From Bay Area to Bay Area and Beyond

Well folks, it's three days into my PCH trip and if y'all been watching my Facebook then I'm sure you're all up to date with where I'm at on my trip in terms of pics.  However, that's only part of the story.  Here's a quick update on the past three days:

Day 1: San Jose, CA to Eureka, CA

  • Tripled checked everything in SJ after my rough night out with the HGST peeps Tuesday (thanks again guys lol!) and sent off the packing cube.
  • Ate one last meal at our hole-in-the-wall, The Breakfast Place, before taking off at 10 a.m.
  • Made my way out of the Bay, listening to all my fav radio stations as I cruised up 280, across the GG Bridge and up 101.
  • Stopped at a deli-mart in Ukiah for lunch where it was friggin 95 degrees!  Ugh, it was like that most of the way up to the PCH.  The cooler weather couldn't come sooner!
  • Hit the redwoods and tourist traps galore!  Checked out the One Log House and Drive Thru Tree (where I had to take my bikes off to fit and then scratched my mirror on the tree, oops!)
  • Cruised the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt State Park.  Wow.  I was a little freaked out b/c I was low on gas, but I still had fun hiking the Founders Grove and learning about Dyerville, which apparently was totally wiped out from earthquakes and floods.
  • Checked out Scotia, the last company town in CA, followed by Ferndale, a tiny dairy town off the track from 101.  It was a cool place, but like all towns, it was shut up by 6 o'clock.
  • Fogged rolled in and temps dropped into the 60s as I rolled into Eureka, yay!  Found a motel and ate at a local brewery, although I still didn't really feel like beer lol.  Surprised by how large a town it was.
Most of this day was mileage since I was trying to get to where I left off on the PCH at Leggett, so I covered about 325 miles!

Day 2: Eureka, CA to Gold Beach, OR

  • Everything was closed in Eureka until 10, so I wondered over to Samoa looking for some lighthouse ruins, got lost in the fog for a bit, then finally drove up to Arcata to bum around Humboldt State like a student.  Seems to be a big environment/forestry focus, props to that!
  • Cruised the town of Arcata, looking at books and antiques before grabbing food at the co-op.  Someone almost hit me with their car and surprisingly stopped and said "Sorry".  Man, people are nice up here, AND they drive at or below the speed limit!  I'll have to re-learn how to drive lol.
  • Headed to Trinidad where I checked out the lighthouse and beach trail with a TON of stairs.
  • Drove through Redwood National Park and St. Patrick's Park searching for Elk on the alternate route.  Didn't find any :-(
  • Popped into the Trees of Mystery tourist trap.  Probably not worth $14, but definitely cool to see, especially with the talking giant Paul Bunyan lol.  The skyway tram freaked me out a bit; it comes to a complete stop everytime a car is loaded/unloaded, so you're just stopped, hanging over the forest.  Nice view though.
  • Hiked in Jedidiah Smith Park for about an hour.  The road in was crazy in itself.  A nice, bumpy one-lane dirt road.  Absolutely quiet; it's just you and the giant redwoods out there, very relaxing and peaceful.
  • Blew through Crescent city and then grabbed gas right at the border.  I like pumping my own gas :-P
  • Oregon!  Drove through the SW coast through towns like Brookings, taking pics every once and a while.
  • Stopped in Gold Beach and debated going to Bandon, but after struggling to get an answer from people up there I gave up and stayed in GB at a nice motel (thx AAA!)
  • Ate at a pricier seafood place called Spinners, watching the sunset while drinking wine and eating crab cakes lol.  Of course, I had a 15% off coupon :-)
Covered a lot less that day (~125 mi), but there was a lot more to see, and I was already on the coast highway.  Still wondering, do you tip the gas attendants in OR?  Based on what I've read, I guess not. Just feels weird...  Oh, and my motel manager used the term "pop" for soda.  Strange lol.  But hey, things are SO much cheaper, I can't complain!

Day 3: Gold Beach, OR to Lincoln City, OR

  • Started off at the Prehistoric Gardens looking at concrete dinosaurs.  Blake, you'd be in heaven!
  • Ran into a parade and the Cranberry Festival blocking 101 in Bandon.  Bummed around for a bit looking at the fair and the shops.  Lots of free chocolate samples at the Cranberry Sweets & More shop.
  • Marveled at the huge piles of woodchips and logs in Coos Bay, labeled strangely as "Oregon's Bay Area"
  • Passed by the dunes, lots of opportunities for ATVing
  • Grabbed some good pie in Reedsport at Don's.
  • Paid $10 at the Sea Lion Caves to see nothing, although I got several good shots of the Heceta Head Lighthouse, which was closed for construction.
  • Hiked on the top of Cape Perpetua to take some pics, although a longer hike would've been nice.
  • Skipped Newport and went searching for the Otter Crest Loop for biking as suggested in my guidebook.  Found a 3 mile stretch of old 101 with no view leading to Cape Foulweather, so I just drove it and took pics.  Later that night, I found the stretch my book mentioned to bike.  Oh well, can't do it all!
  • Went back to Newport and walked up and down the main port area.  I still wasn't hungry, so I took the short journey up to Lincoln City where I checked in (luckily I reserved early for Saturday!)
  • Got some Thai after wandering around for a bit.
  • Back to my plush room to blog away :-)
Today was about 200 miles, not bad for one day, although it was a lot more rushed.  There weren't as many good things to see today unless I had planned a bunch of stops for hikes, etc.  I've noticed that although I don't have endpoints planned, I stress when I try to do one of the hiking/biking things on my "Things To Do" list, because it takes time, and a lot of the time it's already evening when I get there.  For future legs, I think I might drop those unless I have extra time and they're in the morning.

I flew through lots of Oregon coastal towns and parks, including Yachats, Waldport and Depoe Bay.  It was all beautiful, but after a while I had my fill, and there are just SO many (about one every 10-20 miles lol).  I could be on this trip forever, and although I need to chill out and keep my pace, I really don't want to be out more than a week.  I wanna see my new home (and Tami and  Alex :-) )

Tomorrow is a quick alternate route before sampling cheese in Tillamook and then it's off to Portland to visit Carrie and Sarah.  I can't wait!  Afterwords, Monday looks like I "may" make it into Washington, on time for my one week trip, although there may be another day in there give or take.  We will see.

Until next time!


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