Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Who owns the California Coast?

 I got extremely irritated with my friends this past week and they with me. They are "allowed" to have their own experience, and I have to give that to them.

But in the course of having to process my own feelings on the matter, I've taken up touring our California coastline.

A journey is in order.

Walter, my dog psychiatrist and I drove up the coast and began a series of starts and stops which lead us to question a lot of things.

Right outside Gaviota where Walt and I stopped there was a sign for a road. We didn't know anything about this road except it curls around the coastline. 

We followed it only to find a sign telling us to get off "their property" as it's private. 

While we drove to this "cattle ranch" I made note of the fact that at 7 am there were many cars and vans, all brand new in style, coming and going from behind this private fence. 

And the vehicles who apparently were very busy taking care of their coastal cows, kept buzzing my car, tail gating and acting in a threatening manner. 

Who owns this cattle ranch? And what the hell are they doing there?

As we progressed around the bend from the "cattle ranch" I made note that the train tracks are the biggest impediment to our gorgeous California Coastline.

My car began to overheat so I took a quick turn off the road where I found a homeless man making some coffee.

He and his dogs were friendly and he offered help to me as smoke and water spurted out of my engine. 

 He offered me a cup of coffee and we began a conversation as to how he got to the point of living next to the beach.
 Walter had some playtime with the two little dogs as we discussed the fact that he had lost his job of 22 years and had to move from Montana to Texas a couple years ago.

His job in Texas was minimum wage, his wife divorced him, his children still in college.
 He's an average person, no seeming mental difficulties, and most willing to work. He says he has had more harassment from the police as he decided he was going to explore the California coastline. In his travels these past few months, he was moved around as he tried to find somewhere to park.

He sold his truck for a van, and now has somewhere to stretch his legs when he sleeps. But having a van doesn't mean he can find a place to stop for the night.

Campgrounds cost upwards of $30 a night and with no job, that would be a luxury.

Most people  in this country and stuck in what is called "30 days to homelessness." A woman some 20 years ago shared with me that her husband had worked for the oil companies for years then was laid off.

She became conscious of our fragile state of being as we either rent or have a mortgage payment and no job, means no home in far too many cases.
We looked over the ocean and found a yacht bouncing in the water off the area where this man was parked in his van.

I made a point that people have huge homes in Santa Barbara and certainly could spare a room and a shower.

So far, he's had no offers, but several people have brought him food. 

 As I took off down the road leaving my new acquaintances behind, Walter and I kept finding ourselves locked out from the coast. One sign after another telling us the land is "owned" and we are trespassing.

Again my car overheated and we had to pull over to let it cool down. I nodded off in the driver's seat, while Walter napped on the passenger side.

I awoke to a CHP asking me if I was all right. I told him the car was overheating and I was waiting to add water.

He gave me a nod, but drove down the tiny road where I was sitting in front next to the 101 freeway. I had already driven down there, and taken these pictures. 

What is his house nestled back off the tiny road? There is a no parking sign, and a gate to stop those who might want to find out what is hidden amongst the trees. 
 Who owns these houses that I have seen along the coast with no access? I just wrote a letter to the coastline planner for the area and hope to  hear back.

Apparently, this isn't just any house, it has a mailbox and the name "Meyer." There is also a slot for a newspaper. 

Is someone from Amtrack, the state, staying there? If so, why such a big residence? I could throw one hell of a party in either of the large houses I got a glimpse of through the trees.
Walter and I ended up sleeping on a beach in Malibu the following night. I took pix of the area and wondered who the hell these people think they are blocking my view of the beach with their large, bizarre looking houses?

More and more.

The bi-polar American on the California coast.

Next series: Is food addictive? My cousin says yes, which answers a partial question about what happened to me in Europe recently.

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