Day 25 – Gravel Not

Crescent City, California to Coos Bay, Oregon – 10th July 2021

So this morning Tree and Jeff insist on taking me out for breakfast, but first Jeff wants to look my bike over. We take it into his garage and he puts it up on a mini lift. He asks me to sit on it and then he tries lifting the front end to see if there is any play in the steering head.. nope nothing. He checks to see if the fall, (the movement of the bars from centre to right and centre to left), seems ok, yes it does. He checks the front wheel for any sign of wheel bearing failure, nope nothing. The wobble remains a mystery although Jeff did suggest it might just be a design ‘fault’ in the way the geometry of the bike has been configured between the head and the frame, usually called the rake, it may be that when the luggage is added this changes the geometry slightly causing the bike to wobble at a certain speed. In any event I ask if he would help me to up the suspension again, so it is now on the highest setting, let’s see if that makes any difference.

Then we all pile into the pick up to go get some breakfast. They take me to their favourite diner in Hiouchi Hamlet and very nice brekkie it is too. I try to pay as a thank you for letting me stay but they are not having it, I am their guest and they are paying end of story. Then Jeff gets a message, he is being called in to work, but first we are going to the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park as we can drive through.

I had told them last night how disappointed I was yesterday when I saw a sign for a tree you can drive though..

I really did want to give it a go but the entrance was down a steep thick loose gravel driveway so there was no way I was taking this bike down that. That is why they suggested they drive me around the Redwoods Park.

On the way we pass this quaint bridge, similar to the Bridges of Madison County

and then we enter the park

Just massive and arrow straight, the trunks go on up forever and finish in a beautiful canopy above us.

We do pass a couple of other cars, one of which is a white 1960’s hearse… weird.

Then it is time to drop Jeff at work and I need to get the bike loaded up and get back on the road.

A quick photo with Jeff first though

Tree and I get back to hers and then I load up the bike. All too soon it is time to go, but we need a photo first

I also have to ask… why Tree? She explains that her mom gave her the name Trieste, (I’m not sure how it is spelt), so that people would not shorten it, then when she was 9 everyone started calling her Tree and by the time she was 16 she was over 6 feet tall so it kind of stuck… makes sense.

Time to say goodbye and many, many thanks for your hospitality and generosity, very much appreciated.

After a very late start I realise I desperately need petrol so have to turn around and go back to Hiouchi Hamlet…

and look who is also here…

1960’s hearse man… just so I could get a picture!

Then I am soon entering a Native American, First Nation, Indian Tribe, Aboriginal reservation… I don’t know which is the dominant term, it seems different regions here have different terms but I personally prefer First Nation so I am going to use that from now on and hope I don’t offend anyone.

It’s very good to see First Nation languages being preserved and displayed.

Then suddenly it’s ‘Ciao California’ (again) and ‘Oh there you are Oregon’. The first thing I see is a Cannabis shop… ahh so it is legal in Oregon too.

The coast line is becoming even more rugged and unpopulated as I head further north

I guess I had better find somewhere to stay tonight so I look on Bunka Biker and there is a guy in Coos Bay. The only thing I am worried about is on his ‘pin’ he does say it is ‘down a steep gravel drive’.. oh no! Unfortunately this is the only Bunka I am able to get to today and the motel prices are just sky high. I message him and he replies that they are out at the moment and won’t be home until later this evening but his sister is there and so it will be fine to turn up when I am ready. I ask how long is the driveway, he says ‘don’t worry we can help you down there’.. ok that sounds good. That is a great relief.

I soon arrive at my overnight stay, it is a little way outside of Coos Bay, so not actually in town. I park at the top of the drive… yes it is indeed extremely steep and gravelly, it also swings quite sharply away to the right. Yep no way I’m riding down that. Gary has given me the number of his sister Wendy who should be expecting me so I give it a call.. no answer, I leave a message to say I am at the top of the driveway. Then a pick up arrives and I kind of assume this is Gary, but it’s not, I think it must be a neighbour as he drives down the gravel road. I tentatively start to walk down the road and it now becomes clear that this is a shared road and I don’t know which one is Gary’s place so I just walk back up. I am just about to leave another message when a different pick up comes up the drive and stops, it is Wendy and her ‘boyfriend’ Scooter (he is about 60 years old, hence the ‘boyfriend’ but that is how Wendy introduces him). Scooter says not to worry he will ride it down for me, he jumps on and off he goes.. just like that. Wendy tells me to get in the pick up and “don’t worry we often have to ride bikes down for people, men too… a woman last week tried to ride down and went over, she used the front brake.. never use the front brake on gravel, I get him to ride my bike down too, going up is easier”.. I certainly feel much better about it.

They are both staying at the moment as they live inland and it’s way too hot so they are staying over with her brother. I am shown my room and bathroom and once I have unpacked everything I sit and have a coffee with Wendy. She collects shells and is showing me her collection, she gives me a couple of shells and a fossil for my grand-daughter… how sweet of her.

They have dogs, which is always great.. there is Pup a rather excitable largish dog, not sure of his breed, a chocolate Labrador who spends all her time on the sofa sleeping and finally Roxy, obviously the queen of the pack.

While I am sorting out my stuff Wendy is preparing a meal and soon I am offered a plate of spaghetti Bolognese which is very nice. Soon after this Gary and his partner, who I think is Jodie, arrive home so it is great to meet them. We have a short chat before it is time for bed, I am really whacked this evening so do have to make my apologies, but look forward to seeing them in the morning.

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