Day 14; Bandon, OR to Layetteville, CA
"I can't take this anymore," the Little Woman said into the intercom, "let's get away from the beach."
How can anyone not like the beach? Actually, she loves the beach. However, after four days of cold and clouds, seeing the beach through a haze of fog, and riding with four layers of clothes on, she was done. So the day that started out cold and clammy, like the three preceding it, ended on a much different note.
I woke at five, which is disturbing, since I didn't get to sleep until 12. Rather than disturb the Little Woman in our amazingly small motel room, I dressed and walked to town.
Ahh. Downtown Bandon. The foghorn at the bar sounding, people clattering aboard fishing boats, their engines fire and the smell of diesel mixes with the salt air. Twenty people get on board, and the skipper backs and turns the boat expertly out of the harbor. Beautiful. And the best part is I'm not on the boat. I hate fishing. But now, watching the boat depart, I wish I loved it. However, any activity that includes giving up my last meal, in reverse, is not worth doing.
As I walk along the pier, people wash down the areas around their shops to prepare for the day. Joggers disappear into the grey mist. And the foghorn sounds, a calming metronome. Walking back up the hill to the motel, for a few minutes I am not cold.
Shortly afterward, we both resume the chilly ride. Nevertheless,the views (except those shrouded by fog) are incredible. Today the slate gray sky melts into the slate gray water.
The 'goofball of the day' award goes to Sherri and I both. We turned off for a 'scenic drive.' Now we are both intelligent people. At least Sherri is, except for her judgment in men. Somehow, we both missed the sign. So the road, two lanes with a white stripe, suddenly turns to dirt. Then it gets narrow. And has large dips. Finally, a sign reads, 'steep.' Enough! A right turn and stop to reconnoiter. Sherri walks up to a white sign; 'Warning. This property owned by the State Department of Corrections. Any vehicle in the area subject to search.' Okay. Let's turn around, shall we?
The coastline is getting rockier, reminding us that we are approaching California.
At the Rogue River, we stopped for breakfast and it was everything yesterday wasn't. The waitress (a running machine!) was friendly and efficient, the food tasted great, and the ambiance rounded out the deal. I've regained my faith in human beings. Some.
Off again, and Sherri made her statement. No problem. 101 veers inland and passes through the redwoods.
The redwoods. You bikers will love the Avenue of the Giants. It is 32 miles of serpentine, two lane road, dwarfed by giant redwoods, right up to the edge of the paving. Pass through a meadow in fifth gear,in bright sunshine with a territorial view of redwood covered hills, carved in two with a meandering river. Then dive into the redwoods, the headlight illuminating signs indicating slow, second and third gear turns. Saw back and forth (Wait. Don't use 'saw' and redwoods in the same paragraph.) through the curves and burst out again into the light. Pass a little town once in awhile, and do it all over again. Could be the #1 road of the week! Stay tuned.
The countryside shows its arid culture; green trees share hillsides with yellow grass. Farms litter the valleys like giant fallen leaves. And 101 winds through it all, up and down, left and right. A biker's dream.
And finally, at last, Mr. Sun has made his appearance, and for the first time in days, we are riding warm. We'll probably whine about the heat tomorrow.
Dinner at Boomer's bar is another treat. I ordered the barbecue ribs special with corn bread and corn. The Little Woman, taco salad. Excellent! The ribs were falling off the bone with lots of meat, juicy and with that kick we love. The service was great, and the music (think Lynard Skynard, Deff Leppard, Journey, and so on,) all added together for a great evening. We walk back to the motel, past 8;30. It's a little cold. Okay, not really.