Friday, August 20, 2010

Secret Streets and Sunshine

Most of my photos were subpar.. so only a handful made it to facebook. Not too happy about that, but oh well.

After a good delay, I left San Francisco and the Creature house. Once again I found myself getting really comfortable in a situation, but knew I couldn't allow myself to dig my feet in. I wanted to keep going, and stay at the same time. I was feeling the wanderlust (great word, thanks Paul!) fading away which was scary. The solution? Keep going.

...but not yet. One more night in San Francisco to cause some shenanigans, even though they ended up just being beneficial. I headed out to a bar, had a few good conversations with locals as I usually do..nothing too crazy, 'til I went to Uptown again. I sat down next to a lady at the bar, and after she asked about my bag, she said "Well... I was about to leave, but I think I'll have another beer. You're interesting." So, I'm interesting I suppose. Turns out this lady was a writer, who just published a book about Bike Messengers in San Francisco who ride around and kill corporate people...freakin' awesome. She also hosts a few radio shows, which I didn't have to option to listen to..but they seemed cool.

Pam Benjamin is her name, and she can be seen here, being humped by a person in a bear suit, while laughing.

Right as I left, and started to get on my moped, a guy by the name of Paul came out and struck up a conversation. He was riding the beautiful red, white and blue vintage Vespa parked right behind me. We had a chat about mopeds, scooters and the gangs associated with each, then he brought up "secret Lombard St." Apparently, a street just as crazy as the infamous Lombard, only very well hidden (it's in Potrero, shhh.)Considering how steep the hills were to get up to the top, I can understand why a lot of people avoid it. It's like the climb to Lombard, but a few blocks more... my poor moped. Eventually we make it to the top and we stop. He flips his visor, turns to me with a hand out saying, "On behalf of the Secret Society (the vintage scooter gang in SF), welcome to secret Lombard Street!" shakes my hand, then we ride through the intersection, into what initially looked like a dead end with some trees... I was wrong. The ground instantly dropped out, and we were carving our way through these insanely tight turns, flying down the hill... at 3am. Awesome.

At the bottom of the hill was his apartment. We went in for a moment, had a chat about traveling, then I was on my way home but not without a gift of an inflatable 3/4 sleeping pad. Rad, again. The next morning, after another fantastic cup of Philz coffee, I was off.

The cruise down El Camino Real was great as usual. It's a straight shot out of San Francisco and down towards San Jose. 80F, not a cloud in the sky, 35-40mph zones... I was happy. Cruising through San Mateo, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and San Jose were really fun.. but had I known my future predicaments and the difficulty of getting from San Jose to Santa Cruz, I probably should have taken Route 1. Live and learn.

My attention is being pulled in a mess of directions right now, and time is ticking away, so I'll leave this post as is.

More tomorrow!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

...back to the City

The reason I skipped out of San Francisco (besides the whole losing-my-stuff thing) was to kill time before the Moped Monday being hosted by the Creatures of the Loin, the San Francisco brand of the Moped Army. I had 3 days before the rally and just wanted to sleep in the wild, instead of GGP.

8pm @ Shotwells, drinks 'til 10pm then it's riding time. I show up right at 8, looking around for any other mopeds. Nothing. Okay, maybe I'm just early. I walk in, sit down at a completely crowded bar and order a delicious IPA: Big Daddy. Still no sign of a moped rider.. hmm. Suddenly, it's trivia hour. Teams are forming, a raspy voice over a crackling microphone starts asking questions about the Ninja Turtles; it's 8:40 at this point. My initial reaction is to check my phone, and look at the forum post. Doh, I didn't scroll down enough. "Last minute location change due to trivia night. Uptown @ 17th and Capp" Frick. Time to hop back on and ride a few blocks up. When I arrive, I see about 4 amazing old mopeds. Some modified heavily, capable of 50mph, others restored to running order, and a bit more. Either way, these things were beautiful. I had to wipe up the drool a few times.

Inside, I sit down and have a PBR (at a SF dive bar? NO WAY!) when I notice a girl come in with riding gear on. She stands next to me to order a drink, and I ask her "So, which is yours?". She comments about her bike, and of course I'm jealous. She reciprocates, and I point to the only stock/post 1990 moped on the street. Dork status +1. I tell her about my trip, and before I know it all the moped guys are asking me about it. My silly trip preceeds me. Everyone I talked to was really cool, giving lots of good advice, and even invitations to camp/sleep over. Wicked. I dig these cats already.

