Wow, just realizing how long I’ve been off the grid while typing “Day 7”. This has been the longest, most satisfying US roadtrip I’ve taken. I feel content, centered and definitely cured of whatever funk I contracted in New York over the past few months. Its not like I’m doing anything special. Just driving around. But I feel an excitement like an explorer, a pioneer. This trip is different then my past excursions, I have all the time in the world and I’m in all new territory. Any exit that catches my fancy can be an all day long adventure, and thats OK. Today was the perfect example.
I had all intentions of hightailing it south on the mundane 5, sights set on the end, getting “home”. I had to drag my aching self out of bed, Irie seems sick, and my right-brain was saying “enough is enough lets get to La Jolla”. Don’t know if it was my strong morning coffee kicking in or some inner need to push the envelope, but after driving for about an hour south on the 5, I saw an exit labeled “Oregon Coast” and I found myself cutting across 3 lanes, exiting and blindly driving toward a vague place that sounded exciting and new. It ended up taking me at least 2 hours out of my way, but brought me to the Oregon PCH. Don’t have much to show from today, photo wise, the drive itself was so pleasant I didn’t bother stopping much. Just cruised the winding route along the coast of Oregon, “Where the forrest meets the sea”. For a change I was happy to go the speed limit or under and enjoy the undulating road high above the Pacific.
Happily I was there for halibut season and had my food RADAR dialed in for some fish. Hunger stopped me in Waldport. It seemed like a crab town, but maybe they are out of season, never saw the roadside stand I was imagining with a hand written sign saying “Get ya crabs here!”. I ended up stopping at a promising tavern called the Flounder Inn. Pretty sure flounder are more of a east coast fish, but I went with the notion that at least it was seafood orientated. It payed off, inside were a bunch off crusty sea guys and gals, and on the menu(from may til july) is local halibut fish and chips. Probably could’ve gotten a similar thing at a myriad of roadhouses and shacks along the way, but the Flounder was exactly what I was looking for at exactly the time I wanted it. I’m sad I didn’t have a couple Rogue Dead Guys while I waited(Rogue’s main pub is up the PCH about 4o miles in Newport), but I had a lot of driving ahead of me. The flaky/chunky halibut was perfectly cooked, and the fries were thin but surprisingly tasty(there was some old bay or some other “secret” ingredient going on there). Goddamn as I’m typing this I wish I had another batch.
Took the OR PCH for another hour or so, then Rt. 38 along the Umpqua River(gorgeous), eventually returned to the 5 South. After a bunch of hours, here I am, back in California. It’s a California alien to me, but feels comforting nonetheless. I’m used to random SoCal towns, but although my license plate reads the same, I am a stranger in a strange land. Still, its cool, my ending goal for this trip is to know and understand the dark side of the moon(for me) of the state I call “home”. So far in places like Weed, Shasta and here in Dunnigan, there’s the same familiar meth head vibe that you see in Bakersfield or Indio, but its colder here. It smells like Cali up here, I feel at home. Still have at least 8 hours of driving left til SD. And with all the cool shit to see between here and there I’m sure I could take another 7 days to make it.