here is my latest post. I am now in Mendocino California.
About a week ago I drove from Florence Oregon to Whiskey Run Beach just north of the town of Bandon in Oregon. The day was lovely and sunny and the complete opposite of previous days.
I got off the main Highway 101 south and looked for some smaller roads. I found a great gravel track known as Seven Devils road. I wasn’t sure where it lead but figured it would eventually lead back into civilization. I found an information board later and discovered it had been named by the early settlers for its notorious twists and turns. What's great ride the road was, it was nice to get onto a small road and travel on something other than tarmac. I drove her on. I shot some nice videos which I hope to edit a bit later.
I pressed on and came of a lovely beach called Merchant Beach, with large dunes and trees, I stayed for a while and ate my sandwich. I was informed by a guy I met that there may have been some shelters built from driftwood up at Whiskey Run Beach. So I figured it would be a cool place to spend the night.
I reached Whisky Run and drove the bike out on to the beach in search of a camp site, ( it was a vehicular access beach- God be it from me to ever break the law :-). I parked the up to consider my options there were no shelters in sight. Just then I saw a pick-up coming, it was the guy I met at Merchant Beach, I mentioned I had run our of water and he had gone home to get some water and delivered it to me! (thank you) He pointed me towards a nice spot behind a large rock.
I sat down on the dunes and watched the last 20 minutes of the red sky following sunset, the sea was wild and loud , but peaceful also, peaceful as only nature can be while making such a racket. The loud drone of the sea and crashing waves was soothing and hypnotic. The old saying came to me, 'Red sky at night- Shepard’s delight”. I was in for a good night.
I went back to my camp spot behind the rocks and I started to write a little about previous days events. I put off lighting my fire until later as I knew it wouldn't last too long. I was feeling slightly down, I mean I was full of energy, adventure and I was happy, but I was feeling guilty, fortunate and/or overwhelmed. I was meeting so much great people who were going out of their way to help me, and I felt I didn't deserve, I felt I was just a dumbass on a bike, chasing a dream. A guy called Vincent had even booked and paid for a hotel room for me the previous day without me ever even meeting him! He had been following my progress through my website. I was really taken back by that gesture. The day before that a guy called Lonnie, went looking for me in a super market to offer me a place to stay. It was terrible weather for camping and I appreciated that. He had even given me a part off his Honda he was restoring to help me solve a problem I was having.
The people I had met had made a big impression on me with their kindness but tomorrow I was gone, I was off down the road accepting someone else's kindness and I felt guilty for that. I never ask anybody for anything, people just want to help in what ever they can. People are amazing, there is good in everyone, and I genuinely believe that and it makes me very happy. That’s why I write, to recount what has happened, so these people don’t just slip into obscurity. I am genuinely grateful for all peoples kindness and I will attempt to pay this back to the universe during me life.
and so back to the story ..
I lit the fire up around 7.30pm, set my tent up, and sat with my back against the rock. The fire was great company, the flickering glow of the flames casting shadows and creating faces on the rocks. It was an ancient scene from times gone by.
I had a great relaxing evening reading but there was something missing I was a little hungry. I had expected to get into the local town to get some food and water but I never made it. I then opened the bag with the water which my friend (the stranger) had brought me and there inside was a tin of Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup. Score!! (thanks again who ever you were).
I got out my pot and cooked it up over the fire! There's nothing better than heating your food over a fire at your campsite. It was a great little lifter.
Around 11 pm I decided to hit the hay, I moved my tent into position closer behind the wall for shelter, got into my sleeping and dozed off to sleep.
At around 1 am I was rudely awakened by nature,
Come on Nature! I'm trying sleep here! The tent was starting to flap around a bit. Nothing to worry about, I dozed of again.
I woke again at 2 am the tent was shaking pretty dramatically, I knew I had to get up to try secure it. It was hard to get myself out of my nice warm sleeping bag and face the high winds, but I dragged myself out anyway. I staked my tent down and went back to bed. That seemed to solve the problem. However at 4 am things got even worse, the tent was flapping around violently in the wind, I knew I was in danger of losing my tent to the winds so I got up to make a more concerted effort to secure my tent.
