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.

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