Thursday, September 08, 2005

Wandering, but not in the desert

It’s nice being untethered.
Or, being tethered to another untethered thingy.

This is the first time in I think 6 years that I’ve not been out in Black Rock Desert for Labor Day. What to do? Well, I got all wrapped up with the Magic show, and nothing was planned. That’s OK, hell, maybe that’s actually better. Pile some crap on the bikes and let’s go!

Friday night we opted to stay home, since our target was about four hours away and finding and setting up a camp in the dark and cold sucks ass. I crashed out early while Paul fussed with the bikes.

The goal was to go north, probably around Fort Bragg somewhere. We didn't have plans or reservations, but worst case was turning around or pulling over somewhere remote. Shit, we already proved that we could ride out 24 hours in some snotty twisty shit, so nothing seemed worrisome about this. See something you like? Pull over! Like it a lot? Sleep there! Otherwise, keep wandering.

Saturday morning we finally hit the road around 10:00 and headed north. The directions were to take 101 to Willits and then go West on 20, but when we came up on 128, I remembered it went through Boonville to the coast. I like Boonville, and was tired of 101. We got to Fort Bragg just around the time my gas light started blinking (1 gallon left). That’s pretty good! For lunch, I dragged us into the North Coast Brewery, on account of, there’s always a huge wait at the Brewery during the Sheetiron, so I figured it must be good. It wasn’t. They make good beer, but my garden burger came out still frozen, and nothing was good except the fries. Good fries. Meh. Followed a bunch of assholes in RV’s out several miles north, and a few miles after they had all pulled off at a campground on the beach with “FULL HOOKUPS!” we found a nice spot just off Highway 1.

The actual campground was bleak, mainly just a field with firepits and picnic tables, and some pit toilets. We found a nice spot near the highway, opposite the line of RV’s camped along the ocean side of the bluff. The people at this campground were weird and scary, not in a personal danger sort of way, just in a “oh my god, this is what we’re up against” kind of way. People who ignore their kids unless they are yelling at them. And yell they did!

Whatever. The beach here (ahem, this is all a guess, since the trail was closed) is amazing. Feels very pristine. Shitloads of tidal pool life. I have never seen so many huge starfish jammed into one spot. Birds I’d never seen before. Cranes, seals (or were they sea lions? I’m not sure), hermit crabs, even a little tiny fish in the tidal pools. A few old engine parts rusting away next to mountains of seaweed, and a giant piece of bleached redwood. Flies were thick, and I had to keep my beer covered.

Drinking on the beach, picking through the slippery rocks with a beer in my hand. Oh, uhh, is the tide coming in or going out? Will we be able to get back before the sun sets?

And to think, I could have been roasting in a hot tent listening to some fucker's oontz oontz music all week with a hangover!

Sunday, we poked around Fort Bragg and Mendocino, and spent more time drinking and poking around on the beach.

Things I DIDN’T say to the two guys in Harley costumes standing next the parking spot we pulled into in the quaint little B&B town of Mendocino:
-“How do you decide which one of you gets to sit on the back?" when they asked why we came on two bikes.
-“Just like you two, a romantic weekend away?” when they asked what brought us out. (I mean, isn’t that what people DO in Mendocino?)
-“well, at least you ride,” when they said “well, at least you ride” with that tone of sympathy for us since we couldn’t ride Harleys.
-"because I prefer passing traffic, to holding up traffic," when asked why we chose the bikes we did.

Breakfast was in a shitty greasy spoon Monday because downtown Fort Bragg was closed for a parade. Oh, boy, were the weekend warrior riders out in force!

Highway 20 is the last leg of the Sheetiron westbound route, and I remembered it being very pretty. Figuring Highway 1 would be averaging 15mph because of RV assholes, we took 20 over to 101. For several miles, I was astounded at how nice people were being, taking the turnouts to let us pass on 20. It was all so civil! Soon enough, though we came to a trail of about six cars behind one RV. After he passed a few turnouts, the illegal passing had to start. This motherfucker must have had about thirty cars behind him by the time Paul passed him and slowed him up enough for me to get around (the road was pretty twisty by then). 20 is a beautiful road, and nicely planned such that there are a LOT of turnouts. What the fuck is it about RV drivers that they nearly ALWAYS refuse to use turnouts? The law states that you must pull out for 5 vehicles behind you. 30 vehicles behind you and passing turnouts? You ought to be dragged out and shot. Yes, shot. We don’t need selfish motherfuckers like you. READ the CVC’s dumbass! And, fuck, even without a law, you ought to have some goddam manners. Big problem here. Cops hate people passing over the double yellow, but they don't ticket for lane-blocking violations. Well, I'm sorry, but crossing highway 20 at 15mph, for what Mr. RV would have liked to be the ENTIRE stretch, is not a fucking option.

RV's are evil and pathetic. You're not camping. You're not out seeing the world. You're blocking it up for everyone else, all while maintaining your cute little isolated mentality. Just stay home. For the love of god, stay home.

Finally out of the RV shit-storm, we stopped in Petaluma to visit the cafe with my favorite bathroom. Home again and watched Scotland, PA from netflix. (It was decent)

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