Jan.31st, 2011, Goleta, Ca
Arrived back in civilization, got groceries and a hot meal by afternoon. I was quickly reminded of the contrast of being far out in the country where camping spots are so easy to come by, but food isn't and being right in the middle of shopping plazas and neighborhoods where I can get almost anything I need except a quiet piece of ground to sleep on. I remember how nice it was to travel through other countries where camping is legal. Found a big vacant field across the road from a busy shopping plaza beside some railroad tracks that provided a few trees for shade and a gully to disappear into so I opened up one side of the wagon and pulled out the laptop to do some writing as it charged from the solar panel while Job relaxed under a tree.

Feb. 1st, 2011, Goleta, Ca
I sit here in a bank of laptop users at Starbucks like cows at a feeding trough listening to a woman go on about how hectic her day gets around 3 o'clock because her son is in soccer and her daughter is in ballet while the young Starbucks employee juggles three different orders in his head fending off the morning rush while smiling and politely responding to her goings-on. I run through the shopping plaza and across the street to another plaza to switch my laundry (it's so helpful only having one load to wash...not even a full one at that) leaving my laptop plugged in at the table and Job laying outside in the wagon's shade as it collects bountiful sunshine for the small wheelchair battery inside that powers all our electrical needs. The little bugger laying on the stones like a lizard must have somehow spotted me out of the corner of his eye among all the other passers by because when I looked back at him 100 yards away his big head was up and pointed intently right at me as if saying "Hey, where are you going?" I laughed to myself. Busted. How in the world did he see me?

Swapped my clothes into the dryer, headed back to work on this blog, took Job with me next time, leaving the wagon. It's nice to be without it. We dodged the parade of middle-aged men in tight fitting brightly colored tour de France outfits waddling like a parade of chubby ducks in their cleated cycling shoes after finishing their smoothies. Folded the clothes in record time, got Job re-situated at the wagon, and sat back down inside to finish this and get out of this Alice and Blunderland scene. I'm very thankful to have permission to be somewhere having bought a breakfast sandwich, but a cute blonde just sat down across from me pulling out her pink mac with her matching pink iphone and it's time to roll out, blog be dammed. Sorry, I'm just not the cafe type. Do people really come to these places to work? Job and the road are calling.

Came across a big empty park with an athletic field and parked the wagon to finish writing for the day. Got some dinner at the supermarket and a movie at Redbox. Watched it in a dugout of one of the three baseball diamonds at the athletic field. Didn't get any sleep. First, a dog came by and barked continually at us as its owner kept a safe distance before I, finally, said to myself "Enough of this," and let Job run it off. Then a suspicious character came by around 1am apparently collecting cans from the trash barrels distributed amply around the park, but when he came by a second time from a different direction clearly trying to size us up, it kept me sleeping with one eye open for the rest of the night. My guess was he was either really dumb or carrying pepper spray or mace because Job let him know he didn't like him lurking around in the shadows, but it didn't deter him as effectively as it should have. The dew was like rain and the dugout roof offered no shelter. Must be more for shade than precipitation, a sunny California thing.

Feb. 2nd, 2011, Goleta, Ca
Back to the field by the railroad tracks. Slept. Wrote. Set up camp in the early evening then went to Home Depot to get some hardware for the wagon and a machete for clearing away brush. Grabbed dinner at the super market and headed back to the field.

Feb. 3rd, 2011, Goleta, Ca
Wrote all day. Spots like this are few and far between. Might as well make the most of it before we head on down the road...