California Tripping between Berkeley and Chico

My stay at the Couchsurfing base camp was easy, I spent most of my time tweaking the Trip Hopping site, the rest spent with the friendly folks living there and enjoying great meals. I was once again tempted with the idea of helping and traveling with the CS crew, something I can figure out later.

After several days of this it was time to hit the road, destination Chico. Walter and I got a ride from Casey, the house manager there, she dropped us off across town near an on ramp we'd scouted out.

As we walked towards our spot, I told Walter about the racing thoughts I'd had the night before while laying alone in the darkness, thoughts of all the different types of energy in the world and how everyone is affected by all of it. That the actions and thoughts of one person affect one type of energy or another that we all perceive, that everything is in motion and predetermined, not pre-decided or crafted, but just that everything that will ever happen could theoretically be predicted, given that one had all the information, as in every spec of knowledge about science and the history of all events and actions.

With what seemed to be a fit of madness, I continued, offering the idea that mind reading was possible and already happening in that we transmit and perceive subtle patterns in energy, without the need to fully understand how, or that we're in fact doing it. In addition I suggested that we could perceive the future, whether we feel like we were manifesting it or predicting it aside.

We joked about it on the ramp, predicting white mini vans that would pick us up, either way we were putting out positive vibes and were rewarded with Ben, a guy going up to Portland who was happy to give us a ride up the way. The way the roads go, this was an incredible ride, getting us out of the mess of the city, down I-80, the turn off to the 505 far down the road, on to I-5 and finally to Orland, a trip that could have taken us 3 or 4 rides.

Ben was interesting to talk to, I rode shotgun, he told me how he'd run his car on veggie oil, piping out grease behind burger joints early in the morning a couple times. He'd also heard of a guy who'd replaced the radiator in his car with a device that would instead harness the heat to create steam energy to further power the car. These types of things interest me, as having a vehicle might be nice if one didn't have to pay for gas.

Orland is a city along I-5 where we got out, then there's a 30 mile stretch of road that goes to Chico. Walter and I walked across town, not very far to walk, until we found a nice turn out where we could thumb from with out "Chico" sign. The idea of beer came up, with less than 10 dollar bills in my pocket I commented that it would be nice if I had 40 and beer is the first thing I would buy.

We walked just a ways from that spot and soon smiled wider as a car pulled over for us, a guy and his girlfriend headed towards Chico. The girl was talkative and friendly, looking back at us behind sun glasses saying they loved helping people out. As it turned out, she was 15 and her boyfriend 18, they seemed older than this. The senior in high school had a sense of pride that his truck got 6 miles to the gallon, a number that Walter found even more unbelievable later when he converted it to liters. He said the only vehicle he'd found that beat his ride was a fire truck that got less mileage.

They left us with their phone number, offering us a ride back to the bay area in a couple days, and dropped us off right at Donna's house where we'd be staying. We went into her backyard and waited for her to arrive, Donna is a friend of Walter's he'd met while working with Couchsurfing. We enjoyed a beer while we waited, and she at last arrived, a happy hippy grey haired woman that was all smiles and hugs.

The first thing she got to was making candies with weed butter, apparently many people in Chico are growers. After the boiling, mixing and pouring of the treats she got right to cooking dinner for all of us, we enjoyed a great chicken meal with fixings and wine, she's a great cook who loves doing it, and this was the reputation I'd heard she'd had before meeting her.

We all ate a candy and went to the farmer's market in the middle of Chico, it began to kick in at this time while we worked our way through the sea of people buying strawberries, almonds and everything else. Donna seemed to know everybody in Chico, she was always waiving at one person or introducing us to another.

We headed back to her place and started a small bonfire, that became our night, sipping wine in the warmth of the fire looking up at the stars amongst conversation and stories.

Donna made us great breakfast sandwiches in the morning with bacon, eggs and avocado. Soon we were off to the farm where she intended to put Walter and I to work. We met some other folks there and were given shovels, mixing soil mixtures in small boxes for the upcoming growing season. We were at it for hours, getting a work out and acquiring blisters on our hands, a nice break in the middle for pizza. It was a good time in the sun, the guy who owned the farm offered to take us all out for dinner later that night.

We went to shower and then headed into town. Donna gave us money for our work, $40 each, beer was the first thing we got, I remembered my wishes from earlier on the side of the road and smiled at the thought's fruition.

We had steaks for dinner, a tasty and satisfying meal, I felt full, stuffed even, for the first time in a couple weeks or more. Afterwards we went to a hotel bar where we watched some local folks place some Irish music. We later dropped the car back off at home and walked to a friend's house, who wasn't there, but he'd offered us access to his pool table and wine. We drank, we ate candies, and played billiards for an hour or two, then wandered back home with our buzzes.

The next day there was no word from our friend who'd offered us a ride back to the bay area, so hitchhiking was the idea. We still spent the better part of the day in Chico biking around and going through another farmer's market among other things. We even made a stop at the Sierra Nevada brewery and had a sample of all their beers.

Five o'clock or so rolled around, the thought of Candice and Salt Lake City struck me. Donna gave us a ride to hitchhike, but instead of going with Walter back towards the Bay Area, I found myself getting dropped off on the other side of town on my own, a sign with Reno and SLC on it. I said my goodbyes to Walter and Donna, still intending on catching up with Walter after figuring out whatever it was that was pulling me into Utah again.