Cali Van Trip: Sleeping on the Highway and a Haircut in Lompoc


Well, I don’t think I’ll be making Frisco today!

Last night was wholesome. After stopping in that little nook between Ventura and Santa Barbara to cook up a feed I pressed on to the North. Not far, but far enough to pass a line of way over the top RVs, parked on the side of the road, stretching for at least a mile!

Drove on past this, and the road seemed to end. I had apparently missed a turn. Looking out the window I could see these large shadows moving. They looked real spooky, and I could hardly see them until I shined the headlights full on for a photo. Real creepy things, oil Pumpjacks, or “Nodding Donkeys”.

Was getting tired by now, but there were “No Overnight Parking” signs everywhere, to ward off free campers. Ended up turning around again to check out the RV land, in the hope of finding a place to park up and sleep. Paying sites again!

So I took off again for the north and started to get more and more sleepy, so after about half an hour I just peeled off the freeway on an exit called “Summerland” or some shit, parked up on the shoulder, hopped in the back and went to sleep.

In the morning I looked across and saw that the exit was actually called Padaro Lane. Weird, because I could have sworn that the night before it was called Summerland. Was a good nights’ sleep actually. Haha, sleeping on the side of the road somewhere in California, no-one in the world knowing where I was, not even me!

Woke up gently to the sun, got to drivin and stopped in at a ‘gas station’ for a bite to eat and a cup of coffee.

Breakfast, and the Van Revealed!


Hit the road again, eager to make some progress towards San Fran! Heading up through Santa Barabara I wrote:

“I feel the urge to press on, on a mission. But I actually dont have to do anything! Gonna go to the beach for a swim next, then take it slow.

Remember: I must seek out one non-superficial conversation today. Fuck, if …… could do it, I can!”

Open Road

The Other Side of Saskwatch the Van

Just off the Highway outside a US Air Base

So after fueling up and having my coffee in the ‘gas station’ parking lot, I headed north. Had the stereo on, alternating between some good rap that I bought off some musicians on the street in LA, and the Santa Barbara classical station.

After a fair bit of shitty freeway driving (the 101), I got back on the smaller Highway 1, the Pacific Coastal Highway, and it straight away got better. Green hills reminded me of Bindoon, but the way the green hills reached down to the sea, without a zone of sand dunes, was something I hadnt really seen before.

Snapping photos as I drove, i just about ran my camera out of juice. What to do! No mains power in this van. So passing through a little sleepy town called Lompoc I pulled in for a haircut, reckoning on charging my camera battery while getting shorn. It would also give me an opportunity to get that non-superficial conversation…

I spoke to Sarah, trying for once not to talk about myself. I felt sorry for her boredom being stuck in a small town with nothing to do. Her and 7 siblings had all stayed there. I reckoned she was in her early 20s as she fondly recounted the story of turning 21 in Vegas. Mum from Lompoc, Daddy from Texas. Bored, and stuck. Hard to save money, even harder to get time off. They had even demolished Lompoc’s bowling alley. But despite it all, she was a happy enough person. Stoic small town America.

For me, North.


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