Monday, September 15, 2008

Coasting on the coast and when animals attack... us

Once again, although Verizon has the best coverage out west, it doesn't cover all the places we go, which makes it more difficult to post everyday.

We left Coos Bay on Thursday morning heading for Port Orford. Lia from the Broadway Theater in Coos Bay helped to arrange a show at Paula's Bistro in Port Orford that evening. It was a beautiful ride, and we took a side trip to the pose with Buzz the traveling cat in front of the westernmost point in the US at Cape Blanco lighthouse. Unfortunately it was very very foggy, and we could not see the lighthouse that afternoon, but we were told it is quite lovely. We also partook in a famous Langois Hot Dog at the Langois Market, which was so delicious Emily bought some of the homemade mustard to make sandwiches with. They played to a friendly dinner crowd at Paula's that night, and joined us at our foggy spot at the nearby Evergreen RV park for the night.

Friday morning, we explored around Port Orford, which is a great small town that seems to still have a healthy fishing industry. We ate some of the most delicious fish and chips we've ever had at the Crazy Norweigans restaurant and then Emily posed with a boat appropriately named "Miss Emily." We had also learned the day before that all the towns along the coast were settled 25 miles apart because that was as far as a horse and buggy could travel. Fun facts. On the way down to our last destination in Oregon, we visited Prehistoric Gardens, an awesome garden built in the 1950's with full size statues of dinosaurs amidst Oregon's rain forest setting. Kati and Luke spent most of their money that day on fun things from the gift shop.

We arrived at Harris Beach State Park almost at dark, as Israel had biked a bit further ahead of the rest of the band without them realizing it. They spent a few hours waiting for him, and then had to pedal fast to make it to the hiker-biker site at the park before Highway 101 became too dangerous. We, sadly, were not allowed to camp with them at the hiker-biker site and proceeded to have two pretty awful nights camping at the overpopulated park. The first night we were somehow unaware that Highway 101 was right next to our campsite until we tried to fall asleep and felt like the cars were actually driving through our tent. The second night, we are pretty sure that a raccoon that must have looked like the one in the picture to the right, circled our tent three times throughout the night. This caused Buzz to growl, hiss and then throw herself at the tent. The tent would then strike back. This was terrifying and made for a very poor night of sleep. Max thought it was a cougar, but the woman at the Forest Service seemed to think that the behavior fit a raccoon better.
On Saturday, Blind Pilot played an outdoor concert with Cameron McVay at Azalea Park in Brookings as part of the American Music Festival. Emily was reminded of her old job working with the parks department and putting on concerts in a park. It was a bit cold and foggy, so the crowd was not as large as one would hope, but they received a warm reception.

After two nights in Brookings, we crossed the border into California and drove through some absolutely beautiful, fog-filled redwood stands and ended up at Elk Prairie campground. Emily had found another campsite, Gold Bluffs Beach, right on the ocean from a map that she picked up at the National Park Service in Crescent City. We drove down a dark and winding dirt road for six miles until we reached a gorgeous, semi empty campground and realized we wouldn't be able to make it back up to the camp where the band would be that night. We made a yummy supper of STP (sausage, tomatoes and potatoes) and a beautiful fire, fell asleep listening to the waves crashing and remembered that we did like camping after all.

The next day the band set their sights on Arcata, where Ian was to meet up with them and start bike touring. What they thought would be an easy flat forty miles turned out to be an exhausting push. The fog is weighing heavily on all of us. Upon arriving, thoroughly fatigued and with no show planned until the next day, the band found a bar with an open mic and signed up for a twenty minute slot at 10:30. Ian arrived at 10:25 and was able to play his first show on the bike tour immediately. Somehow they all found the energy to play a great, but short set, culminating in an especially raucous version of "We are the Tide" that belied their weary state.

We are still in Arcata, CA waiting with the band to head over to a house party where they are scheduled to play. We are writing from a house where Derek, a local bike mechanic, and his roommates, Chris and Ted, live and generously offered to put the band up in last night. So far the people in California have been very friendly, and we are looking forward to meeting more travelers and locals along the way.


angie said...

once again, your post about buzz had me laughing out loud. hope the fog lifts and the sun finds you all soon!*a

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