North America
October 20th 2006
Published: October 20th 2006
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Whaddya know, a site about barefoot travel. Don't know how I found this site, but I did... and it brought back memories. Here's what happened:

1967. I had just hitchhiked up to San Francisco from the Central San Joaquin valley town of Fresno. I was wearin' a brand new pair of work boots.

I was walkin' down Haight Street. A guy passed me wearin' an old pair of groooovy cowboy boots with pointed toes. I admired his boots, and he admired mine. So we TRADED. Yup. I was 17, he was..... much older.

As he walked away with my niiice new boots on, the lump in my throat told me I just got had. But it was too late to do anything about it. So I walks away wit my new old boots. Old boots. Worn out boots. Boots that had about a month of wearin' left to 'em. But I clean em up real pretty. I get a can of spray paint, and paint them gold. Gold cowboy boots. Now I am realllllly groovy. I travel here... I travel there. Everyone loves my gold boots. Until they die. It was Vancouver Canada. THAT is where they died. THAT is as far as the boots got me.

So I pitch them. And if I were groovy before, I'm groovier now. Barefoot groovy. I travel here, I travel there, barefooted. Feet got tougher, life got finer. My bud and I started hitchhiking across Canada. I would do it barefooted. We got as far as Hope. I remember walking barefoot across the bridge over the Frazier River. But no one stopped to give us a ride. There was no hope in Hope. So we were forced to turn back to Vancouver.

Back in Vancouver, we plan our next trek- AFRICA. But we will go via SOUTH AMERICA. And I will do it barefooted.

BUT on our way to SOUTH AMERICA, we gets busted at the US-CANADIAN border. By friend, he goes his way, I go to jail, in Blaine, Washington. I was an under age runaway. And there in the jail cell, they FORCE me to wear shoes. I wear these shoes as I board the BUS back home. Yep, it’s the end of the trail for me. Home I go.

But not for long. Back at home, I fly the coop again. Free at last, WITHOUT any shoes. Those shoes made my feet soooooo sore.

Back in San Francisco. It was the Fall of ’67. You heard about all that trippin’ that went on in Golden Gate Park? Believe me, there was some TRIPPIN’ goin’ on. Met up with another bud and went to the PARK, yup we did. KeWwelll Aide… I mean, Cooooool Aide… with PINK PAISLEY capsules in it. How many, I don’t have any idea. But they passed the KeWWel Aide, and I swiggggged away. It was Yellow Submarine, White Rabbit, and Day TRippin’ all wrapped up in one. The trees turned into writhing snakes on the ground, and I writhed with the snakes. It was incredible. And I was barefootin’.

Next thing I know, my bud tells me he has friends in Hollywood that have a mansion, a yacht, and WE are welcome. Why, he had Bobby Sherman’s TELEPHONE CREDIT CARD, which we used to call everyone in the world that we knew… so we hit the ROAD to HOLLYWOOD, USA. STILL writhin’ like a freggin snake. Barefoot.

On the way, we pause in Santa Cruz. Then Carmel. And then, something went wrong. Just as you drive into Carmel on the main street, there is a little park. We were there, and SOMEhow, I stubbed my toe. OUCH. I had always been careful, but SOMETHING happened in that park. I think it was a pipe or sprinkler sticking up somewhere. It really wasn’t much (I thought) so I kept on trekking… to Hollywood we were headed.

But by the time we reached Hollywood, I was hurtin’ big time. My bud’s buds aren’t quite as rich and hospitable as we imagined. But they get something for me to soak my now swollen, infected foot in. It gets a bit better, but I seek medical help, and find none. And then the welcome wagon wears out. By bud and I decide San Francisco is a friendlier place to be, plus, there’s the Free Clinic on Haight Street. I need it big time. So away we go, back north again. Hollywood is ugly. Barefootin’, but hurtin’.

Along the way, we get a ride from some army guys stationed at Camp Roberts, right past San Luis Obispo. YAY, they will take is a long ways. Nice guys, they were. Bought us hamburgers in SLO. And dropped us off on the freeway at the exit that led to Camp Roberts. As soon as the car disappears, my bud shows me a CAMERA he swiped from the back seat. HE SWIPED it. I was shocked!!! How could he do such a thing??????? I told him as much. Low down thief. It was one thing to steal something from a stranger, or randomly. But these guys were GOOD to us, how could you DO such a thing!!?? But it was done now.

So we sits there in the light of the highway streetlamp. No one cares for two hippie boys heading back to San Fran. It gets later and later. Lonelier and lonelier, and my foot begins to throb. I need help big time.

FINALLY. A car stops. YAY!!! SAVED at last. A car load of guys: it must be a joy ride of sorts. Whew… it feels good to be in a CAR finally. A car load. There wasn’t room to sit on the seat, my bud was squished on top in the front, I was squished on top in the back. But at least it was a RIDE.

A moment of silence fell over the car. One of the guys has a pair of sizzors. He is making cutting motions with it, we hear it going zip zip zip zip. It registers in my mind that the introduction of the sizzors is not a good thing, for two guys with long hair… hmmmmmmmm, and then, I recognize…. I was sitting almost in the lap of… the army dude that had given us the ride, that we had stolen the camera from !!!

(haaaa, if I have you in suspense, write me if you wanna know how it ended!)

BAREFOOTIN' Words and music by Robert Parker, 1966

Everybody get on your feet,
You make me nervous when you in your seat
Take off your shoes and pat your feet,
We're doin a dance that can't be beat
We're barefootin', We're barefootin',
We're barefootin', We're barefootin',

Went to a party the other night,
Long Tall Sally was out of sight
Threw way her wig, and her high sneakers too,
She was doin a dance without any shoes
She was barefootin', She was barefootin',
She was barefootin', She was barefootin',

Hey little gal with the red dress on,
I bet you can barefoot all night long
Take off your shoes and throw them away,
Come back and get them another day
We're barefootin', We're barefootin',
We're barefootin', We're barefootin',
Musical interlude
Lil John Henry he said to Sue,
If I was barefootin' would you barefoot too
Sue told John, "I'm thirty two,
I was barefootin ever since I was two
They was barefootin', they was barefootin'
They was barefootin'', we barefootin'
We barefootin' we barefootin'
We barefootin' we barefootin'
We barefootin' we barefootin'
We don't have no shoes on

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