I'd find out about both.

Although I had no place to stay, the beach seemed attractive - under the stars, sound of the waves crashing, and comfortable sand. There was a lot more foot traffic than I'd expected, just people walking down the beach. One guy stopped after seeing me with my large pack, obviously poised to camp out.

He was a movie producer of some sort, and just shot the shit with me for a little while. He ensured me that I was in a pretty safe part of the beach, away from most craziness and that the law rarely patrolled or really cared about people being out there. He also informed me this was a gay beach and most people wandering about were prone to proposition me. No sooner did he tell me this did we see the outline of two guys in the distance who'd found each other.

I slept well that night without incident, until I woke up with a start at what must of been 4 or 5am. It was the bright head lights and motor of a beach groomer headed right for me, no more than 30 feet away, and here I was cocooned in a sleeping bag. I shot my head up and he must've seen me already, and swerved to his left just barely missing me. He made several more passes, avoiding me each time without stopping to say a word.

I spent the next day wandering a bit, stopping at starbucks here and again to check up on things and charge my phone. Still no solid rides out of town by the days end, just a couple flaky possibilities. I headed back to the beach at nightfall, this time with a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine to occupy myself.

Again there was a good amount of foot traffic, and it wasn't long before an older guy in a baseball cap and hoodie stopped to see what I was all about. He was intrigued by where'd I'd been and my plans to hit the road tomorrow, and sat down for a little bit. Not too much later he said he was to continue down the beach to "get into trouble". As he was getting up, he nudged me a few times with his forearm winking and saying "unless you wanna get in some trouble". I knew what he meant, said no thanks and good luck. He took off, and I saw him pass back my way without saying a word later. I guess he had no luck that night.

I broke out my wine and bread, and started to chow. Soon enough another guy looking deep in thought stopped walking close by and was starring out into the ocean for a bit, pacing around. He'd been there for some time, and looking pretty troubled, and when he was within shouting distance I offered him a drink from my bottle which he gladly accepted and came to sit down. Turns out he was troubled, but only in the way the man before him in the baseball cap was looking for. He was very hesitant to leave, standing up, looking around. Saying he was leaving, but holding his stare towards the waves and feet planted. After what seemed like forever he offered to suck me off, saying if I closed my eyes it would be fine. I politely declined, he pushed a little more, but quickly realized it wasn't going to happen and awkwardly left. I went to sleep.

Again I woke up to start in the middle of the night, and not to the beach groomer (they came later but expected to see me as I did them). This time I awoke to rustling noises, the rustling of my pack. I turned around to see a dishelved man (wearing a cape) starting to go through my bag. He was more startled than I, jumped back, asked if I had a cigarrette, I said no, he started walking away and that turned into a sketchy run into the darkness. I think he got away with a slice of bread.

The next mourning was full of canceled rides and wasn't looking great, and I would have headed to the onramp to hitchhike if it wasn't for a ride towards san francisco I found at the last minute. I hopped a ride late with a really nice guy, and was dropped off in bakersfield. Less than hour of arriving in bakersfield I got a call from a couchsurfing host I didn't expect to get, saying I was free to stay with them.

I found myself at a travel center gas station 20 miles from her house, trying to thumb a ride towards town at 11:30 at night. This particular stop didn't have too many drivers headed towards bakersfield, only one person actually stopped but weren't headed my way.

I called the girl in bakersfield and let her know it wasn't working out, and in my head planned to find a good bush to sleep the night or continue to look for a ride elsewhere. She insisted it would be no problem for her to come to where I was and pick me up, which she eventually did. I was happy for that, as she's turned out to be a great person living in what seems to be a pretty interesting (and apparently haunted) little town. She lives in a haunted house herself, only 6 houses down from the famous Lords Mansion (the politicians who play with children all kinds of nasty house).

While I planned to turn around the next mourning and get back on the road, I decided to stay another day and experience some more of the good vibes I was getting. We went up by the kern river and checked out a car show, and later that night watched clockwork orange, my first time. Michael lives here too has around 70 arcade games set up at the mall. We went there and played for a bit which was a blast playing off free tokens.

What I thought would be a quick overnight has been a really great unexpected time meeting a couple really interesting people, and now I should be getting back on the road. I'm not sure where I'll end up as always, but look forward to it.

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