(Camp San Mateo, CA)--
The drive from Truckee was long, even longer--departed 1130 PDT--arrived back gate, MCB Pendleton, 0230 the following morning.
Numerous bottlenecks due mainly to lane reduction occurred out on the Yolo Causeway before Davis, then again around Dixon and again at Vacaville on I-80; cutting south on I-680 through the Carquinez Strait...Gassed up at a Union 76 just off the road where regular sold for $4.65 for 5.3257 gallon at $24.49., Through Walnut Creek, Danville, Dublin and the rest of those Irish names into San Jose over Sunol Pass. To the east side of SJ and as I-680 goes south into Pleasanton, tree lined road kept the temperature just about the mid-nineties. The cutoff just below Gilroy on a winding road for about twenty miles resulted in Coast Highway at Watsonville, the temperature dropped to about mid-sixties and the fog rolled in all the way past Big Sur.
Here at the San Clemente Starbux on the Coast Highway sipping on the second trente black iced tea with extra ice, doing one of those rehydrating deals...as Ol Blue Eyes sings "Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a letter." That was the problem, no Starbux anywhere to be found down the Coast Highway. But plenty of tourists on the Bixby Bridge and Youtube influencers looking to fall hundreds of feet in a daredevil stunt. Part of the "Get t the Coast" mentality from the old days was, "Get to Bixby Bridge" and can make it the rest of the way into SWF, Haight Ashbury, for the Summer of Love, '67.
That's where the Big deal, Big Sur thing comes in. Old men trying to relive their youth in the crowded after dark Highway One saloons that line the road in this overrated surf town below Carmel, beyond the Bixby Bridge. Suddenly, it wasn't about getting anywhere any more but down the road, at least forty miles of winding, dangerous cliffs, beat up, half-collapsed and fog so thick only the bats with radar could see through it. Sixty miles an hour and if anyone got in the way, give them one of those "Cadillac Louie" maneuvers, from a long time ago, on one of those late 60s hitch hiking runs down the Coast. Wonder how I ever did it, which brings into question how many times I did do it. As if Nepenthe wasn't enough, then further down, the so-called "Esalen Institute," "By appointment only." Where Tim Leary and the acid-heads use to hang out. Now there's just a bunch of old men without tans trying to get their youth back.
Bringing up again just how many times did I make that treacherous run from the back gate of Camp Pendleton at Cristianitos Road here in San Clemente, all the way to the Diggers feed-ins at Golden Gate Park in the City. Might have been overrated. At least one with that lunatic Cadillac Louie, but that was going south and long after the war, ended up in some Oxnard warehouse district in the middle of the night.. So how many times did that run actually materialize in 1967? Once only, a few times, maybe several, maybe hardly at all. That was the focus that kept the pedal to the metal through the fog and into the night, passing all the closed McDonalds and the 20 cars to a line at the In-and-Out Burger joints from San Luis Obispo to Ventura.
The run itself last night added up to about 700 miles all the way to the back gate and just under $100 for gas, trying to keep it at 60 mph most of the way. Ventura Highway connected to the 405 just above Santa Monica and it looked like a straight shot into San Clemente, at around midnight. Just above Beach Boulevard cutting over to Surf City, a bridge was being demolished by two huge cranes out of a science fiction movie and the traffic, down to one lane and a detour, crawled around it for about an hour. Rolled into San Clemente very late and slept in the car by the back gate.
As for those legendary road trips by rule of thumb, maybe they were exaggerated, out and out fabricated. The prospect of making that long trip more than a couple times became clear when the drive through the fog and the forty miles of winding road were met with nothing but focus. Forget the beautiful sunset with the fog out over the ocean, lovers and newlyweds taking selfies.
Anything but uneventful has been the past two days upon insertion to LZ Clemente and commence operations. Between thunderstorms and an oil spill that closed beaches from Surf City to South Laguna, Twitter has been the go-to site for information processing. Facebook went down yesterday which allowed for some critical posts on the way things are going on, on social media. All posts @firebasetahoe as the info seems to flow at that handle...Following the morning routine of coast patrol up 001 into Zinc @ Laguna Beach, then it is a return to get caught up. Most of the info related to the oil spill is inaccurate and shallow at best. Two reports are available, the actual Beta Co. Oil Spill Prevention and Response plan (OSPR)--
(Zinc Cafe, Laguna Beach)-0-The San Pedro Bay pipeline is a subsidiary of Amplify Energy, the Houston-based oil company at the center of the major #oilspill along the Orange County coastline in Southern California. The company was the first to fence the theory that an anchor dragged the pipeline 100 feet from its original position causing the 13-inch rupture that spilled 130,000 plus gallons of crude oil into the ocean. With little evidence to back up the claim, mainstream media jumped on the opportunity to level charges against the dozens of ships currently parked off Long Beach harbor waiting to have their goods offloaded. At least some of those large vessels are tankers filled with millions of gallons of some petroleum based product.
By far, the most accurate charts of the shoreline adjacent to the Long Beach harbor can be found at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Divided into pdf maps, the charts detail not just the pipeline locations, but the assigned anchorage areas, which are coincidentally very near to where the San Pedro Bay pipeline enters the shore at Queensway Bay. Even though the soundings show shallow water at the entrance to the port at the anchor stations, Amplify Energy subsidiary Beta Company's OSPR, the Oil Spill Prevention and Response plan, notes the pipeline is buried 10-15 feet below the surface. Amplify has announced the rupture was due to anchor drag but hasn't offered any evidence--maps, photos, charts--even though underwater drones and divers were sent to the location. The best possible scenario as to why mainstream media accepted the theory at face value is to deflect responsibility for offshore drilling as the culprit.
In spite of all the mainstream media parrots and their rather shallow reports on the #oil slick, some of the more important details of the event are being completely overlooked. Even then, throwing caution to the wind and downplaying the disaster as it will only invite m ore of the same. The closer the look, the more the truth unravels and fabrication, such as the anchor dragging the pipeline, appears.
Leave it at that , it's press time..
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