10:30 rolls around, and people are slowly hopping on their bikes. At this point, there are at least 25 mopeds crowding the sidewalk to the point where you'd have to walk into the road to get around them. One turns on and zips around, then two, then 4. Next thing I knew, everyone was on their bikes and leaving, while I was still strapping on my helmet. Shit! I scramble to start the bike, run a red and try to catch up.

Let me put this into perspective real fast:
Me + 35lbs of gear on a heavily restricted stock moped that was dying.
25 people that mod mopeds as a hobby/career.
Streets of San Francisco at night + fog

It'd be an understatement to say they lost me. When that traffic light turned green, it was just a flood of mopeds through the intersection, accompanied by the defined BRAAAP of some tuned pipes and kitted motors. Fucking amazing. It was a scene most people will never encounter. Everyone was there for the same reason, with the same interests in mopeds. It was beautiful... until they lost me. 27mph on flats can't keep up with guys doing 35 up hills. Somehow I found them at the gas station, when everyone took off again. I managed to follow the whole group for a total of about 7 miles, before I really got lost. Ole Tomozela decided to stop running while chugging up a hill, which lead to me having to kick start it after a few attempts. Everyone was long gone at this point. Crap.. GPS comes out, and I head back to the bar.

Arriving at the bar, I saw one guy taking off his helmet. We had met earlier in the night, and had exchanged numbers. Mike hadn't gone on the ride, I found out. His moped was broken, so he had simply rode his scooter to meet up with everyone before and after. I explained my situation, and right as I was finishing, one of the other riders shows up with a smile on his face, and a broken mirror. "Dude, I totally went down. It was perfect". Apparently he had laid the bike down going around a corner, slid on the ground for a little then just stood up and picked up the moped. Scary, but he was fine. His mirror... not so much. He reported back that a few people had broken down, and the group got split. Apparently some cops had stopped the faster group, but I don't know what happened with that. It could have been because we ripped past two squad cars that were pulling someone over.. they must not have enjoyed that.

That night, I slept in the warehouse where Mike and some other's stayed. Yea, a warehouse, but I'll explain how amazing it is shortly. I rolled my moped into a dark room, where I could only tell it just had a ton of stuff in a large room. A nervous shuffle over some things and up some stairs, and I was putting my stuff down in the "Rape Room"...which is simply a futon bed at the end of the loft, that has two walls built around it. Hardly rape-like, and obviously a joke. Granted.. that is pretty awesome to call your guest room a "Rape Room" just to see how the guests react. I laughed, as did Mike.

Now, I can't really describe this place as well as I wish, but I'll try.

It's a warehouse. It's a house. It's a garage. It's a storage facility. It's an art studio. It's a practice room. It has enough books, instruments, stickers, posters, bikes, mopeds and tools to last anyone a lifetime. Translation: Perfect. There is one exception, every Tuesday at noon.. the insanely loud warning sirens followed by the loud ominous voice barking "THIS IS ONLY A TEST" coming from a speaker 20 feet away. You can hear it throughout the city of San Francisco, and we're 20 feet away. Jesus. A good way to wake up though.

Little did I know when coming to San Francisco, that Treatland is based out of this town. It's one of the coolest moped parts online stores ever. Click here for moped awesomeness. It was exactly what I needed to make my moped run better.. so Mike and I headed over the next morning to pick up some parts. After a few questions were exchanged, I was walking out with $110 less, but a bunch of parts to get my moped cruising. I spent much of the afternoon working on swapping parts and trying to tune the moped, under the watchful eye of Mike. Eventually I got most of my junk bolted on, jets swapped, and I was ready for a test ride. It was LOUD and FAST.. I was happy. Little did I know, that volume was cause for concern.

Earlier that day, Celeste (who I accidentally woke up this morning) had informed me, over a cup of insanely good coffee and a chocolate chip croissant, about her friend coming to paint a mural on her bedroom wall that night, and she was to photograph the whole thing. Rad. 8pm rolls around, and he shows up. The camera is set up, the paint is out. 12 hours later, I'm falling asleep to the sound of a few people leaving for work. I witnessed a blank wall become a cavalcade of color and shapes, which turned into a portrait of what would best be described as Cruela Deville, which was then cast upon with paint. A beautiful thing now calls Celeste's wall home. There will be pictures on Facebook.

