Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L. (emo_snal) wrote,
Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L.

Coos Bay to Newport to Coos Bay to Sacramento

   ( Beginning of This Adventure )

Tuesday, May 30th, Charleston, Oregon -The magical power of deep paranoia woke me up. Which is to say I woke up and looked at the time every ten minutes till 6:40, and then every two minutes until it was finally 6:50. Since I was sleeping in the crypt-like darkness of a ship's forecastle, a dozen sailors crammed in a space the size of a walk-in closet, I had a terror of my alarm going off.
   Despite my great efforts to get up without using the alarm, to my great horror, I apparently forgot to actually disable it and while I was getting dressed it started to go off at 7:00 and I leapt through the darkness like a blind cat to shut it off as fast as possible.
   Said goodbye to my dear friend Kori, who was of course asnooze and barely woke up enough to mumble goodbye. I covered her cheek in kisses until she chuckled sleepily and told her I'd swing by on my way back in the afternoon for a proper goodbye.

   And then up the ladder, pushing open the heavy wooden hatch and wiggling out with my backpack. The couple who was giving me a ride was there waiting in the fresh morning air. Surrounding us was a marina full of fishing boats and a thickly forested shore. We hopped precariously over the side to the dock -- the gangplank wasn't rigged, tossing our bags to eachother over the chasm. And then we were up the gently swaying floating dock, passing, as I mentioned, a salty former captain of mine coming the other way, who gave me an icy look and merest nod, as he secretly brandished his proverbial knife to figuratively slaughter the current captain of the ship and take over.
   Short taxi ride from Charleston to Coos Bay, past cute wooden houses and blackberry brambles. Rental car from there to Newport two hours north, along the coast but mostly you're not right on the coast so the sea isn't visible. Mainly thick pine forest and occasional bridges over rivers or big inlets from the sea, occasional small seaside towns. The couple was youngish and from Portland. The guy was an army reserve nurse, about to be sent to Korea to train people there, I think the woman may have been a teacher?

Newport - The couple dropped me off by my car, which to my relief had not been towed or ticketed, was left where I left it just beside where the boat had been docked. Had biscuits and gravy at the adorable little cafe that's right there. It's one of my favorite places, I guess I could literally say in the whole world. Just a really cute little cafe in what sort of looks like a little victorian house, right on the waterfront, with really good biscuits and gravy.

   Then I went to Englund Marine, a marine supply store, to get a ten pound spool of seine twine, a tarred twine I've been wishing I had for some time A sailor can fix absolutely anything with seine twine! It's the duct tape of the sea! Also from seine twine you make your Turks-head bracelet that is the secret sign of belonging to the ancient fellowship of sailors. I've had sailors randomly greet me in all sorts of places including once on a bus between Tanzania and Kenya due to the turks-head. It is said you earn the right to wear a turkshead by climbing to the very very very top of the mast, but I think it's also just as much also being able to make it yourself. And because you weave it directly on to your arm it cannot be removed unless cut off. I had removed mine a few years ago over fear of my hand swelled due to bee stings it could be very bad, but since my hand doesn't really swell at all any more I'd been wanting it back, and so as soon as I had a moment wove on the one in the previous link. Now that it's not perfectly black I think it looks better.

   Does your occupation have any secret signs by which you can recognize a member out in the wilds?

   And then I retraced the trip back down to Coos Bay in my own car (which, I haven't mentioned in awhile, so I'll note I was borrowing me dad's prius). Unfortunately, when Ii got down there, the Lady Washington was out doing maneuvers so I couldn't go make proper goodbyes. But in Coos Bay town itself the other tallship, the caramel-and-blue hulled ketch Hawaiian Chieftain was moored up behind "The Casino." There was a little festival afoot, which is what had attracted the tallships, and also "the world's largest rubber duck" had been conjured up. It's about as tall as maybe a three story building, and the were in the midst of filling it with air. I took a picture but of course my phone later lost it.
   The Chieftain, as it turns out, was actually rafted to a barge thing that was moored to the pilings behind the Casino, but no gangway had been put in place yet and the gap was way too far to even contemplate jumping it. The crew was very busy up on deck doing various things and I happened to see the current captain, Gary, whom I had sailed under on a different vessel (the rather large brig Pilgrim). I called out to him and he came over onto the barge to greet me and express surprise that I was in the country. Two other sailors I've sailed with also came to greet me across the chasm, "Mr Sunshine," a thoroughly amiable older fellow (who's last name is Ray, which combined with his sunny disposition gets his name), and Shane who I think is maybe just a little younger than me and is also pretty nice (and at one time had an LJ even!).

