u.s. road trip…day 2

continued north on the 1 – man, that’s just gotta be one of the prettiest drives ever.  roads are a bit scary, though – winding along the cliffs that line the coast.  plus we hit fog a couple of times.  radio’s gotten better in the last ten years – in fact, all over the u.s., in tiny little towns where all you ever used to find was country and jesus radio, it was pretty standard that we’d find really decent classic rock, and quite often npr, although i guess that was always there, and we were just uninterested if it wasn’t music.  at any rate, that part of the drive was one of my favorites, partly because it’s so incredibly beautiful with the waves crashing against the cliffs, the sheer drop to the left, the cliffs themselves sometimes rising above on the right, but sometimes leveling out, the vegetation, colors changing from hazy earth tones to vibrant greens the further north you go…but i also love it for the familiarity of it all…that’s a road i remember well…at this point in our journey i am definitely remembering…and this isn’t easy…for the first time in my life, i am mourning my lost youth!

so we reached san francisco about 1:pm, a little behind schedule, and chris and i both go into stress mode, like, instantly.  just 36 hours out of the hectic hecticness of the city, and we’re transformed into country  mice who don’t know the first thing about traffic laws.  plus, this is our first experience with the gps thingie, and maybe san francisco wasn’t the best place to break it in.  at any rate, we have two destinations:  1. best buy store, so chris can have a look at non-mac computers, weigh his options, and decide if he really, really should buy a mac; 2. mac store – the first one, and their international headquarters – so chris could, if he so decided to opt for a mac in the end, buy it there.

but, after humming and hawing for a bit, looking at the pc’s which were so much cheaper, and taking into account our present and indefinite unemployment, he opted – at the advice of many – for an hp.  and, behind on our schedule, we spirited out of san francisco and back to less-populated landscapes.

so we continued heading north, this time on the 101 to save a little time.  by the time we left san francisco, it was already 3:00 pm, and the plan was to get at least to humboldt.  by the time we got to the redwood forest, the sun had already set, so we ended up camp in the dark again, this time at redwoods trails creek, just north of eureka.  we found a campsite – it was super dark, and really hard to tell what was for tents and what was for rvs.  i was desperate to pee, so when we pulled in i trotted off to sort that out.  as i approached the bathroom, i heard the weirdest sound i’ve ever heard in my life.  sort of like this:  YEEEEEEAAAAHHHH!!!  BUNG!  BUNG!  BUNG!  BUNG!  BUNG!  i saw a woman leaving the bathroom and asked her if she knew what the sound was.  ‘elks bugling,’ she replied wearily.  ‘yeah – it’s really neat when you hear your first few, but then when they wake you up at 3:00 am, 4:00 am, then 5:00 am – not so cute.  it’s mating season.  happy sleeping!’  sure enough – we were in elk territory.  when i got back to the campsite, chris stopped me as i approached:  ‘STOP!  watch where you walk – there’s shit everywhere.’  then, pointing with his headlamp, ‘i cleared up here, here, and here.’  so, balancing in about 13 square inches of poo-free dirt, i made dinner while chris finished pitching the tent.  the elk did wake us up a few times, but we went right back to sleep, and i found the sound so cool, plus we were exhausted from so much driving.  but the coolest part – when we woke up, there must have been 15 female and baby elk relaxing in a meadow just 20 meters from our tent, the morning mist all around them.  and they were relatively un-fussed by us as we crept up (but not too close) to get some pics.  there was one male right next to them, and a little ways off we found another male, to whom we were able to get just a little closer.  at any rate, at the end of day 2…


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