The final product:

Remember Mike from San Francisco that rode the motorcycle, that I met in the Redwood forest? He returned to the bay area today, and we met up and had some bangin' burgers at this little place called Barney's Gourmet Burgers. My lunch should have been on weight watchers menu: A burger with pepper jack cheese, hickory bbq sauce, enough bacon to last a week and it was all chased by an oreo milkshake. Perfection. Shortly after, I headed back to the house where I had to fix my moped. The cause of the insane volume was the fact that my exhaust pipe wasn't flush against the engine. The tell-tale sign was the oil and gas mixture leaking from the mount. It took Mike and I the majority of the night to get the exhaust properly mounted (cursed thick ratchet heads!), but it didn't come with out some brute force, hacksaws, drill presses and some strategically placed four letter words. I have the most beautifully ghetto exhaust mounting bracket this side of the Mississippi. So, that's one problem solved. A few smashes with a hammer later, and the air filter problem was solved. Some random pulling of cables and oil hands, and my oil injection is gone. Sweet. The bike is really ready to rip now. Oh wait, 2 threads on the Carb mounting bracket bolt are jacked, and the clamp won't tighten. No tight clamp and my carb goes flying off the bike. No bueno. The hardware store closed 5 minutes before we discovered this problem..and none of the millions of bolts here would work. Argh! Tomorrow it is..

I sit here, listening to some music under a little lamp and typing away.. knowing I forgot something in my story. It's all good though since I did a lot of writing tonight and finally caught up with where I am. Every day is such an amazing adventure, and I'm surrounded by such fantastic people. Real people, living real lives.

Pictures tomorrow, I promise. I have 860 on my camera from all over. Be patient.

I'm off to go bug Celeste. Goodnight, moon.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Half Moon Bay, and back to the City

After my ridiculous experience in San Francisco, I decided to head south to Half Moon Bay; A quiet little coastal town about 30 miles south of San Francisco. The drive down was beautiful, since I was inland. 80 degrees and sunny, until I headed west. The big hills had once again caught all the clouds and kept 'em hanging. It was cold and wet, as I had expected. Crap. My plans of laying on the beach were toast... wet, soggy toast that had been sitting out for quite some time. Oh well, this isn't new for the pacific coast.

Arriving in town with a dead phone and a craving for caffeine, I ended up in Starbucks. Gross, I know.. but it's easy to take advantage of the stores power outlets. Little did I know, but the blonde girl that asked me about my bag would be my tour-guide/entertainment for the entire next day.

She had suggested this little pub that her family was having a party at the next day, so I decided to go there, but not before stopping at the local brewery, listening to some crazy good sax player in a bad band, and having a beer. I show up to this pub, and hear this crazy strong beat coming from the back room. Venturing closer revealed a little tiny bar, lit up with blacklights, and 2 people at the bar. Ugh..another bland night, I thought. The bartender looked to be maybe 18 years old and was oddly bubbly for no one being at the bar (the two people were actually her friends she had invited in to keep her company). She gets me a beer, and I slowly drink it to kill the time. 30 minutes pass, two people show up.. another 5 people roll in within a 30 minute time frame after that. Before long, it's like every young person in the town just fell into Cameron's Pub...and they all knew the bartender. Here I was, the stranger with a backpack amongst a bunch of locals. They loved it. Let's just say, I left that bar nicely drunk without paying for a single thing... as did everyone else. Score. A night's sleep in some tall grass was welcoming.

The next day I perform my normal morning routine, and wonder if Ashley (the blonde girl at starbucks) was going to actually invite me to this family gathering she had mentioned semi-awkwardly the day before. It wasn't long 'til I got the text, and headed over. My first impression: Lots of older folk with balloon hats and children running around. Ugh. What did I get myself into? Instead of being rude and leaving, I decided to stick around for a bit. The churchy band played a few bad covers, with amazing instruments and gear, and I quickly found and destroyed a bunch of food. Delicious hotdogs and beans! Next thing I know, I'm playing horseshoes and baseball with Ashley's nieces and nephews. I was actually having fun. After the little ones scampered off, Ashley and I just wandered around Cameron's Pub, finding games to play and beers to drink. She rocked me with a perfect 32 throw to win a game of darts... I'll admit defeat when it was that amazing. 20-9-3. Ugh. We had a few more drinks throughout the afternoon while buming around the london double decker-turned cigar lounge, and talking to an irish nerdy guy drinking wine. All in all it was a pleasant day. Once again, a night in the tall grass.

