I forgot to give props to the mad skater we saw long boarding down from Artist point. He was on the main road going about 40mph. Way rad, super sketchy.
Thursday October 1st Continued
Upon arrival in Portland Joey dropped me off at my brothers. I barged in super stinky and went straight for a shower. After I was all clean I got an awesome massage. Then we went out to dinner to VITA CAFE, where else?! Yum. Then we went to the Green Dragon, an awesome bar with tons of beers on tap all sold by the pitcher. Some of Ross' friends were in town and we all played apples to apples. Ross dropped me off at Jesse and Lauren's for a night of sleep in the truck.
*something worth mentioning: The bathrooms in both Vita Cafe and The Green Dragon we not gender oriented. Vita Cafe had single stall bathrooms labeled only with a vacant/occupied sign and The Green Dragon had two bathrooms cleverly labeled “sitting” and “standing” as to leave it up to you weather you need/want to sit/stand to use the facilities. Thanks Portland for saving us from gender discrimination and gender variant repression one bathroom at a time!
Friday October 2nd
We pretty much woke us from Jesse and Lauren's and got on the road south. We drove to Eugene where we stopped for the afternoon. We enjoyed bagels and coffee, an awesome local thrift store (complete with the best shirt sweater I've ever seen featuring a pastel multimedia lighthouse scene), neat bike shop and REI. From Eugene we drove West on 126 to 101. We followed the beautiful coastal highway to Coos Bay where we broke off of 101 and went to Sunset Bay. We had an amazing stove cooked dinner there consisting of baked beans and ramen noodles. We ate dinner and watched an amazing sunset. After dinner we ventured down the road and stumbled upon Simpson Reef. It was getting pretty dark at that point so we couldn't see much but we could hear an orchestra of sea lions. Impressed we wanted to stay for the night so we could see it in the morning.
Saturday October 3rdToday we woke up to the sea lions. It was an incredible site. The reef was swarming with sea lions and seals! We packed up and headed south to link back up with the 101. Stopped in town for coffee and now we're headed for Redwood National Park!!!! Sadly both of our digital cameras are out of batteries and our charger/adapter is MIA so there will momentarily be no photos. (Except for our film pictures with the rad old school rolliecord-thanks again Dad.)
Saturday October 3rd Continued(Today is the 14th so I have lots to write about.......let's see how well I can remember)
Out first stop in the Redwoods was Fern Canyon. A couple we met the night before told us we should check it out. We drove down a very rough dirt road for 6miles when we realized we were dangerously low on gas. We were only 2 miles from the canyon so we asked some folks for a ride the rest of the way. We rode in with them and walked the short distance from the road to the
canyon. It was awesome. A deep canyon with shallow water in the bottom, the steep canyon walls covered in massive wild ferns. (We took film pictures). We walked out of the canyon and back to Jolene at which time we drove to Lady Bird Johnson Trail. On the way we saw a field full of elk. We also drove through the incredibly small and strange town of Orik. We did the short loop trail and took a few pictures on the trail. Giant tall trees=incredible. We left the Redwood National Park and headed down to Arcata to see my good buddy Brad Jones. We met up with Brad and went into the town square. We had some food and beers and just spent some time catching up. I loved seeing Brad and getting a beer with him, also loved that sleeping in the truck on the side of the road was kosher. But not quite sure what the Arcata hype is all about.
Sunday October 4thStumbled out of the truck in pursuit of coffee and the lil' girls room. We met Brad for coffee. He told us about a music festival that was going on in Golden Gate Park and since our next destination was Oakland we looked it up. The lineup was awesome so we hopped in the truck and rushed to get down to San Francisco. The drive was beautiful, northern California mountains and grapes everywhere. We made it into San Francisco but it took us almost an hour to park-yuck. The park was huge and beautiful. We made our way to the festival and found that the crowd was a bummer but the music was awesome! We got to see Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, The Del McCoury Band, Emmylou Harris, and Old Crow Medicine Show all for free! We showed all the west coast folk how to really dance to bluegrass! We also got the rare treat of watching Emmylou Harris receive an honorary doctorate. Then we indulged in fried zucchini and artichoke hearts. John (Joey's lifelong buddy and the third of the J trio -Jesse John and Joey) met us at the festival. He works one day a week at a bike shop in San Francisco and is a Ph.D. student at Berkeley. John led us out of the park back to the truck. There we found Jolene's battery was dead. We tried to put it into neutral, run it down hill and pop the clutch but that didn't work so some friendly San Franciscan gave us a jump. Off to Oakland we met John's lovely girlfriend Mary and good friend Mariam. Mary and Mariam made us an amazing dinner of butternut squash and lentil soup and vegetable spring rolls with peanut sauce. A beautiful day with great music, great friends and great food we went to bead full and happy.