Ugh look at that ten hours of driving and that's not counting the additional two hours of going between Coos Bay and Newport twice.

   From there I had to hoof it down to Davis/Sacramento in the middle of California, so I was off again! Would have greatly preferred to continue down the coast through the redwoods but was pressed for time at this point. Followed pretty much the route in the above map. I've described driving through Oregon a lot in this roadtrip so I won't spend much time on it suffice to say southern Oregon is mostly a land of thick forest and constant big hills / small mountains. Small highway is fun and swings through the landscape, then onto the Five which is more boring. Close to the border the landscape gets quite mountainous.
   Got off in a small town in the mountains near the border to get gas. Since this was still oregon an attendant came out to pump my gas, and she was so extremely cheerful about it and squeegied my windows as well, I felt I should tip her but wasn't sure how much was appropriate nor did I have anything smaller than a ten so I ended up not doing so, and she didn't seem the least bit phased by not getting a tip, cheerfully waving goodbye.
   And then once again a pulled an Australianism. The worst! Everyone's greatest fear when traveling between the countries. I stopped in the gas station driveway to look at my phone, then realized a car was behind me so quickly pulled onto the road and immediately onto the shoulder ... but what I didn't realize is doing this quick unthinking manouver I had pulled on to the LEFT SIDE OF THE ROAD, the side one drives on in Australia. Fortunately I was off on the shoulder but it was disconcerting to find cars passing me close head on! Quickly got to the correct side when a signal gave me a window of no cars on the road.

   Passed Mt Shasta in the waning gloaming light of evening, proceeded along the boring straight road betewen Redding and Davis in the dark -- and I had finished my audiobook so I was bouncing between unsatisfactory radio stations (even with the XM radio the car had!).

   Stopped in at Davis, where I had gone to college, solely to get delicious pizza at Woodstocks pizza there. Verily it was extremely delicious, and packed with students and many drunken students were hanging around outside since the G Street pub is right there. I looked at them all and found it hard to believe I had once been one of them. It seems so long ago now.

   From there I proceeded to Sacramento, just 11 miles across a causeway over rice fields. My friend Gabi is now living there with her mom and stepfather in the suburbs. Gabi (half Uruguayan I believe? Slight of build. Also a former LJer), has taken the unusual step of getting herself artificially inseminated, purposefully not wanting to have some guy have any claim on her kid. It was 9 or 10 when I get there so pretty much we just said our hellos and she showed me to the couch I'd be sleeping on.

Wednesday, May 31st, Sacramento, California - In the morning I met Gabi's little one, still less than a year old. She took about thirty pictures of me awkwardly holding said child and somehow my phone decided not to delete them. Gabi's mom made us breakfast and she kept referring to being part of the resistance to Trump with as much enthusiasm and sincerity as if she was spending her days engaged in partisan warfare. "Yes, but there's still us in the resistance! ... we will resist! ...we're gaining momentum you know! ...he can't keep us down!"
   She believed the repubicans would never ever ever impeach Trump, somethnig I've heard a number of people say, but I think when the republican members of congress realize that no part of their conservative agenda is going to get through with his blinding incompetence AND the stink of corruption is like that of a rotting whale (have you ever smelled a rotting whale? it's pretty bad), they'll absolutely cut the anchor chain on him.

   From there I got back on the highway for the straight boring shot down the central valley on the five. Once again the dried grass was like the fuzz of a freshly shorn golden sheep. Once again I stopped at that roadtrip holy site, the In-N-Out in Kettleman City. Once again I got bogged down in absolutely shocking traffic in the LA area. And finally, as the sun was once again setting, arrived at my parents place in southern Orange County.

   Now hopefully I can knock out my younger brother's wedding in one more entry and be done with this last trip!

Tags: america, automobile travel, epic roadtrip 2017, kori, roadtrips, travel, travelogues

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