March 13, 2016
Up with the sun and spent a few moments watching a half dozen fearless deer poke around while I looked out across the Golden Gate. Had 2 dried meal packets for breakfast. Shared “Hash Browns, Red and Greens.” (Crunchy. Gross) and “Chicken Salad with Almonds” which was pretty good, except the almonds reminded me of the crunchy hash browns at that point. We bought a two pound bag of grapes from a roadside stand and sat in the grass near where Tennessee Valley road runs into the 1. Reminded me of the banks of the Cumberland outside of Nashville.
We made it to San Rafael, through another damp day. The morning walking out of the headlands was nice, and most of the day was spent along the now-paved remnants of the old train tracks which is now a bike trail through the wetlands.
Actually, we made it to Larkspur where we had intended to camp. Arriving at the campsite, we found a gravel parking full of RVs and hookups backed up against the wetlands opposite San Quentin. (I hollered when SQ first came into view)
With Rainclouds looming and not having the heart to ask Ryan to walk another step called a taxi to take us to the closest campsite or hotel if need be.
Unfortunately, the cabbie arrived, took one look at us, and decided he was off work, telling us he was not who we called. Coupled with the snotty Lexus driving woman in Mill Valley who, upon seeing us go over our maps earlier in the day, shouted at us, “Are you WAITING for someone?” and the couple of ladies Ryan noticed who took a side route off the bike trail we were getting the standard warm welcome given during suburban hiking.
A couple at the RV park offered to let us use their bathroom code, and though we declined, they were mighty friendly. Travelers almost always are, has been my experience. We walked back down to the end of the road to a gas station to get our bearings and get under some cover from the rain.
Our luck changed. At the gas station, another taxi was fuelling up, and we met Sherman. Sherman was 79, and his wife had died back in 1976. His oldest son is 55 and lives in nother Washington state, and he had spent his 20s travelling and working the fishing boats in Alaska. He is a firm believer in chasing adventure, so he understood our packs and our destination.
We told Sherman about our walk, and he told us about how his wife died of a massive aneurysm “in the peak of her beauty and of her life” one minute having dinner and laughing with friends and the next lying dead on the restaurant floor. A potent reason to grab hold of every day.
All this in a short five minute ride. As he dropped us off at the Days Inn a few moments later,he told us the ride was free. I reminded him that gas wasn’t, and slipped him a tip and thanked him for sharing his stories with us.
The Clerk at Days Inn was busy entertaining his friends with either break dancing or capoeira when we arrived. As we walked in, I was surprised to find that he had only one arm, making the spins and pinwheels we had witnessed through the window even more amazing. We talked, again about the trip. When you have packs like ours, it’s an easy conversation to start.
Once in our small cheap room, we hung our tarps, tents and socks above the heater vents to stop mildew. My homemade solar panel had a solder joint break, the “stink stopping” Fox River socks stunk. The Morino wool socks and river show make a great set of slippers.
All in all, a good day. Providence is with us.