April 27, 2009

Pacific Coast Highway : the road trip part 3


Back on the road, I noticed many cars towing speed boats or carrying canoes as well as an ever-increasing number of motor homes. On 101 you’re never too far from the ocean or one of the many state parks. As I pondered the idea of renting a motor home for my next road trip, Therese announced that she was hungry. And why wouldn't she be? It was 3:30 pm! Almost immediately, my tummy growled in agreement.


At the first sign of food, we stopped the car. While the rest of us stretched out the kinks in our joints, Therese scrounged under the seats searching for her left shoe. We tried to help her look for it, but nada. Watching her dismayed expression as she balanced on one foot, we all burst into uncontrollable fits of laughter. Who loses a shoe on a road trip?! We figured it must have fallen out when she opened her car door while we gassed-up back in sungitville (we named it so after the less-than-friendly woman behind the counter). It was too far now to turn back, and fortunately Lizzy had an extra pair of sandals that fit. Somewhere out there now is a wistful man cradling a red 4” wedge platform looking for his Cinderella.


The Riverwood Inn, is a classic 1937 roadhouse, the type you see in those biker movies where Harleys are parked out front all in a line, almost possessively and menacingly, daring you to enter. It’s location along the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt County makes it a popular stop for motorcycle clubs and tourists. It took a while for our eyes to adjust to the dim interiors and the floor creaked under us as we crossed the bar to the restaurant where we filled-up on fairly decent Mexican food alongside bikers and firefighters taking a much-needed break from battling the forest fires that were raging in nearby Mendocino county.


I suppose this wouldn’t be much of a road-trip without the requisite speeding ticket, now would it? As soon as the patrol car parked on the other side of the road pulled a u-turn towards us, she exclaimed, “Uh-oh, CHiPs!”. But she was the picture of calm as she handed over her California driver’s license. Later blaming her distraction on the giant golden bear statues back at the Klamath bridge, Colo admitted she had gone over the acceptable speed limit. Thankfully the cop, who was thumbing through the vehicular paperwork I handed to him, turned out to be very. He sent us off with clear and thorough instructions which included a list of options for dealing with the violation later, leaving no room for questions.

At the junction near Crescent City, we turned east for the shorter route via 199 then I5. We had another 300 miles to cover before arriving in Portland and if we wanted to make it there by midnight (Therese had to go back to work the next day), we had to forego the Oregon coast and save it for another time.


It was almost 9:00 when we crossed the state line into Oregon and the sleepy border town of O’Brien where we stopped for some gas. We had barely put the car in park and climbed out when we heard a booming voice, “Here I’ve come to save the day! How can I be your knight in shining armor, ladies?”. We turned to see a jolly-looking man wearing a cap that failed to conceal the laugh lines around his eyes which deepened with his smile, purposefully striding towards us. We were helplessly drawn to this charming man who was pumping gas for us in his self-service station. Welcome to Oregon.


It was my turn behind the wheel. Wispy clouds in twilight hues faded slowly into the darkness as drove along, thoughts of hot showers and warm beds filling our minds. It was a long day and I was getting sleepy. It didn’t help that Colo napped beside me, and it had grown quiet in the backseat. I wondered how truckers managed to drive their rigs and keep themselves awake on long, lonely roads. I gained a newfound respect for them.


We stopped for a quick bite in a KFC in Eugene before finally pulling into the driveway of a Victorian home in downtown Portland another two hours later. It was midnight and Therese’s charming 2-bedroom apartment was like an oasis for the weary traveler.

to be continued...

Also in this series:

Pacific Coast Highway : the road trip part 1

Pacific Coast Highway : the road trip part 2


marie @ cd replication said...

what an interesting and informative post. thanks for sharing!

not kim kardashian said...

really enjoyed reading this, thanks!

Anonymous said...

got stopped for speeding! hahaha what an experience! :)