(FYI: These post are not live/semi-live)
Herein begins the west coast experience and return trip to NY.
This deserves a proper chapter opening, and what better opening than the view from the apartment the following morning in Port Orford, OR.
From Port Orford, OR to Richardson Grove State Park, CA
Woke up the next morning refreshed and took a walk down to the beach at around 10:30 just before checkout. After I walked down to the end of the beach and back, I packed and headed south towards San Francisco taking HWY 101 down the coast.
I would stop along the way to enjoy the jagged and primordial beauty of the Oregon Coast.
Explored a rock jetty, and struck some poses against the sea
It wasn't long before I cross into California and hit the Coastal Redwoods. At this part of the day, a fog rolled in though the sun was still shining through whenever it could. The air was quite chilly causing me to stop earlier on to put on my fleece, zip up all my vents and wear the balaclava.
My plan was to camp at Richardson Grove State Park, a recommendation made to me by Bill and Linda, a couple I met staying at the Union Creek Lodge during the end of the TAT ride.
On the way there, standard issue trees gave way to forest giants. Its hard to capture the scale of these thing, but riding under them, everything is miniaturized. There is a road call the avenue of giants which in retrospect, I should have taken. It parallels the 101 and is around the Humbolt Redwoods State Park. Don't miss this road like I did. You're suppose to be able to ride through a couple of huge monster trees and I think its free.
A t-rex could come crashing through the trees at anytime
I would stop at the cheesy Chandelier Tree the next day farther on down the coast which cost $5. It was really lame, don't do it.
Finally got to Richardson Grove around 6:00 and started to set up camp. I was desperately looking for firewood and stopped 2 sites down where I asked a guy named John where I could find some. He pulled his firewood from a massive downed Redwood and its bark just behind site and told me to have at it. After making camp and a fire, I head back over to Jon and his wife Chelon's campsite. There I share some wine and they, some food. Chelon recently found out she was with child, so they decided a road trip was in order while they were able. After several cups, I was nice and drunk and off to my campsite where I put every piece of bark I had into the fire. It burn brightly for the next several hours as I lay upon the picnic table staring up into bits of the night sky through the arms of the giant redwoods. WIth the light of the campfire illuminating the massive trunk, I felt safe and thought this must be what it was like to be a knight in the middle ages camping out before the next days battle. Super cheesy, I know, but that's what wine will do to you when you're underneath this majestic forest. Must be the tannins.
After the flame died out, I stumble to my tent and sleep off the spirits.