here's an adventurous day.
after some eggs and bacon with ryan and his fiance [you can read about the day of their summer engagement post here on this ridiculously long link that is giving more and more reason to at least just check it out once since i'd gone through the trouble of hooking up the original story and day in this little post and subsequent link] i said goodbye to them at the sky train station under the grey skies of late morning. the only plan for the day was to meet up again with tyler at chapters so i bought a vancouver public transit day pass (nine bones) and began fulfilling a long desired, yet somehow now urbanized, mission of train jumping. actually there were hundreds of people doing this but they were all wearing black coats or office wear and were running down concrete stairs and holding the closing jaws of the beeping sky train and doing whatever it took to get to work. i just had a backpack and jeans.
i knew where i eventually had to get to and was starting to feel familiar with vancouver. i'd get on a sky train and glide above the city streets while a chorus of what seemed to be demons or some unfortunate thing would whir and scream through the floorboards as we moved towards the horizon across these cries of wheels and electricity and steel.
there's a mountain equipment co-op store in canada much alike to r.e.i. in the states. both offer very reasonably priced outdoor gear and in this way it is kind of like an ikea for hippy chicks and men with beards who live in this pacific northwest. i wandered the store and considered buying a new this-or-that or tiny camping oven or rock climbing harness but then left the store with nothing at all. i wouldn't have seriously bought anything, by the way.
there's a bookstore that caught my eye near the corner of broadway and main. they advertised used books and offered twenty percent off the canadian price of new titles. i spent over an hour there wandering the shelves and reviewing my back pocket notebook for titles that could be found here. at one point i had about six books in my hand and i was trying to convince myself that i could a) afford them and b) transport these indefinitely if i really wanted. i could do neither, however, and ended up putting them all back.
tyler and i met up on the street, incredibly enough, and joined the lunch rush at the cheap pizza shop. he'd accomplished his mission for the day and was tired of walking and of the city. i'd bought a day pass for transportation and was kind of eager to wander so i wrote down his home phone in my notebook and he said to call him when i got to the last bus stop nearest his house. cool, will do. cya later.
we split up and i started wandering again. i hopped off at one station that was near part of the bay and went to the large white railing and made sure i wasn't in the background of any of the multiple asian tourists taking pictures together.
breathe. the ocean. again. at last. i've been wanting this for months
i started the trek back to maple ridge where his house is. train. bus. bus. horrible traffic. then disaster. the phone number must have been off one digit cause i kept calling someone who wasn't him. nothing in the phone book. i looked at a map at a husky gas station and found the landmark i was looking for. it was the school that i'd taken tyler's little brother to play baseball at a few days back. i knew i could get back from there.
it was a couple miles walk and i was able to confirm past hitch hiking research that lexus and bmw and the upscale cars in this upscale neighborhood disallow a hitch hiker. obviously. eventually an old four door jetta downshifted and a construction worker or something like that came to the rescue. said he hitched south america when he was younger and that everyone there was cool like that. i hopped out at my turn off and walked another forty five minutes to the house.
i really enjoyed the experience though. the air was warm and daylight was falling behind the rows of similar looking houses with cement driveways and finely maintained lawns. a gradient of yellow to blue backdropped horizontal streaks of pink clouds in the sky. tyler and i were comparing stories just before darkness fell. they'd had dinner, of course, but had also very kindly left me a t-bone steak which turned out to be as big as my entire left hand. wow. and i have big hands.