Monday, September 27

Auntie JoJo came in and woke us up at 7:30am, to tell us not to come to her class and speak. She teaches special ed students and wanted us to come, but in the night she decided against it, probably for our sanity. She knew the kids would love it if we did come, but since they didn’t know we’d come, they wouldn’t be disappointed if we didn’t. She told us there was breakfast stuff in the kitchen and to make ourselves at home.

She also said that there was a care package for us to take on the road. She had gone to the store yesterday and picked up a bunch of stuff for us to have: apples, popcorn (movie theater butter!), jerky, small cans of soda, peanuts, and a multitude of one of my favorite candies – Necco Wafers. Not many people like Necco Wafers, but Tod and I love them. It’s the one candy we both love equally, he’s a Marzipan man, and I am a black licorice fella, and we can’t stand each other’s candy, but Necco Wafers, they build a bridge!

As we were getting breakfast and prepping to head out, I decided to go out back and se the pigs that Uncle John is raising. As I neared the pen, I could hear them scuttling about in this house inside the gated area they called home. I stood there for a few minutes and they began to poke their heads out to see what I was. It was amazing to watch them, they were like dogs. The first pig that I saw poked his head out and stood there, looking at me, with one of his front raised up, waiting to take a tentative step forward to me. Others began to poke out too. He must have been there leader, or the one the other pigs were wiling to sacrifice, not sure which really.

They finally came out to approach me, but they kept scaring each other and running off to the far end of the pen. I undid the latch and went in to see if they would come to me. Let me tell you something about pigs right now before I go any further, flies love them! As soon as I got in the pen and squatted down so they knew I wasn’t going to hurt them, and was almost instantly swarmed by flies. At first I tried to shoo them, but that scared the pigs, so I had to let the flies cover me so I could get eh pigs to come to me.

The pigs slowly came and I held out my hands so I could pet them, I’ve never pet a pig before. They sniffed my hands just like a dog would! I was pretty blown away by this whole encounter, and they got more used to me, and all of them came around to find out more about me. The feeling of their snouts as they sniffed me was weird and cool. It made me think of an elephant’s trunk. Are pigs and elephants related?

They started to get fresh with me as they got more used to my being there and started to try and nibble my hand. Not knowing much about pig’s teeth, I didn’t know if they had sharp teeth or just molars, so when they would try and bite me I would just shift my hand under their chins and give them a little scratchin’. Their skin and fur was not what I expected, their fur is wiry, like bristles. Not really pleasant to touch, but friendly enough. I think I might have freaked out a bit being surrounded by the pigs and thinking about the movie Snatch, where the villain feeds people to his pigs, so I finished up with the pigs and headed back to get packed up and hit the road.

We got our care package packed up and headed off towards Monterey, so we could drive down the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. When we got into Monterey, we pulled over and the crew rigged another car mount onto the car and we got some great footage of us as we traveled down the windy road running along the Pacific Ocean. We stopped at Bixby Bridge to stretch our legs and remove the car mount. We met these two guys, Randy and Paul, who were biking down the PCH to raise awareness for their Arthritis Foundation. It was cool to talk to them about our two journeys. Paul talked about how he had spent some time in Oahu, HI, learning surfing from a legend out there, Uncle Gabby. I told him that my parents lived on Oahu for 4 years and how I would love to move out there. Paul said he is taking another trip out there in October and when he gets back, he may just pack up his family and make the move. Maybe we’ll run into each other again out there.

As we neared San Luis Obispo, we pulled over to catch a beautiful sunset over the ocean. There was this beautiful thing that happened while I was watching the sun go down: I don’t know if it was just my eyes or it was actually happening. People talk about seeing a green flash sometimes when the last bit of sun falls below the horizon, when the setting is just right with the location and atmosphere. As the last bit of sun was falling below the surface of the water, I saw brilliant flashes of orange on both sides of the sun in the sky around it. It happened multiple times. It was like explosions of color, a dying sun’s last grasp for living, before being born again tomorrow. It put a lot of thoughts in my head, both positive for life, and how each new day brings us a chance to reinvent ourselves and somewhat sad about the loss of things we currently have at the end of each day and in life.

Tod and I spoke to a family that was at the vista point we were at watching the sunset, explaining our journey. One of the family members, Maria, talked to us about how she has had cataracts as an adult and he when she was pregnant, the hormone shift in her body caused her cataracts to accelerate. She was able to have surgery to fix it, luckily. They wished us luck on our journey and we said our goodbyes, and got back on the road for Los Angeles.