A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

The Streets of San Francisco

Sept. 9, Sunday night, a brief and quick up-date of things: I’m finding the city of SF very discouraging to live and commute in. If it weren’t for occasional showers at Harry’s, I’d probably not go there at all.

Since I never know where I’ll find a parking spot for the night on the streets around Harry’s house, I am continually moving the pillows of my van’s bed from one end to the other to accommodate for the hilly streets, depending on which side I end up parking on!

Google photo

Google photo

The job is going well. I’m getting along with the guys, and have worked mostly evenings ’til 12:00 or 1:00 a.m. I see some interesting women come in for gas and there’s one I plan to ask out next time I see her. I’d like to get to know someone in Sausalito or San Rafael or Mill Valley.

There are a lot of wealthy-looking folks around here. Someone told me that Marin County has the highest incomes, per capita, in the country. And I live and work here!

I called Dad yesterday and he was upset with me for not calling or writing more often. He’s counting on me meeting him and Nancy in Texas in October. The only trouble is that I wanted to work longer than I’ll be able to, if I'm going to meet them there by then. Well, it’ll work out. But I hate to have a deadline like that.

When I talked to Mom today she said that someone said I should read a book called, “Blue Highways”! Both she and Dad said that it seems funny not to have me around. Dad keeps expecting me to come out and mess up the garage with some project. Mom said to keep those cards and letters coming. They mean a lot.

I’m still spending a lot of time thinking about my relationships with women; past, present, and future. I wish I could keep my mind off it.

Sept. 11, Tuesday. Not a good day for me and Old Blue. While waking up this morning, in the streets of San Francisco, I thought I heard either a garbage truck or a street cleaner truck. When I woke up all the way, I found a parking ticket on the windshield—10 bucks! No parking 8-10 a.m. on Tuesdays on that street. Shit. Then later in Sausalito I was coming out of the library there and made an illegal U-turn in the middle of the main street. A cop on a motorcycle stopped me and gave me a ticket. My boss from the station was going by and stopped to see if he could help. The cop knew him, but it didn’t help. I had been in a real good mood coming out of the library. One of my “There are a great many things in this world—no need to fret over the little daily problems” sort of moods. I had to work hard to try and save that mood.

Yesterday the boss told me that he was going to start me out at $4.25/hour instead of $4/hour, mainly due to my commuting costs to and from SF. Looks like I’ll need the extra money.


I meet new people,
I see new places.
I’m changing; a new person.
But ever still I
Feel the light of the moon
Upon me, when I’ve forgotten
Her beauty and her moods—
Why does she touch me,
When I can’t reach her?
I’m shaping my life,
Creating my world;
But can I wish for the moon?
And why do I want the moon
When I have the whole world?

Posted by VANagain 15:56 Comments (0)

Harry’s House

Sept. 14, Friday. I’m still working. In fact I haven’t had a day off yet, which is alright. Last night I went out drinking with Harry to an Irish bar in SF It had a little band playing Irish music (guitar, harp & fiddle) and political posters and banners on the walls. We drank our fill of dark imported beer and were the last ones to leave at 2:00 a.m. Harry drove like a drunk high school kid and got pretty crazy. He slept ’til about 3:00 today.

Google Street View photo of Harry's house

Google Street View photo of Harry's house

I woke up with my stomach screaming for food and drink, and went out for brunch with Peggy, one of Harry’s roommates. The other day we had vaguely planned to go out sometime, and I was glad it worked out that we could. We went to a Russian restaurant called Cinderella Bakery and tried some different (but good) food. Then we went to a coffee shop and had New York Egg Fluff (?). Real tasty. After that we drove around SF a bit and walked around the Palace of Fine Arts. She doesn’t have a car so she enjoyed sightseeing in a car a bit.


Peggy is a very likeable person and quite attractive. She is going with a guy named Jude. She’s from New York (state) and has been in SF just over a year. I’m afraid I may have rekindled her desire to travel again, with my stories of the road. She would like to sometime move to a smaller city. She said since she’s moved to SF that she hasn’t been out of the city more than a couple times. I find Peggy easy to talk to.

Song: “No More Lonely Nights” - Paul McCartney (Ctrl-click link and the song will play in another tab or window.)

