Ahhh, it is so nice to be back out on the road. I left Chimacum, WA mid day on a cold, snowy, icy day. Had errands to do before going, but as it was I was waiting for the weather to de-ice itself before going. The further south I went the more snow was found along side the roads. I spent the first night at a rest area somewhere between Olympia, WA and Portland, OR. My first walk about before heading the next morning was too icy to walk around the rig… so had another cup of tea.
It being a rest area, truckers were coming and going despite the weather, so after I finished my tea, I headed out. It was just the rest area that was icy, the road was fine. Via advice of BDS, I headed straight into Portland on I-5 versus drive around on I-205 as I normally do. With distinct directions of what lane to be in going over the big bridge – helpful tidbit – it was a breeze driving thru Portland around 0900 in morning. I was pleasantly surprised.
I hit rain once again just south of Portland, all the way until I turned off onto Highway 38 to head to the coast. That was a nice road following along the river, very little traffic. Once I hit the coast just north of Coos Bay, I was greeted by sunshine. Something I have not seen in close to 2 months… a simple joy! And an even better treat, temperatures were in the 50’s – a virtual heat wave.. Awesome! I stayed that night at a casino in North Bend, just north of Coos Bay. Beautiful area! Great casino parking as well.
I still had the itch to move on down the road or I would have stayed another night at the casino. So I moved down to Gold Beach, OR… rained buckets the whole time there. Bummed, but decided to stop for a couple of nights. Walking on the boulder covered beach in the rain and wind just did not have a feel good experience. So only did that once. I had thought of just moving down the coast to Brookings – as I heard so much about it, but it was raining buckets there as well. So I pushed forward. Thinking I would stop in Eureka, CA – it was raining so hard, I could not see the names of the streets. What a mess! So I kept going. Rain, rain everywhere… and I kept going south… by the time I reached Avenues of the Giants – in the Redwood forest – I thought YES, I will stop there and the park’s campgrounds were closed. What? Won’t open until March? Frustration mounting and now I needed gas..
So the saga continued, as the rain continued, the sun, ere light was diminishing. I can’t tell you how many exits I got off on, on the pretense of finding a gas station and/or a campground. The very last exit, I followed the signs and ended up on a dead end road that was flooded and had to figure out how to get turned around on. It was a challenge. I learned quickly I had an audience of a bunch of guys leaning on a pickup truck. I did not talk to them, but got a thumbs up from them when I got turned around. Alas, I still had no gas station and at this point, I was looking for a spot along side the highway to park for the night. And came around a corner to see Garberville, CA – what a relief to get gas, I was lower then what I normally let it get. So next to find a spot to park, did that. Boy I slept like a baby that night.
The next day, I decided to get totally around San Francisco and San Jose before stopping. A long, long day…but got it done. Again a place to park was elusive, but found one, slept soundly. Got up and figured I would stop at the next rest area – the rest area was a no go, so kept on trucking once again… this is so NOT like my normal whimsical travel style. But I arrived in Santa Barbara, a place I am to pick up my Alaskan friend – Ruth – who was visiting her sister. Ruth is getting introduced to RV travel, as she has never done it. I will write more about her later. But got her picked up and we drove from Santa Barbara to Quartzside yesterday – another long day. And beyond this point… we shall go with the flow.