One adventure finished the question creeps in like the Pacific fog, what next? We had taken pride in not planning beyond the Oregon Coast. Port Orford reminded us that the adventure is the point, the destination isn’t important. Not that Port Orford isn’t a nice town, but it’s certainly not worthy of a 2 month journey across America.
Here we were on the Pacific coast, on the shoulder of highway one, which wound invitingly up and out of town to points south, towards the incredible rocky cliffs, misty meadows, sequoia giants and then San Franciso. We were a few short miles from California and with winter approaching it made sense to head south.
The next morning we inflated our tires to highway pressure and pointed our knobbies southward. The morning was chilly with wafts of fog. We caught glimpses of the ocean far below and little hidden coves with perfect crashing waves. The sun was low and reflecting off the silver water. Rocky islands sat like fortresses in the shallow waters just off shore.
After the meditative silence of the dark Oregon forest this was a splash of light, color and dynamism. We worked the coastal road swerving into every little town we saw. We had no agenda, not even a destination. To weave little roads together along the ocean, popping along, slow and happy, was a kind of celebration for us. We had completed the Trans America Trail, this was all icing. We pulled over often to let the speedier drivers, who don’t have time for life altering visions of silvery oceans, go by.
We eventually slinked our way into Bookings and found, appropriately, a bookshop. It was a tiny little spot on a side street buried in books. Bookshelves were stuffed to the ceiling and then precarious stacks of still more books. It was as if they couldn’t stem the tide of books pouring in and eventually just gave up and were buried. The books on the shelves were meticulously ordered by author. We Discovered copies of Dostoyevsky, Thomas Wolfe, Hunter S Thompson, and Martin Heidegger. We finally settled on a charming hardback copy of Herman Hesse’ Steppenwolf. Motorcycle travel severely limits how many books one can carry.
The California dusk caught up to us in Crescent City. Snuggled between the redwood forests and the sea we trolled the abandoned streets. We could see the illuminated faces inside old Denny’s. There were a few bars but why bother. We snuck down by the black ocean and listened to the sounds of mysterious creatures cry out to lost lovers in the night.