Thursday, March 11, 2010

Portland! day two, gettin' there is wet and green

Waking up to cool damp fog and knowing we were not in a hurry, it was time for a couple of detours from highway 101. First, a drive through Sebastapol where this burst of fall color popped out of the fog. For a slow drive through postcard worthy green hills and pastures the roads west of Sebastapol can't be beat. We poked along the way to Bodega Bay stopping for surprise moss covered grave stones, grazing sheep, and patches of dew coated fennel.

In Bodega Bay we searched high and low for the church featured in The Birds but no luck. The town was sleepy and the water of the bay was dead calm. A short walk along the shore and a breakfast snack left us damp with sea mist. With one last apprehensive scan of the sky for gathering squabbles of gulls we drove the wacky, windy highway 1 north for a bit. Then, turning east through Guerneville we crossed the 101 again and entered wine country on the Alexander Valley road. Four miles up the road is the Jimtown Store where we stopped for lunch. The sandwiches there are tasty though a bit pricey, and it can get crowded at this popular stop. The wine tasters, schools of bicyclists in superhero spandex, and Sunday Riderz can be overwhelming but we came back for the sandwiches and scenery anyhow. (Our first time was back in 2002 for the Cotati Accordion festival because we're goofy like that. For that trip we hit up Penn Valley to visit with family and then drove all curvy-durvy to the Jelly Belly factory, Jimtown Store, the festival and more.)

From Jimtown we made a bee line for Humboldt on the 101. Now, I can blather on about the green and wet that we passed through but I think a string of pictures will do a better job. Welcomed by Sasquatch hisownself, we slopped around in the fecundity.

A bit north of Humboldt Redwoods State Park the sun was wiped out by storm clouds and we knew we were in for soak. No more pleasant mist damping our hats, this was a torrent. The windshield wipers struggled to cope with the kind of wet that makes Eureka notorious. With the small goal of finding a dry motel bed and at an achingly slow pace to stay on the road, we paddled into Eureka listening to Bollywood music on some radio station the scan function discovered. Dinner at a roadside diner, a hot shower, and dry clothes helped shake off the downpour. Sleep is always extra welcome when the water is pouring down and you have found your dry place to wait it out.

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