The next day wasn't too eventful, but the day after that I had a great conversation with yet another girl in Starbucks (Do all the interesting girls in Half Moon Bay live in Starbucks?!). Her name was Jackie, and at first I had thought she was a total business professional, due to her nice conservative outfit and the stack of papers being scrambled between punching numbers into her netbook. I was wrong, thankfully. (Yes, it was a total superficial first impression, but in a way to contrast my appearance to hers) She turned out to be really interested in what I was doing, since it was something she had thought about many times before. I hope she left that coffee shop understanding that it IS possible to do things some will deem "crazy", as long as you have the willpower.

Further down the coast

Bodega Bay was next on my stops.. and I didn't even stop. Just a dinky little town as usual, but more scenic and more surfers. The signs for San Francisco just kept decreasing in mileage, so I was highly motivated to just hit the city I'd been waiting to go to for a few years now. Closer and closer the moped brought me, and the excitement (and traffic) just kept growing. Finally I see it: signs for the Golden Gate Bridge! Almost there! Wait.. traffic was gridlocked. Good thing I was on a moped, and could (later found out, legally) split lanes. Goodbye 2 hour wait, hello GGB! The large hill right next to the bridge entrance provided for an excellent first view of the bridge.. and an epic one it was. The fog had just cleared enough to see both towers. It was probably due to the extremely intense wind I had to fight with in order to stand up. What is it with this coast and wind? Sheesh.

View from the top of the hill

Same view, other direction.

My ride along the bridge was slow, but fun. A few near accidents were thanks to me staring at the huge towers and lines of red that were above and around me. Sorry folks, it happens. At least I didn't actually hit anyone.

Getting off the bridge was a mad scramble of cars, right into downtown San Francisco. Now, I had no intention of actually figuring out where I was at this point, because I was too concerned with observing everything (a surprising amount of adult entertainment right on Lombard) and just taking the city in. I really just putted my way through traffic, and up the hills for an hour or two before I decided I needed a place to stay that night. A hostel by the name of Backpacker's Inn Hostel was my choice. And here's what happened.

I was lucky enough to get 1 of the last 2 beds available that night.. not a room, just a bed. I hadn't really thought about why a hostel is much cheaper than a hotel, but I figured this is why. No big deal, I was tired and ready to just sit down.. even if it were around a mess of people. I put my stuff in my room, threw the sheets on the bed, then 'ventured to the upstairs social room that I overheard someone speaking about. The room was simple, but accessible. 2 couches, a breakfast table and some chairs, 2 computers, and a little kitchen with lots of cooking supplies. I sat down and hopped on blogger to keep you kids updated on where I was, and started to upload some photos. Not a few minutes later, a kid by the name of Dan, from London, England came in and had a seat on the couch. We exchanged hellos, and basic traveler's questions. The conversation kept going as a few more people slowly trickled into the room. A few German kids, some Italians and a few Dutch scattered here and there. Before long, we were all involved in a whole room/group conversation and shenanigans about who knows what. It was a lot of fun... then the German kids proposed we all go out drinking. Go figure! There were about 9 of us wandering the streets of San Francisco without any sense of direction except to find beer. 25 minutes later we FINALLY found a bar. It was a little, yuppie bar, but whatever, they sold beer so everyone was happy.

Dan tried his hand at photography, but Freddie wasn't having it. This is in the communal room

The night concluded with a handful of us sitting on the porch, discussing random things... and eventually just myself and a girl from France named Julie were on the porch, talking about life. A good night in all.

The following day was my day to explore, and that I did. From the Embarcadero, Coit Tower and Pier 39 to Golden Gate Park and Alamo Square (my favorite place of all times). I probably lost 5lbs hauling all my gear up the steps to Coit Tower, only to find out there is a ROAD that takes you to the top. Doh. C'est la vie.

Here's where things turned a little sour in my mind.. where was the real San Francisco? All I saw were crowds of tourists and others scrambling around with their DSLRs that they didn't really know how to use. Where are the artists? The musicians? The hippies? I was really let down by what I had seen (in a social aspect, not landscape.. the area is just amazing). I had gone out to a bar, and ended up just sitting there without one person who seemed interested in a conversation. Awkward. No where else on the west coast have I felt that alone just hanging out somewhere. C'mon San Francisco, why aren't you living up to the hype? The next 36 hours really drove the nail home... I'll just provide a clifnotes version, since anyone reading this has probably already heard the details from me.