I got some chord out of my bags and tied one end of the tent to a log that was near by and cut some branches to make some bigger stakes that I could push further into the ground. After a half hour I felt I had done enough to secure it and I got back inside and into my sleeping bag.
As I laid there in the violent winds, the tent being blown about and sand blowing through the fly I thought to myself, “ Well I've done my best to secure it” but the ridiculousness of that statement dawned on me. There was no hiding behind a defeatist mantra like “I've done my best” in such times. I would have to do what ever it took and nothing else.
As it was it I had secured it enough but, I thought that was an very interesting moment of realisation for me. I had no-one else to rely on except myself, and I had to take full responsibility for my own welfare. I had been told when i got into town that there were 70-100mph gust that night. eek
Despite the tough night I got up with energy and enthusiasm, I was on an adventure and loving it. The winds were getting even stronger and I had to get my tent down.
I made a slightly more somber video blog a few minutes later, when I realise I still had to get everything packed away and get the Bike and gear off the beach.
I eventually got the my gear loaded up and got myself and the bike off the beach. As I left the beach I remembered the saying again in relation to Red Skies and Nights and figured they must have a different version here in Oregon, I supposed it might have been “ Red Sky at Night – Run for your life”
When I got to Port Orford, I saw the weather forecast, it was not looking good. The owner of the local Restaurant Laura offered my comfortable lodgings on the floor of her store room. Thanks Laura
The rest of the Oregon coast was rugged and beautiful, the next couple of days I got pretty wet but I was loving being out on the wild Oregon coast, and I had a great day exploring some tracks I probably should not have been on.
I pushed further on Highway 101. It was a beautiful day, I got my first glimpes of the Redwoods (the best was yet to come) I found a little campsite down a lane off 101, I camped underneath a small tree, it was a nice little site, I tried in vain to get a campfire going it everything was too damp. I had a feeling I shouldn't be lightng the fire near to the tree in case I damaged the roots. But i figured I would light a small fire and prop it up on some other sticks. But when I produced by stove bottle of petrol in attempt to light it (conventional methods exhausted) I lost the top of my fuel bottle before I had even lit it up. This was a problem half a litre of fuel with no lid. It was an important part of my set up! I figured it was Mother Nature saying “hold on buddy, using petrol is a whole different ball game”, I did feel like I was cheating, So I said to myself (or who ever was listening) “Ok well, I promise I will put it out as soon as I cooked my food”. Just then I found it. I had better stick to my bargain. In the end I couldn’t even light it, and I didn’t want to use any more petrol. Everything was too damp.
The next day as I was tidying up my site, I noticed a large exposed root running very close to the fire. I could see why Mother Nature was a but pissed off at me.
The next day I was back on 101 I made it to Arcata and met a guy called Luis. He has been travelling for 2 years with his wife in his jeep in South America, they were on a break and visiting home. He had sold his house to continue his journeys, saying he will only come home when is absolutely flat broke. He loves life on the road. He was an Environmental Engineer before he left, and admits he was once part of “the machine”. He had 4 cars, motorbikes, ATV's etc etc, he now realises the ridiculousness of the pursuit of such a lifestyle. He also has a website lostworldexpedition.com.
The Highway 101 was hectic with holiday traffic so I got off the main Highway and took the long way around. Bikers beware of advise given by people traveling in big comfy jeeps. Hills mean nothing to them, I think they just look on them as turning back in the recliner a few extra notches, like putting your feet up. Anyway I made it up an back down to sea level again and collected some DRY firewood along the way and found very beautiful beach to camp by.
loaded up with firewood
I cannot emphasise this enough, for me there is nothing better than cooking your food on a campfire , lying back looking at the stars and hearing the roar if the ocean. Its a taste of pure raw freedom.
In particular being alone, companionship and friendship are wonderful things but your time is spent servicing them, talking etc. To be alone with your own thoughts uninterrupted you are allowed to explore deeper your thoughts and views on issues and life.