Day 2 – Newport, OR to Eureka, CA. 324 miles

After posting my journal last night, me and the boy went for a stroll through the bustling metropolis of Newport. We found a decent pub near the beach, and ordered a truckload of chicken wings, a beer (for the boy) and a cider for me. After food we walked onto the beach and observed a very pretty sunset, before heading back to our oven of a room.

We put the fan into the open window, which managed to draw in some cool air, but the room was pretty warm all night – the sun shines directly into it for most of the day, heating all the fixtures and fittings to a temperature akin to that of pre-eruption lava. I slept fitfully because of the heat.

Given the poor sleeping conditions, I didn’t wait for the alarm, and was up at 6. We showered and packed up slowly, and were on the road at about 7. We had planned a breakfast stop the night before, and rolled in tot he Little Brown Hen cafe not long after 08:00, where we had a lovely American diner breakfast, and a metric ton of coffee.

The road through this part of Oregon was often straight and boring, but punctuated with coast or mountain views and scenes which made up for the rest. The day got pretty hot, but passing through the forests provided regular cooling opportunities.

Lunch was at the Port Hole cafe (and yes, it is spelled like that), a waterfront establishment at Gold Beach. A lone seal was playing in the water just outside the restaurant. A reasonable sandwich for me, fried shrimp for young Mr B, after which we stood and gazed at the water for quite a while before re-mounting and continuing along the Oregon coastline. A stop at Battle Rock offered more great seascapes and photo opportunities.

We crossed the Winchuck River mid-afternoon, and found ourselves in California. The landscape changed almost immediately, as we started climbing up windy roads into the Redwood forests. The forests are hard to describe – the trees are so huge, and so old, you feel like you are back in pre-history. There is a very special feel to the place, and the wonderful oceans view from high-up in the forests make them even more magical. We rode for miles through the woods, and then along the coast right on the beaches.

Riding in Washington and Oregon had been parallel to, and not far from the coast, but here in lovely California we were often riding alongside the beaches. We turned into a stop area on one of the beaches for a rest and a wee, about 45 minutes before our final station.

For most of the last 2 days, we have been on 55mph roads, but the Highway 101 in California has a series of 65mph stretches, and it was nice to be able to open the bike up a bit on these Freeway sections. We hit heavy traffic for the last 4 or 5 miles of our day, before pulling in to the Hotel Clarion by Humboldt Bay, Eureka, CA.

Hooray – the hotel has air conditioning in our room, so we are cool and well chilled in every sense. We went for a walk and had dinner at a Hawaiian place about 20 minutes away from the hotel. A working class town, with a mix of retail and semi-industrial establishments either side of the 101, we past the county jail and 2 courthouses, 17 Mexican restaurants and a bunch of burger joints. There was an interesting looking BBQ shack, but they had sold out of ribs, so Hawaiian it was.

B is doing whatever young people do on the internet, while I am typing this. We have the luxury of twin queen beds tonight, after sharing a super-large king between us in last nights sauna. So, plenty of room to starfish tonight, and the aircon is humming away quietly – all is well in the land of the Levin boys tonight.

We are hoping to set off earlyish again tomorrow, so we can spend as much time as possible with our SanFranFam. See ya later, Crocodiles…..

Some of todays scenery

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