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Saturday, June 1, 2002

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Last Day

Lauri left for the Renaissance Faire last night and Mike left to climb about 6:00 this morning so I decided to go ahead a get an early start. I walked up to Del Amo with all my luggge where I caught the Long Beach #191 over to Long Beach Blvd. It was nice this early in the morning and since it was Saturday there was very little traffic. I had time to grab some coffee at McDonalds and a banana at the convenience store. While waiting a street person started to talking to me and even bummed 50 cents off me which is unusual since I very rarely give to spare changers.

I caught the LA Metro #60 to the downtown Greyhound station. This was a good hour ride which went through commercial, heavily hispanic and industrial areas. It was a little longer than if I had taken the rail but I only had to change once and I would have had to change twice to take the rail to the bus station. It was an interesting ride and I enjoyed it. I know so many people who wouldn't even drive their own car through this area much less take a bus but they miss out on a lot. I am amazed at how many people never go anywhere but a few well known routes. This is so sad when they have a whole city (cities in the LA area) to get to know. The bus station is in a really crummy part of downtown. Outside the parking lot were several people offering taxi service. I think they may have been unlicensed as I didn't see a "taxi" looking cars there.

I got my ticket for 8:00 that evening and put my luggage in a locker. After I had locked the door I noticed a sign, way up high, that said after six hours all lockers were emptied. The instructions just said that if you are longer than six hours you have to pay another $2.00 to get your luggage out. I guess the regs were because of 9/11 but I was worried because I planned to be back after 3:00 which was the six hour mark. I checked with a customer service lady and she didn't act like it was anything to worry about. She said they probably wouldn't empty the lockers and if they did my luggage would be at the customer service desk, so I left.

I caught the next #60 downtown where I got off to catch the Santa Monica #10 out to the ocean. The directions I got from the LA Metro website were wrong since there was construction going on so I wandered around missing one bus so it was a long transfer time and I got to watch buses trying to make turns in a construction area. I should have taken the #60 all the way to Union Station and transfered there but the directions said this was quicker, Yeah!

The #10 is an express so we got on the Santa Monica freeway for most of the way. This is a nice way to take the bus. I already had had my stop and start ride through Los Angeles so I was ready for a quick trip. We got off and it was immediately evident that we were in a beach town. There's something about them. I had to walk a few blocks to the shoe store where the sign up for the volkswalk was, then I found out the walk didn't actually start there (I hate that) but about two miles away. I started walking but finally just waited for the bus.

I took the #2 bus over to the mall where the walk started and decided to eat lunch there since it was already noon. The bus stop at the mall is also the Greyhound stop. How handy! I was really starting to feel tired and despite a good lunch I was even more tired by the time I finished eating. I decided that I just wasn't up to walking 10 kilometers this afternoon and just wandered down the street enjoying the ocean. Finally I decided that I was too tired for that and caught the #10 back to downtown LA.

I thought I was going to fall asleep on the bus but made it to Union Station where I caught the #60 back to Greyhound. We were so slow as downtown was packed. The driver said she didn't know what was going on as downtown is usually very quiet on the weekends but there were pedestrians everywhere. Most of them seemed to be hispanic and were in the small store area in the east part of downtown.

It was just before 3:00 when I got back to the station and I decided that I would just take the next bus out. The next bus was 4:45 but it's one that doesn't stop at Tucson so I had to wait for the 6:00 bus so I sat in the bus station for three hours but did get to read and people watch. I had a little more energy by then and got something for supper at the little cafeteria. I was trying to be good after a week of junk food so I just got a banana and some milk, which with the nuts I had with me made a better meal than if I'd bought a meal there.

I finished reading "Point Deception" by Marcia Muller. A pretty blonde is seen at a pullout near Point Deception and washes up on the beaches a few days later. The town of Signal Port goes into paronoia which it has been on the edge of for thirteen years since there was a mass murder in a canyon near town. Rhoda Swift, a sheriff's deputy, was new on the job then and still holds some of the blame for it never being solved. Guy Newberry, a writer, comes to town to see if there is a story on the slow decline of the town for him and causes the paranoia to grown as the towns people worry about their problems showing up in front of the world. Rhoda and Guy get involved with the new murder and a second one while trying to get a handle on what they are each hiding. It's a good book, as Marcia Muller's always are. It's an interesting view of how hiding things just makes everything worse, but, of course, we still do it.

I got a seat by myself, near the front, and plan to sleep a lot on the way home. Were on bus #6138. Getting near the front of the line is one way to get a good seat but three hours ahead is a bit much. Coming out of the station the driver went east on 7th, then south a few blocks later on Santa Fe. This is the street I had come in on that morning but now it was blocked off with only northbound traffic allowed but the driver was already into the turn when he noticed as the blockage wasn't right at the corner. He just shrugged and kept on going and the second section followed us. He said that going straight would have been worse and it's hard to get through that way. We went west on Porter right away and then onto I-10.

I settled down and tried to get comfortable but was still awake when we reached San Bernardino. Several people on our bus had to catch the Las Vegas bus here but it was totally full. They were not happy. I don't know how long they were going to have to wait. The driver said that it's like that on the first weekend of the month as people get their checks and head to Vegas.


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Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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