Hey Team,

There’s a lot to say about the Boston trip (and I’ll post most of it over the next couple days) but the real action happened during the cavalcade of errors that was my trek back to California. With that in mind…

After an early morning flight from Beantown, USA, I landed in San Francisco around noon with every intention of being back in Fresno by 4pm at the latest. Unfortunately, it was shortly after landing that I discovered I had hit the first of many snags in the day to come. You see, I’m not exactly what some folks would call “a planner” or “intelligent,” and as such, even though I knew this trip was coming a month in advance I still never thought to see if I had a ride from SFO to my car (which happened to be a full 45 minutes away from the airport).

During the glory days of Amtrekker I wouldn’t have thought twice about slinging my backpack over my shoulder and walking to the nearest public transportation, but this time around there was a new wrinkle. Arizona, my seven month old pup and the world’s greatest mutt, had escorted me to Boston for the week so suddenly I had to navigate the world with a backpack, a dog and a very awkward travel crate.

After a few phone calls I managed to find a ride into the city but technically no closer to my actual car. That’s when I decided to suck it up and head to the BART station. Apparently, however, they have a no dogs allowed policy…unless it’s a Seeing Eye Dog. To compensate, I put Zona’s backpack on and hoped it would confuse people long enough to jump on a train and watch the doors slide shut.

And that was the last time things worked out in my favor.

Eventually the train stopped in Pleasanton, CA and I realized I was still about 4 miles from where my car was parked at a friend’s house. After a long doleful sigh I thought to myself, “What the hell! I’m the freaking Amtrekker! Let’s do this!” I slid my pack on, tied Arizona’s leash to the waist strap, slung the crate over my back and started walking. I’m pretty sure it was less than a half-mile before I started hating life.

Arizona kept wanting to tied up my legs by running around me in circle sniffing everything in sight and the crate, despite the laws of physics, continued to get heavier and more awkward…but I trudged on. Then, what did I see?!

A bus stop, yes, but more importantly a Wal-Mart shopping cart just sitting there beneath the shelter begging to have a back pack and crate tossed inside! Then I though, “Why not?” and tossed Arizona in for good measure. Suddenly I was freed from my burdens and with a spring in my step and wheels beneath my feet I started to use the shopping cart as an impromptu skateboard. Now I was making great time! Suddenly the world got a little brighter.

However, being the responsible and loving dog owner that I am I started to get concerned that Zona didn’t have enough space in the cart to lay comfortably while I skated us to glory. I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and started trying to shove my pack underneath while making sure AZ didn’t make a break for it. I was pretty engrossed in the whole process. Which explains why when I looked up I TOTALLY wasn’t expected to see a cop standing over me.

“What are you doing?”

My only response was hysterical laughter. How exactly DO I go about explaining this?

“You know it’s an arrestable offense to take a shopping cart.” More laughter from my end. “I know it sounds silly but these companies lose a ton of money to stolen carts.”

“Well, to be fair officer, I didn’t so much take it from where it was supposed to be as move it slightly further from where it was supposed to be…”

“You’re in possession of it. It’s right here.” He pointed down emphatically. “With your dog in it.”

“I think I see what you’re saying.” I smiled again, hoping to keep things light.

I spent the next several minutes relaying how I came to end up there with my dog and her crate in a shopping cart while he had my ID checked to make sure I didn’t have any warrants out for my arrest. (Good thing I got that thing in Utah all cleared up. :) )

Eventually he decided I was mostly harmless and called me a cab. I hate cabs.

Luckily my friend that wasn’t able to pick me up earlier showed up right before the yellow van did.

Problem solved.

I’m done.

Brett.