Bar 'til 2am, talking with some people
Leave bar, hop on moped with all my gear
Come to my senses at 7am while walking around, 6 miles from the bar and missing everything but my phone, debit card and license.
Police/walking/homeless shelters/panic ensued, followed by a horribly stressed stay at a hotel.

At this point, I had lost everything. My life had just been put on pause, and I had no recollection of where it could have gone. Fuck. How did this happen? What do I do now? Do I go home or attempt to make it to San Diego? Many thoughts went through my head in such a short amount of time, and I couldn't comprehend any of it. Eventually I had come to terms with losing everything I had, cutting my losses and heading back to Baltimore. It hurt, pretty bad. Finally I contact my mother to let her know what had happened, since I had my feet on the ground at this point, and anything sooner would have caused her to panic. Not 15 minutes into the call, I hear a beep.

Katey: "Dude, they found your stuff. Call the Daly City Police."

Holy. Shit.

I was saved. I was redeemed. My trip was redeemed. I've never felt such a rush of pure relief and joy. I frantically called the police station, attempting to locate my stuff. It took about 30 minutes of phone tag between 3 police stations, and an hour of standing around before I received a phone call informing me of the location of my stuff. I punched the address the officer had given me into my phone, and saw that it was 3 blocks away from where I was, on the OTHER side of the street that I had been looking.

There it was. The little, slow, Slovenian noise trap that is more of a social nuisance than a mode of transportation.. but I couldn't have been more excited. I ran 3 blocks, keys in hand, ready to just hug the damn thing. Right as I arrived and caught my breath, this little Japanese lady comes out of her garage, right where the moped was parked. "Is this your bike? I see it here for many hour so I call police! They talk to you?" Broken english or not, this old lady's concern for a moped being parked on the sidewalk saved my life. I asked her how I could repay her, only to hear "I'm just glad you're not hurt. Be careful!" Just amazing. Not long after, I drove happily to the police station, where my bag was waiting for me. Everything was there except my Ukulele.. but I'd much rather have lost a $30 uke than the other valuable things in my bag. I was back on my feet. It was amazing. I can't thank that old lady, Katey, Susie's Mopeds, and the officers involved enough.

Whew.. time to get out of San Francisco for a few days.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Since my previous blog entry had the entire Eureka/Arcata part taken out, I'll attempt to recreate it.

Eureka was pretty snazzy. I met up with Rachel, August's friend Caroline's sister, some time around 5pm, after I scurried over to a motorcycle shop to buy a new helmet (woot!). We had a quick little conversation then headed back to her house, where she kindly cooked a dinner of burgers and sweet potatos.. some pretty epic sweet potatos, might I add. That night we went to a little Irish pub, Shanty, and had a few dollar pints of PBR. Can't complain. Afterwards I got a guided tour of old town Eureka. It was probably 1 or 2am when we were walking around, so the only noises you could hear were the faint ramblings of smokers at the two bars that were open. Everything else was completely silent, and pretty awesome. The town itself (at least, the old part) has a very rustic appeal. Ornate little buildings, street lamps and some brick roads. The fact that it was extremely foggy really added to the mystic nature of the walk. We wound are way through the streets, up some trees and through the alley way before coming across this old, spooky mansion. Apparently it was some old white guys club house.. but still terrifying. The mansion was overly decorated on every square inch. Not with pictures or paintings, but just the wood carving. The combination of the blue and white paint, the extreme detail to construction, and the ominous upward lighting from the front yard was something straight out of a Disney movie (Beauty and the Beast?). Freakin' awesome.

The statue, during the day

So, during my trip thus far I've run into many cool people, including travelers. At a coffee shop up in Crescent City, I ran into this guy who had the same exact bike I was going to buy (tan Surly LHT) decked out in touring gear. I asked him about his trip, and he had traveled from North Carolina to Seattle, and was now working his way to San Francisco. Pretty snazzy. Fast forward a day or two, and I make my way to this little awesome coffee shop in Eureka, Has Beans, as suggested by Rachel. I notice a Surly LHT sitting outside and don't think too much of it, 'til I get inside and hear "Not you again!". Sure enough, Luke (the guy I saw in Crescent City) was sitting in the corner, having a cup of coffee. Crazy. I get my muffin and coffee, and we start chatting about random stuff and our trips. We were both due in San Francisco the same day, but I've yet to meet up with him again. Either way, it's really crazy the people that you run into, and how small of a world it really is.

