It happens to all of us.
I got caught. I was exploring, as I am wont to do, a little-visited and forgotten part of the world. This particular one used to be an old U.S Navy base on the Eastern shore of San Francisco bay: Point Molate. I was there to drop off a certain someone for her certain Dad’s birthday shark fishing trip. I don’t recommend the road unless you use it for offroading. Anyways, coming back in the slight pre-dawn I took a closer look at the rows of oddly placed, identical housing. That’s when I figured that this place was just like the Ord—an old military base that had been decommissioned and left to the elements. That’s what I thought anyways. In the Ord’s case, the place had been partially (and I do mean partially) converted into a college, where quite frankly the coolest thing to study was the Ord itself. Sure—sometimes one has to cross a few barriers to get to somewhere abandoned and cool. It’s best to take a camera in case you can’t again.
So when I found a gate along the way back to civilization, and a smallish turnoff nearby, I was lured in. I sauntered around the edge of the fence and was inside. Seems the City of Richmond has a beachfront park which they keep closed for no good reason. Sure, there are big signs in there nearby the splintering picnic benches and rusted-out trashcans stating “no open fires: high explosive material in adjacent area” but I don’t see that stopping my enjoyment of the place. Finding myself at the the end of the “park” I found myself in front of another gate. To get around the fence (again) it was necessary to get down on the beach and over sea-slippery rocks. Nice views down there of one of the many San Francisco bay bridges, floating away into the morning fog. It’s at this point I see that there’s a gravel path leading around the next bend—a path which is very far and very exposed. Not that there’s much traffic at this hour… but still. I make my way along the path, running some distance and notice that there’s what looks like a house after the bend. And there’s what looks like a guy coming out of the house, and it looks like he’s taking out the trash. And it looks like he sees me. Uh oh…
I turn tail. But it doesn’t really matter as this guy has a truck and to be sure now, he sees me. I’m on foot. I have blue hair. I skirted around two fences to get here in the first place. Turns out that this area now belongs to the Chevron Oil Corporation, although I didn’t find that out right away. No… I was just asked what the hell I was doing there. I answered honestly: I was taking pictures. And I said “I just walked around. I didn’t break and enter or anything. Just wanted to see what was here.” The guy gave me a long look, and I guess that was the right answer because he told me alright, I just needed to go now. He sped on ahead to the gate and I walked along behind (didn’t really see the need to jog anymore). As I began clambering down the rocks to the sea, I heard the guy call out “you be careful now. Take care.” Of course, I didn’t really know if he meant climbing on those rocks, or going places I shouldn’t, or exploring the world in general or living my life to the fullest or whatever, so I answered back in a way that fit all of them: “Thank you. I will. Thank you.” And then I got the hell out.