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.