Monday October 5th
(Didn't get very far the other day. Now it's the 17th maybe I'll do better)
Joey and I had a lazy morning. John and Mary had early morning endeavors so we just hung around the house until about lunch time when John came back. We made vegan mac n' cheese with fresh tomatoes. The three of us hopped on bikes and got a mini tour of Oakland. John took us to an all fake meat store-sweet. Then we went to the famous grocery store Berkeley Bowl and got some ingredients for homemade vegan tacos with fake duck meat. They were kinda awesome. After dinner we just relaxed and passed the time with some old bike race footage while we waited for Mary to get home. Then the four of us watched Stranger Than Fiction. Relaxing day :)
Tuesday October 6th
We made big plans for the city and with some suggestions and a mini hand drawn map we rode bikes to the Bart and headed into sunny San Francisco. First we went to china town. I was amazed by how many goods there were there and by how huge the whole area was. Next we rode to the mission. John works in the mission and said it was his favorite area. We went to this awesome shop Paxton Game that had the weirdest stuff. They had tons of plants, unique art and jewelry (including the necklace of a lifetime a silver mold of a racoons vertebrae that comes with the bone it was cast from by Laura Brown-I think that's her name, I'll check and correct myself if I'm wrong) and some very unique taxidermy pieces. We headed to Delores park next and then on to the Castro. We got to see Harvey Milk Plaza, very cool. Then we hunted for vegan food. We were all jazzed up to go to this place called Weird Fish that was supposed to have killer vegan food. We walked around looking for it for literally thirty minutes and when we finally found it it was definatley closed on Tuesday. So we headed back to this Chinese vegetarian place we saw in pursuit of Weird Fish. Guess what-closed. We were kinda getting grouchy since we hadn't eaten all day and we had been biking and walking like fools. So we headed to the Haight and found a sweet little place called Cafe' International where we feasted. We left and began to explore the Haight. We pretty much hated that part of town (ha) with the exception of another eclectic taxidermy shop (best classic lace and silk dress I've ever seen), a cool vintage spot (where I made my first unnecessary purchase of the trip-suspenders) and one of the worlds coolest bike shops. American Cyclery, though hard to find, is rare gem. Established in 1941 it was full of neat old bikes and bike paraphernalia along with lots of super tight new bikes. So at this point in the San Fran adventure I felt like I had seen lots and my feet were absolutely killing me. (I had lost my socks a few days before so instead of wearing my chucks with no socks sometimes like usual I was wearing them with no socks all the time and I had some blisters from them. Since I already had blisters from my chacos I decided to wear the only other pair of shoes I brought with me-black flats. The blisters I developed that day I think were record breaking. The theme of this trip very well may be Inadequate shoes and the ever tiring task of finding shoes that are both affordable and adequate, aka the impossible feat.) We met up with Mary to catch the Bart back to Oakland. (Where I hastily changed shoes.) We waited on John to get home and in the meantime I gathered up our laundry. The four of us rode bikes down to the laundromat and had a couple of drinks while we waited to change the laundry over to the dryer. The bar we were in was a total dive but somehow it is there that I had the best PBR of my life. From there we went to a little pizza joint down the road. We had calzones with a tofu based cheese substitute and a pitcher of beer. Retrieved the laundry, rode home, folded it, slept. Big day.
Wednesday October 7th
Joey dropped of the truck early and we headed to Berkeley with John by bike. John showed us his office and a few neat spots on campus before he had to go to class. Joey headed off to go mountain biking, meanwhile I explored campus. Berkeley campus is absolutely beautiful. I had been there a couple of years back for the Berkeley-UT game but didn't really get the chance to explore campus. Met some neat kids adventuring around. Then I planted myself in a little grassy spot just outside the geography building where I read up on Cameroon and enjoyed the best nap ever. Joey stumbled upon me on his way back from his ride and woke me.We went back through Berkeley to Oakland and stopped yet again at Berkeley Bowl on the way home. We got ingredients to make dinner for John and Mary. I had so much fun making soup. Joey went to pick up the truck and such while I chopped tons of veggies and boiled potatoes for creamy vegan potato vegetable soup. Joey made his awesome biscuits and I made whipped topping to put with some berries for dessert. We all ate together and just sat around sharing funny stories until we mozied off to bed. O and I must not forget Mary gave me socks!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday October 8th
We woke up and packed the truck. John wished us farewell and we headed off for Santa Cruz. Short drive to Santa Cruz. We hopped out and went to the pier. TONS of sea lions. It was super neat they were all playing around in the water. We didn't have the camera so you will just have to imagine this.... three sea lions, one XL, one M, and one XS, all stacked up long ways on top of one another lying on a dock the smallest one (on top) clinging on tightly with its flippers to the medium sized sea lion below him. Cutest thing ever. From the pier we headed down town to check out the scene. As always we hit up a bike shop and a second hand store, both good. We also went into an awesome boutique with new clothes and used boots and a neat art shop. On out way out of Santa Cruz we stopped in Aptos for some nature time. Joey went mountain biking and I walked all around Aptos. I went into some beautiful residential areas with a great ocean view and almost got malled by a big rabid looking dog. So I decided to head back into town where I took refuge in the public library. Next stop, Big Sur. (So this is theoretically when I would've been writing but it was just way to picturesque to take my eyes off the road.) We drove until we arrived in Big Sur at a resort where this awesome lady Sara, a sister of a friend of a friend was generous enough to give us a rad campsite crash at for the night. We made dinner and abruptly retreated to the truck in pursuit of refuge from the cold night.
