From Watsonville to Seaside- Highs and Lows


Wow. So much to write about. Yesterday was one for the most lucky-unlucky days of my life.  I really feel like there are guardian angels around me. But lets start at the beginning. On the 24th, Brittany and I left her little house, where she and her sister are raising an adorable two year old together, while being in school. They are some of the most hard working lovely people I have spent time with, and it was good to reconnect with Brittany. We rode together the 15 or so miles to Salinas through oak trees and back ways.

Salinas seems like a sad city to me. So many poor people. Or maybe I just saw one angle of it. Brittany works at a shelter called Dorthy’s Place there, and we went there together. I was a bit nervous to set up my cart and record there, because I didn’t want people to feel like I was moving through their community without investing any time, when serious time and support could be used. I didn’t want to just take stories and leave. But once I got there, a lot of my fears were dispelled. People were asking all kinds of questions about my project, and loving it the cart. I helped cook a bit. and tried to feel comfortable in the community. Many of the woman who sleep at Dorthy’s place have lived there for years, and I stuck out a but. but everyone was nice and kind and chatty with me. Brittany went home at 9:30, and I stayed there.

The next morning, we got up at 5, and the men came in at 6, because it was a space for everyone during the day. We all watched the weather, on TV- Them, to see if they would be standing in the rain panhandling all day. Me, to see if I could get to Monterrey.  I recorded a bit on the street outside of the shelter, and then continued on my way. I had tire problems and found a bike shop. The marvelous person at Bobcat Bicycles gave me two free tubes.

And I set off. Somewhere on the highway, a smiling woman hollered out of her car to me. What is that? I told her about my project and she wanted to record, so she gave me directions to her house, and recorded a beautiful piano piece that she had written. She was incredibly generous, had a huge smile, a pink jumpsuit, lots of little dogs, and a beautiful boy. She smudged my cart with sage, when I left.

I also stopped at REI, and changed in my panieers, because they kept falling off my bike. The people there were also rad and supportive, and I recorded one person. Also Thank you to you, REI person, whose name I forget, for giving me your bike tools!!!

Here are all of the recording from this leg of the journey.

Then I started down a short 8 mile bike path to Monterrey. And… My tire died. Not my replaceable bike tube, but my whole tire. And it started raining, right then. I carried the front of my bike, and dragged the back, about five miles, into Seaside, where the nearest bike shop was. And here is where the good news bad news part comes in. I was upset because I didn’t want to bike in the dark. It is dangerous, with my cart. But the house I was planning to get to is in Monterrey. And then- someone yelled out their window at me- Are you my couch surfer? I had contacted a few people on to ask if I could stay in Seaside,  before I remembered that we have family friends in Monterrey. And here she was!  A beautiful smiling woman, named Rachel! She drove and I followed her home, while she yelled things like wow, big hill, good job! We arrived at her lovely house, and had a big farmers market dinner, and here I am still, looking at the rain out of the window. There is another farmers market today, and Rachel and her friends are going to be singing Anti-GMO songs there. I think I will join them.



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2 responses to “From Watsonville to Seaside- Highs and Lows

  1. J

    Sorry to hear about your bike problems. I met you and Brittney at Elkhorn Slough w/my dog. When I got home, I thought — I should’ve offered you my place to stay the night in Elkhorn in case you got caught in the rain.

    But it looks like you are in good hands now. If you ever get stuck around Elkhorn, let me know, and you can stay over. Just contact me through


  2. Pingback: Opening Doors in Medellín — and Salinas? « Local Nomad

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