Date: Sunday September 18 & 19, 2005
Event: Drive Concord to Brookings, OR, and return
w/ Solo . . . just me, by myself!
Winds: N/A
Weather: Beautiful! Sunshine all the way.
  Sunday, September 18, 2005
My original plan was to leave the San Francisco bay area very early Monday morning for the 400 mile drive with expected 10:00 AM arrival in Brookings, OR. But It has been some 15 years since I last ventured much north of Santa Rosa along Hwy 101, so I thought this a good chance to make it a leisurely drive through the redwood country to Eureka and points beyond.

I left Concord at about 11:00 AM, driving to Vallejo, and Santa Rosa beyond. Within two hours I was seeing my first redwoods. I added some time to my journey by taking the scenic drive along the Avenue of the Giants, the old redwood highway along the forks of the Eel River before realignment of hwy 101 removed the curves and the beautiful close-up views of the canyons and trees. Other stops included vistas at Eureka, and Crescent City before arriving in Brookings a little after 6:00 PM.

After driving the length of town a couple of times to get my bearings, I called Gene to let him know that I'd arrived in town earlier than expected. Gene invited me up to the house for an introductory look at the boat; he and his wife were putting the finishing touches on cleaning it up for my inspection. We talked, I looked at the boat--it was really love at first sight--and agreed to my returning early Monday morning. Gene had consented to walking me through his rigging; when the banks opened, we'd go get his payment and I'd be back on the road around noon.

For dinner, I relied on the old truck drivers trick of looking for a restaurant with a full parking lot. What I found was Italian with the best Lasagna I think I've ever had. I spent the night at a local campground a couple of miles outside of town.

Monday, September 19, 2005
Every little town has a breakfast house frequented by locals for their morning coffee and conversation; where meals are cheap, the waitresses are old enough to have served the Last Supper. Brookings has such an establishment, and I found it . . . it's the local McDonalds franchise. The setting certainly wasn't 'greasy-spoon' but the ambiance was certainly familiar.

Well fed, I arrived back at Gene's for my in-depth introduction to my Potter. All went smoothly, I took lots of pictures of the rigging to refresh my memory when I took a fly at it on my own after returning home. A quick trip to the bank, and a stop at an auto parts store to pick up a ball for my hitch got us back to the house around 11:00 AM. We played around with the trailer wiring for a couple of hours, but failed to get them working correctly; I decided to deal with the problem after getting home and hit the road sans lights a bit before 1:00 PM to see if I could make it home before dark.

The Potter trailed behind my Ford Explorer as if it wasn't there. It had been years since I had pulled a trailer of any kind, but any fears I had with regard to my abilities, was quickly dispelled by the total cooperation of my little Potter. I arrived back in Concord, about an hour after dusk; good time for the drive with speeds limited by the trailer.