Friday October 9th
We woke up and went straight to Andrew Malera State Park at the north end of Big Sur. This is the first time we had to pay for any outdoor activity (including camping). Our backwards government (California's backwards government to be precise) decided it was a good idea to take all funding from the state parks and put it to better use.......... what better use may I ask? Isn't the whole point of the state parks to enjoy cheap/free outdoor activities, to provide us with a place to interact with the world around us, to keep us healthy, to get us outside and keep us conscious of and connected to our mother earth? If we are to be taxed at all shouldn't it be for endeavors such as these? End rant here. So we hiked an 8 mile loop that went from the head of the park out to the ocean, up up up to the ridge, along the ridge and then back down. It was stunning. We took Sara's fantastic advice when we left the park and immediately headed south to Jade Fest on the south coast beaches. Jade Fest is a festival held at a local school just south of Big Sur where tons of people gather for the weekend to display natural jade in more shades, shapes and forms that I thought possible. We saw beautiful jade jewelery, belt buckles, sculptures, bowls etc. Big Sur is known for it's natural rare jade and thus it is celebrated there. Joey and I spent some time wandering around with our mouths wide open and hearts screaming with the 'I wants' over all of the beautiful art. Let me just be the first to inform you-jade ain't cheap. From here we reluctantly decided to forgo a second night of camping in Big Sur (because it meant driving 30miles back north and then right back to where we were in the morning). Instead we headed south. We stopped at the coast to make dinner on the beach before heading inland toward Paso Robles. We accidentally walked up on a wedding on the beach when we were attempting to set up a picnic spot. They were nice about it and wanted Joey's picture after the ceremony was over. There we ate and watched the sunset. We drove about one more hour in the dark to Paso Robles and slept on the side of the road in the middle of wine country somewhere. The stars were amazing and in just the few minutes that I stared up at them I managed to see two shooting stars go by. What an awesome day that was. Cold night, good sleep.
Saturday October 10th
We woke up and wandered around until we found this great little coffee shop. We took sink showers and Joey got some applications done while I cleaned out Jolene and read some. We got crackers and hummus from Target in preparation for our wine tasting extravaganza. The first winery we stopped at. Doce Robles, was super cute. They had two big german shepards named after wine grapes. The first tasting was ten dollars each but they very nicely waved both of our tasting fees with the purchase of a bottle of wine. (We got the wine for Annie-Joey's youngest sister). They sent us to look for another and they weren't open. The next one was exclusively Zinfandel so we passed. The next one was fifteen bucks a head with no wave for purchase so again we passed. We were both getting a little frustrated. Joey (being super sweet cause he know how much I wanted to do a day of tastings) decided we would try one more place on the edge of town. We went in to CLAVO and it seemed super mellow so we sat. There was a good selection of wine and snacks on the table but no price listed, without talking about it we decided to stay. We sat and talked with the lady there and a couple that came in for a really long time. She ended up giving us the tasting for free cause she knew we were traveling-YAY. I suggest everyone go here-great wine, great people. The couple that was there also told us about another vineyard that had a free tasting so we made haste to Eberle. The wine there was good and we had a good time on the porch relaxing there while sobering up. From Eberle we headed to Costa Mesa to see Annie. On the way down the coast I made Joey stop, emptied his pockets and dragged him into the ocean clothes and all. We needed it. We changed in the Subway bathroom and got back on the road. Upon arrival in Costa Mesa we were greeted by Annie, Ian (Annie's boyfirend) and another of the worlds cutest dogs Sergeant (Sarge for short) o yes and Annie was dog sitting Sprout the Puggle for the night also. Annie made us all dinner and we just relaxed at their apartment.