Speaking of Chicks
The train to Santa Barbara passes through farmlands, within the valley are crops, with the sides of mountains, terraced with orange groves, and vineyards. Certainly, this is a better look, than the junk yards, and warehouses, that surround the tracks, as they wind through the valley. Funny thing about LA, a place I love to leave, a city I always love coming back to. This place is so large, so much going on, no matter how long your away, if only for a day, when you get back, something will have changed. The train rolls along the coast about an hour South of Santa Barbara, we begin to see people on the beaches, their cars pulled off the highway and parked, what a concept, beaches without paying parking lots. Between stretches of open beaches, we pass grand estates, shielded by Eucalyptus trees that line the rail road right of way. What I notice, as we approach Santa Barbara, is there doesn’t seem to be a bad side to the tracks, there are houses lining the hillsides, everything is painted, it all looks pretty and clean. So much for finding that taco stand, on the back side of the tracks. When we left LA, at 7:30, it had already started to cook, there had been a couple fires that were burning, the air was just a little smokey. Santa Barbara was beautiful, the temp was pleasant, the air was clear. I had halfway planned to tidy up my post for the day, while riding up, Buck and I had talked the whole way on the train, about jobs, about sons and daughters, about ex wifes, I needed a few minutes to do my work. We grabbed our bikes off the baggage car, and headed to the pier. About four blocks from the station, we rode out to the end, passing a touring group of motorcycles from Europe, complete with pick up truck, for all the suitcases. God bless them, there seeing the California Coast on motorcycles, but my god, a pick up truck, to haul your gear,” it must be nice.” Back in the old days, OK, here we go, when I was traveling around the country, I put 76,000 miles on my skoot, I strapped my gear on the back, and went, most times alone, a lot easier deciding where to next. Santa Barbara, loves bikes, bike lanes everywhere, we spent some time later in the day talking with the dude who owned the bike shop. He was telling us his business was pretty good, that the types of bikes that he was selling had changed, that he had adjusted. Looking over this town, I began to think that this hundred, my bonus from Chase, won’t be as effective in reviving the economy as I would have liked. There was lots of money, being spent all over town, Buck even got caught up in it, he spent sixty bucks, buying seven dollars. I told him I had some disney dollars at home, when he told me he bought un circulated coins. I finished up, and posted, while out on the pier, Buck spent time checking out shops. The French Motorcycle Gang milled about, sipping sodas, heavy black leather jackets, their club colors blazened on their backs. We flipped a coin, we rode North along the beach, from the pier, there are two open stretches of sand, with a marina in the center. The northern stretch ends, when cliffs begin to rise out of the water. The bike lane comes a little inland, and starts up hill. Like a couple kids, we’re curious of what we might find at the top, what might be on the other side. We begin to pedal up the grade, these are beautiful neighborhoods, the houses all well kept, an assortment of architecture. Every now and then, there is a dead end street, about a half block long, ending at a cliff overlook. We stopped at one, that claimed 1,000 steps to the sand, we didn’t count them, we only read the sign. We were getting hungry, we started heading back, downhill, into town, looking for a place to lunch. We stayed with the Mexican Theme, despite the fact, there was no back of the tracks taco stand, in this town. We got back to the pier, rode back by the railroad station, under the freeway, into a district of eclectic shops, and restaurants. Can’t remember the name of the place, but it was the perfect choice. Our waitress, Krystal, was gorgeous, and a lot of fun. She told us she had graduated with a degree in biology from a school in town, that she was going to UCLA’s Dental School this fall. I remember, remarking of the culture shock, she was sure to suffer, as she would be leaving a place, I perceived as Eden, to a place with all the trappings of a Big City Life. I wasn’t trying to discourage her, heck, maybe she will want a friend. Now seriously, look at this girl, I don’t think she’ll have much trouble finding friends. We told her our story, that we were in Santa Barbara shopping, spurring our economy along in whatever way we could. When I heard on the news that the problem with our economy was that no one was shopping, I was relieved this news didn’t come from our Presidents lips. If it had, I would have taken my hundred dollar bonus from Chase, and bought duct tape, and plastic.