Day One: San Francisco to Sacramento
After several false starts, Bubba and I were able to begin our journey of 25,000 miles; spending our first night on the streets of Sacramento. All I know for sure is this will get easier, as I do it more. Not going to lie though; there were some moments that seemed filled with the unknown.
The day began at The Smog Shop on 11th & Harrison in San Francisco. Chris and Gilbert are the best mechanics, who I have grown to love dearly. The part that Bubba needed was obsolete; so, Ford pulled the part off another year of the vehicle. I arrived at the shop and headed to Starbucks in the Target, to wait.
SoMa–(South of Market) is gritty. It’s a sprawling section, that like an acne-faced teenager is trying to find and define itself in this new landscape of San Francisco. High-end loft-style apartments looking down on the tent-filled sidewalk; a swanky nightspot shares the same lot as a graffiti-covered warehouse; the leather scene is sprinkled amongst fancy furniture showrooms. Everything you love and hate about San Francisco is found here within the SoMa perimeter.
I arrived at Target, where the homeless bathe in a sea of bright red signage. Soon, Gilbert called. The part had been replaced, but now Bubba wouldn’t start at all. Laughingly, I replied that if he couldn’t have chosen not to start in a better place, than at the mechanics. Then he asked me how much gas I had in him, to which I replied, I didn’t know. He answered the question himself: None, he said. You have NO gas in the bus. Again, what better place to run out of gas, than in the mechanic’s garage? They put some gas in him, I paid my bill and prepared to be on my way.
I texted my friend, John, and asked if he had a gas can I could have. Then I went back to the apartment, finalized a couple of details and prepared to hit the road.
Closing my apartment door for the last time filled me with a mix of emotions; sadness, anxiety, and curiosity. It felt weirdly heavy. Then I went to Bubba and began the drive to Sacramento; choosing to go through the wine country—as I try to avoid freeways;, especially in the Bay Area.
There were several slowdowns, so, the trip took nearly 4 hours; which is a long time–even by Bubba standards. It was annoying to be passed on the right by a Volt–whose license plate read–(and I can’t even make this up)–Soy Boy; complete with a heart emoji.
The trip, short in miles–long in time; taught me many more things. First, I have to streamline even more. If it is not absolutely, 100% necessary, it cannot be on the bus. My first stop was my storage unit, where my vinyl collection is being housed. I took a box and left all the trinkets and pretty things; anything glass, the few books I had kept and all the extra items. I will go back this weekend, and do yet another, GoodWill run. The necessity of streamlining cannot be emphasized enough. I was surprised at how much I left at the shed.
The next thing I learned–and this is very important. My little toilet, which I love, built pressure during the trip; perhaps the sloshing around; so, when I opened him, a mini-geyser of water erupted. It was clean water, as I had just cleaned and emptied him in San Francisco; but, it was key learning.
After leaving my storage, I went to Planet Fitness—(yes, the purple one); and got a Black Card membership, which is a bargain of magnificent proportions. The Black Card membership includes all the amenities in all their clubs across the country; showers–(which is the primary reason I needed the membership), unlimited guests, internet, tanning–(not for me), classes and the hydro massage bed; which I used and promptly fell asleep in. All for $23.00 a month. After a great experience there, it was time to find a place to be for the night; and this was where my nerves tried to get the best of me.
Initially, I thought I would just stay in the parking lot of Planet Fitness–it is 24 hours, after all. I thought that the fact that it was well lit and there were tons of people there, would be a benefit. It was not. I soon realized, there was no way, I would ever get sleep. Also, if you know Sacramento, this Planet Fitness is on Stockton Blvd., which is not the best area–and as the night progresses, it doesn’t get any better.
A great thing about living on a bus is that if you don’t like something, you can move; which I did. I found a quiet neighborhood street, under a big tree, crawled under my blanket, and went soundly to sleep; feeling a little stronger and certain in the knowledge that as each day passes, I will get better and better at navigating my new life scape.