Sunday, June 9, 2013

Into Oregon... and a Glorious Roadside that Riches Would Likely Have Kept Us From Ever Finding.

Running north heading for Oregon the town of Willits hung a sign over the highway claiming it a prominent place in the scheme of things... Especially if the "Things" you're looking for are the tallest trees in the world ;) or... leastways I think they are...

Considering the narrow, twisty two lanes that are your only option to Hwy 101... I can't say that a fella could argue with their boast.

You can get to the same place without running through Willits... but you'll need some considerable bit more time to do it.

We considered stopping in the Redwoods this trip... but after carefully weighing the issue... and having my itch flaring after the slow journey we'd made through California the last many weeks...

... I mostly wanted to keep moving... though mostly to find the spot for another long camp to help heal our wounds from the Lincoln stop.

...and anyway... a single night or two is insufficient for this part of California... just as it would have been back down the way we'd come.

We'll come back here planning a long stay of a few weeks.

It's still difficult to just roll on through... the forests are so ethereal and quiet...  the serenity they give is strong and whispers to a guy... stay with me for a while...

With the rig on it was mostly impossible in the few spots with the truly big trees to pull in to capture any Arboreal Portraits... Those'll have to wait until the next circle too.

Since they've got a parking lot I can drag into without creating an obstacle for folks, and a few pic nic tables out in the sun, we stopped at the "Mystery Trees" Tourist Mecca ;) for lunch.

*Paul and the Blue Ox "Babe"*
There's the standard thirty foot tall concrete Paul Bunyan and his blue ox... and just for a bit of trivia (to correct the fable)... Oxes... are... uhhhh... STEERS... That thar ain't No Ox! That fella is a BULL! :)

Today... we also had, since it IS Californy... a bit of a Vintage Ford Car show...

vintage Ford hot rods

I sometimes feel a bit guilty... making a night camp in a Casino lot. I don't suppose I should, and that's likely how they make their "Generosity" pay ;) but I do just the same. See... I'm not much of a gambler. Leastways not when it comes to laying money on a table and relying on the flip of a coin. Lady Luck is a gal that's not often smiled on me.

Now... making a bet where I can rely on skill, effort and a mite of ingenuity... something where I can have an effect on the outcome... and I'm all in.

Considering that The Casinos are playin' the odds with letting RVers park in their back lots, I guess I can just consider that with me... I beat the house on occasion. :) One thing I can say in defense of my using their lots to overnight is that we do often take advantage of their restaurants for breakfast. ;)

We overnighted at the new (18 months old) Bear River Casino 'bout 11 miles to the south of Eureka, California.

Since we pulled in fairly early and sunset was some time off, we unhooked and made a lil' sight seeing drive out to the coast from there... without the fiver filling the highway behind us!

Walking the beach at Samoa dunes Rec Area

Prowling around we found the Samoa Dunes Rec area on the west side of Eureka. A nice place for an evening walk on the beach... or to have your hot girlfriend stand in the wind while you impress her with your Polaris Flying abilities. :)

Dune Jumping OHV in the Samoa Dunes Rev Area

In the morning our journey north continued... accompanied here and there by a few others... trying to Get away from it all... :)

We'd set our target as a Forest Service camp near Brookings. Heidi even got 'em on the phone to verify that the camp was open... which it wasn't. :(

How-some-ever... they assured us that there were spots to camp "all along both sides of the road" near the closed camp. When asked SPECIFICALLY; "Will a 30' fifth wheel be a problem?" Their answer was. "NO".

Yeahhhhhhh... so much for putting a lot of faith in what a Federal bureaucrat tells you.

We turned up the county road leading to the area they'd pointed us at...

Hmmmm... the slope on my left would have required using both hands and a winch for me to climb... 18" off the right shoulder an equivalent slope fell off into a river a hundred feet below in places...

The farther we went... the thinner things got... hmmmm.

"a fifth wheel shouln't have a problem" ??? Really?

Well... I managed to find a spot 'bout ten miles in... where the twisting lane and a half road widened out enough that I could make 'bout a six point turn... and swapped ends to head back west.

Being as it was late in the day...'bout 3:30 I did a John Wayne... pointed at the ground and said; "Here! ...We'll make camp... Here!" ;)

roadside RV camp in Oregon

I set out my triangles... kicked out the slide... walked down to the river with a cool brew... and Kicked Back!

A forest bridge on an Oregon backroad

reflections in an Oregon river

There was a little bird working as we soaked up the serenity along that river... Kinda tickled me when it occurred to me that I identified myself with the lil' guy.

He goes about each day... working for what he needs... THAT... day. My bet is he wastes little time investing in tomorrow or yesterday. He follows that philosophy of live today... LIVE this moment. The next one may Never come...

an Oregon Bird hunting in the river

He walked along the rocks and every lil' bit he'd kerplunk! disappear under the surface for several seconds... and come up with another  worm of some sort.

A bird diving for bugs in the river

The trials of the past week or so faded away watching him remind me of our good fortune. I get up in the morning, in this joyous camp and when I open the door I am greeted by the Sea freshened scent of the coastal breeze.

I walk when I want through forests draped in ferns and flowers. The beaches stretch for miles along the surf. My motorcycle carries me down twisting ribbons of asphalt that send my spirit soaring. Fish swim in the river that flows past my camp, whose current fills my ears with its song in the night as the stars sparkle above the trees that shelter us from the wind.

Maybe I am so cash poor I have to eat PBJ and Ramen a lot... miss a meal here and there... slow down my miles from lack of diesel... and stay in out of the way BLM camps and secluded boondocking retreats.

So what? I like PBJ! ;) Fasting is good for you... going slow most of the time fits my internal rhythm... and I'm not about to complain about not being able to afford $50 "RV Resorts" with my neighbors hot water heater roaring under my bedroom window now am I? :)

A coastal Oregon centipede

At least I don't have this guys troubles. I may be poor... but the expense of shoes and socks hasn't yet driven me to running around barefoot in the rocks has it?!

My future stretches out before me. The sun is shining, the grass is growing... and somewhere as yet unknown... "A River Runs Through It."

Now is not the time for much rest...but the work is sweetened with the Joy of Freedom.


Donna K said...

Looks like you found yourself a pretty nice camping spot - even if it is along a roadside. Just beautiful.

Cindy Kingma said...

Hi Brian, love where you are at! We've been down the road you traveled thru a few years back. Traveled with grandkids and my folks. Enjoyed the Trees of Mystery but the place you found to park was the best of the lot!!
Love the John Wayne way to pick a spot!!!

Anonymous said...

Brian, I spent 2 years in the Samoa,CA. Did a lot of exploring in those days. Fell in love with that part of California. Some stunning scenery in the Redwoods.

CJ said...

Loving this CA OR tour....helping this poor lady grab some ideas. Especially since the house just sold...WAHOO! I must really begin to get more route planning under my belt! As usual your photos are like a breath of fresh air!