Posted by VANagain 07:32 Comments (3)

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival

Sept. 15, Saturday. I went to Mill Valley, looking for a park to eat in (unsuccessfully) and then I’d planned on seeing a movie. But I noticed signs advertising the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, Sept. 15 & 16. It was in a grove of redwood trees by a library in a real pretty neighborhood. Redwoods in people’s front yards, fragrant air from the trees. Today was another beautiful day, weather-wise, as it has been since I got into the Bay area.

Recent photos of the annual Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival. A beautiful setting in Old Mill Park.

Recent photos of the annual Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival. A beautiful setting in Old Mill Park.


It was nice walking through the people and trees, checking out the artwork and crafts. They had a stage there where musicians played guitars and sang. I sat and relaxed in the nice atmosphere of it all. Then I stopped in the library that was having a book sale and bought a couple sci-fi books. I don’t know when I’ll read them though. I never take any time to read. It was a nicely spent day, before I went to work, but as usual, I continually switched from feeling very happy with the things I’m now doing with my life and feeling sad that I don’t have someone along to share it all with.

Posted by VANagain 07:36 Comments (0)

Day Off Work

Sunday, Sept. 16th. My first day off from working at Sausalito Shell. Since I’d worked the late shift (’til 1:00 a.m.) last night, I stayed in the van in Sausalito again. When I woke up I stopped into the station, anyhow, to talk to Bob about the picture I’m drawing of his car. I ended up helping out him and Joel for about 45 minutes because they were so busy. After the rush I finally made a decision and told Joel that I’d only be working there two more weeks. I told him the truth, more or less, about how I had to meet my Dad and sister in the middle of Oct. He said he was sorry to see me go and how tough it was to find good people who wanted to WORK. I feel real good now, having made a definite departure date of Oct. 1. It will feel good to be free and on the road again.

Alcatraz Island, as seen from Fisherman's Wharf

Alcatraz Island, as seen from Fisherman's Wharf

Since today was my day off I did a bit more sightseeing and picture taking in SF I went back to Pier 39 on Fisherman’s Wharf to get a picture of Alcatraz and visit Peggy at work in a French bread shop on the pier. I asked her to see a movie after work but she had plans and it turns out she’d seen “Gremlins,” the movie I’ve wanted to see. Then I drove atop a Russian Hill and saw the cable cars and a street juggler who performed among the line of people waiting for the cable cars. I would have ridden a car but the long lines kinda took the fun out of it. And I took a picture from atop the crookedest road, Lombard Street, with its continuous stream of traffic going down it, all tourists. Then I made my way back to the Palace of Fine Arts and tried to tap some creative energy from it and worked on finishing a picture of Bob’s car. Later I found a pay phone and called up Debbie, the girl I met at the laundromat. After some work at explaining who I was, we talked about a lot, and she said to call later this week and we’ll do something.

San Francisco's crookedest road, Lombard Street. Coit Tower on the hill.

San Francisco's crookedest road, Lombard Street. Coit Tower on the hill.

A thought dawned on me yesterday that surprised me. Whenever I leave my van, I lock it up so that someone won’t get into it. But when I sleep in it, be it in the boonies or in the cities, I can’t lock it. And no one has tried to get into it yet, while I’m in it. Funny that I feel comfortable leaving it unlocked when I sleep in it, but would never leave it open when I’m away from it.

Posted by VANagain 08:39 Comments (0)

Thunder and Lightning

I finally had my first cloudy days since starting work at Shell. Aside from the last two days, I’ve had at least two weeks of nearly perfect weather. People have been waiting for some clouds just for a change. Last night (Sept. 18th) we had a big thunderstorm, very rare in these parts. I had mentioned how yesterday’s hot and windy weather reminded me of days in Minnesota when we’d have severe thunderstorms or tornadoes. And last night’s thunderstorm was the strongest one anyone could remember around here. The lightning and thunder was stupendous and woke me up (along with the rest of the city). In my van, in the middle of the night, it was kinda scary. The paper today said that there were 3,200 lightning touchdowns in the bay area. Many people stayed up to watch it, in their houses or outside. Some watch from the beach. I just checked the van for leaks and tried to get back to sleep.

Lightning bolts dance across the San Francisco skyline early Wednesday morning as a storm moves through the California city on Sept. 19, 1984. The Golden Gate Bridge can be seen in foreground.

Lightning bolts dance across the San Francisco skyline early Wednesday morning as a storm moves through the California city on Sept. 19, 1984. The Golden Gate Bridge can be seen in foreground.

Posted by VANagain 09:41 Comments (1)

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