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California Here We Come

| Updated Oct 10, 2016
The Southern Oregon Coast

On the last Monday of September, I said a fond farewell to my friends in Corvallis,  and once again drove west towards Route 101. About an hour later, I arrived back in Newport, Oregon. I wanted to continue my tour of the coast. My plan was to take a week to see the rest of this gorgeous coast line, then meet up with my friend Cat, who is bicycling the west coast with her dogs.

Me and my adventuresome companions, the Roadtrek and Miss Elsie the cat were ready to resume our role as a Sag Wagon.

By the time I arrived in Newport, Cat had already crossed over the border into California. Because I extended my stay in Corvallis, she was running low on cash and oops, she left her debit card in my little home on wheels. I needed to drive south.

The Oregon coast is amazing and beautiful. I especially liked it after Labor Day. Campgrounds were not full and I could spend my days lazily making my way south. I took many pictures, gawked at the bridges and played along the ocean's edges. I saw whales, seals and sea lions.

It was easier to let some scenery slip by, once I crossed into California, as I had covered this part of the route while I was driving north to start the trip with Cat. Harvest Hosts once again came in handy as I camped for a night on the northwest side of Humboldt Bay at the Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum.

Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum
Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum

I was expecting a large museum, instead it turned out to be this tiny building with a very good maritime history inside. I discovered the town of Samoa. It was a company town, created by the lumber industry in the early 1900's. Today it is owned by a real estate company that is leaving the town mostly unchanged. Next to my campsite was the “The Cookhouse”. Today it is a restaurant, serving family style meals. It was the cookhouse for all the workers that lived in this company town. When the restaurant closed at 9 pm, I had the place to myself. It was peaceful and quiet.

The team reunites
The team reunites

A week ago Elsie and I met up with Cat and the dogs at Westport-Union Landing State Beach. When the dogs heard the engine and saw the familiar white RT, they went ballistic. When I pulled into the campsite they were barking and jumping. What a greeting. I wonder why Miss Elsie doesn't do this. Oh right, she's a cat.

Tea at the Westport Hotel
Tea at the Westport Hotel

Westport's population would be lucky to break the 100population mark. It has one gas station and a post office. The Westport Hotel and Abalone Pub serves tea every Saturday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Cat and I went to tea. The formal tea was a pleasant surprise. I discovered it two years ago, on a Nature Conservancy trip. It is fun to take people to tea in this little town on the coast of California.

Janet in the Redwoods
Janet in the Redwoods

Our visit was short lived. My Roadtrek needed some warranty repair work done. On Sunday Cat continued biking down the coast. I drove through some wonderful Redwood groves on my way to Santa Rosa to have a glow plug replaced.

As soon as my Roadtrek was fixed on Monday afternoon, I left Santa Rosa as fast as I could. The traffic was horrendous. I am now back on the coast, camping at Bodega Bay. This incorporated town found fame when Alfred Hitchcock filmed “The Birds” here. It also sits on the edge of Bodega Bay, a great birding spot. Now that the weather has cleared I will start to make my way north, again on route 1 to meet up with Cat.

Our trip continues to create itself as we work out logistics. Cat and I meet up at least once a week. She has been enjoying camping with the other “hikers/bikers” at campgrounds along the way. I have been enjoying exploring on my own for a few days at a time. The separation makes our time together special. We both have adventures to share.

Next big goal…The Golden Gate Bridge.


Published on 2016-10-10

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