Since I'm being booted off the Library computer again, I'll continue later. I need a Netbook, ugh.

p.s. Rachel is awesome. :P

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Blogger messed up

Erased a big chunk of that post.. CRAP! I shall fix it soon

A continuation

Next Episode: Avenue of the Giants, Beautiful 101 driving, Arcata/Eureka + Rachel, Highway 1 shenanigans + saving old people from the side of the road, Bluff camping at sundown, and arriving in San Francisco.

Leaving Crescent City, I couldn't avoid the Avenue of the Giants. Talk about a pretty ride! I really didn't take many photos, because I was having way too much fun bombing through the little windy roads amongst the humbling Redwoods. It was just a good time in and out. Hardly any cars were on the road, and the sun was shining brightly through the trees. Quality mopeding. After a few round trips I finally located the "GIANT TREE" area, where I did take people were driving past and one of the guys headed into town to call for a tow truck. It was a surreal experience, considering I had just pondered what would happen if I went off the road. Right after that, I decided it was safest to pull off the road and sleep. A few big trees and tall grass orchestrated my sleep that night... a knock-on-wood experience.

The following day was more highway 1 driving, and my god was it pretty. The sun was out, the roads were winding, the shoulders were large! ..and by large, I mean there was absolutely no shoulder, unless you consider a 300ft sheer rocky cliff that drops off about 2 ft from the edge of the road, a shoulder.

Time limits slaying me again.. much more is to be said..and I haven't even discussed San Francisco! Oi!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Golden Gate or Windy City?

So, this post is long overdue, and I may forget some stuff. Sue me.

My next stop was Coos Bay, a little port town.. just like the others. Nothing really struck me as awesome, with the exception of the cheesy name. I found a little dive bar with about 3 people aged 50 and up..hooray. New bar. Got a suggestion for this place named Bar Wench, so I went looking. After passing it about 6 times, I realized the dark little door next to the antique shop is it. Finally! Oh.. it's closed. Strike 2. I'm getting pretty tired of riding around this windy, cold city so I make one more walk to see if I hear anyone having fun. Sure enough I run into this bar full of sorta older people (but full none the less) with a bunch of goofy stuff on the wall and a Jerry Garcia look-alike serving drinks. A few cheap beers later and a conversation that evolved from bud light to existentialism, I'm smoking pot in an old previous whore house that was ripped apart and turned into an apartment right above the bar. Score! Another good night.

Gold Beach and Brookings were fairly bland.. the usual cold, windy and misty pacific coast towns. I found nothing really interesting in Brookings, so I decided to head to Crescent City and finally cross the California border. It finally took 23 years for me to make it to California.. and the first thing I run into? Produce checkpoint. Yes, a produce checkpoint. I had to wait in line so guys in orange vests could check cars to ensure no one was bringing out-of-state produce into California. Luckily the guy didn't catch the large crop of pumpkins I was hiding in my backpack.

Crescent City was interesting, in the sense of a tourist town that sort of fell on top of an old town. Lots of bikers, lots of hotels. I opted for a hotel that night 'cause it was too sketchy and uncomfortable to camp outside town. The people running the hotel were really nice, and even tried to call my room to see if I wanted to have a smoke..but instead called the room next to me.

The next day was one of the highlights of my trip: The redwood forests. After talking to some locals, I headed down this little road out of town towards the Jedediah State Redwood forest. This road went from normal, to hellacious in about 50 feet. Pavement? Gone. Huge pot holes? Check. Did I care? No. These trees were awe-inspiring. Despite the fact that my bones (and moped) were being slowly jarred out of my body, I couldn't stop oogling over the trees. They're big. Epicly big. It's really not something a photograph can portray (despite my attempts). I have a few shots with other people in the background to provide scale but that's about as close as anyone will come without standing around them.

That night, despite the no-camping signs, I found a nice little trail to hike up and camp out near. The end of the trail had a fallen young redwood, and it just so happened to fall on a hill, creating a huge and narrow bridge through the woods. It was a sketchy balance up the log, but right at the top was a perfect clearing in the ferns. Hello campsite. I fell asleep with the waterfall in the background, and the redwoods surrounding.

I'm getting a smidge hungry and tired, so I'll continue the rest of my story tomorrow.

Next Episode: Avenue of the Giants, Beautiful 101 driving, Arcata/Eureka + Rachel, Highway 1 shenanigans + saving old people from the side of the road, Bluff camping at sundown, and arriving in San Francisco.