Saturday, September 20, 2008

Day 50: Tripping on the last bit of road

I arrived in San Francisco Tuesday night and made my way to Devin's place, which is really his girlfriend Jasmine's place as he is just staying there until he moves back to Oregon to start school. He all ate some pizza and caught up whats been going on in life since the last time we hung out (which was two years ago, during the last roadtrip).

In the morning after waking up and showering (not necessarily in that order), Jasmine's roommates cooked up some loco moco; this amazing breakfast feast consisted of rice topped with a couple of ground meat patties, two fried eggs, and covered with some brown gravy. The proper way to eat it is to mash it all into a big ol' mess, cover it with your choice of topping (ketchup apparently being a Hawaiian favorite, I used hot sauce), and dig in. It was, to say the least, a very fulfilling meal.

After breakfast, Devin and I headed out to tour around the town. The first stop we made was a place called twin peaks, which is really just a hill in the middle of the city. However, from that vantage point you are able to get an amazing view of nearly the entire downtown and surrounding areas. The weather didn't want to cooperate, unfortunately, so it was a bit hazy and overcast, so subsequently photos don't quite do the view justice.

From there we drove down and parked near Haight street. We wandered around for a bit, brushing off pleas and songs for change from street folk, imagining that had we been the type that enjoyed shopping we would garner more pleasure from the district. Even without spending money, it was fun to just walk Haight and imagine what kind of crazy hippy activities had taken place there thirty or forty years earlier.

From the fields of Denmark
The rest of the day was we bummed around, doing a lot of mostly free things; hanging out in Delores park (normally a very popular place for the apathetic young twenty somethings of the city, but was emptier than usual due to the overcast skies), eating delicious ice cream, checking out a windmill, scaring seagulls at the beach, and finally getting a beer at an amazingly dive-y bar called Zeitgeist.

After resting a bit at the apartment, we went to pick up Jasmine from work and get some lamb schwarma for dinner, after which we promptly dropped her off again for class.

That night Devin's dad Frank came into town, and Devin, Frank, Jasmine, and I went to this jazz club called Yoshi's to see a performance by Vieux Farka Touré. Touré is from Mali, and plays a mix of traditional, jazz, blues, and rock guitar. The show was absolutely fantastic, really a treat to see such an artist perform live. For part of the show, a guest slide guitarist came out and the two of them played amazingly off one another.

The next morning I headed out, back on the road. My plan was to get all the way to Ashland that day, which at first seems completely reasonable. However, my chosen route would be a combination of highway 1, US-101, and some windy freaking road connecting Eureka to I-5. But if I had to drive I-5 between San Francisco and Oregon one more time I would have stabbed myself in the eye.

The requisite cliche photo of the Golden Gate bridge
The drive, as always, was beautiful. I also was able to continue my tradition of being able to find the most expensive place to eat in a given stretch of 100 miles of highway; I was starving (having not had much for breakfast, I was hoping to get a bagel or something at a Safeway I never passed), and decided that the next little town I come to along the way with a diner or restaurant of some sort I would eat at. Unfortunately, the next thing I found was the Sea Ranch. The food was decent, and really not much more than your typical establishment. I was, however, the youngest patron by a good thirty years, and felt that my scruffy look and attire didn't go over all too well with the wait staff. No worries; I ate my panini, paid, and was on my way.

Cloud formations make sunsets ridiculously better.
I finally arrived in Ashland a little after 10pm, where I met up with Crystal Gero who is back in Ashland to continue her education (lets hear it for the second bachelors club!). We got some drinks and caught up at my favorite bar, the Oak Tree. In the morning, breakfast was provided by Morning Glory cafe. If you've never been there, or heard of it, you are missing out. It is a local favorite for a reason; they have interesting food combinations and a nice friendly atmosphere. Personally, I had the bacon filled waffle with almond butter (mmm delicious), as mentioned in the LA Weekly.

Now finished with breakfast, we walked across the street to the Southern Oregon University campus so I could obtain a transcript, and subsequently have them unlock my online account (which will make my transition to PSU immensely easier). I tried to stop in the photo lab and apply for a job as a lab monitor, but unfortunately my old photo professor Erika was no where to be found (not unusual for a Friday afternoon).

After a quick stop at 7-11, I said goodbye to Crystal and headed north to Medford, where, after wasting a couple of hours at Starbucks, I met up with another friend from Ashland, Crystal Hess. Again, there were drinks and catchings up. A couple of hours later, I began one of the last legs of my journey.

My original plan called for me to return to US-101 and make the trek up Oregon on the coast. By this time, however, I was over it and really just wanted to get on with the good times. I-5 ended up being good enough for me, and I rolled into Corvallis around 10pm on Friday. I called up my old roommates Jeff Briggs and Brian McFarlane and warned them they had 20 minutes to prepare for debauchery. We gathered, and walked down to McMenamins for pool, beer, and cajun fries. The times, they were good.

I crashed at Brian's apartment last night (as someone had already claimed Briggs' couch), and ate breakfast with him this morning before he had to run off and work on his impending thesis presentation for this week (good luck Brian, and don't worry about it). After meandering around the town and lunch with Briggs, I once again waved goodbye and turned onto highway 99, heading home.

Blog status: This is the last day of the trip. However, don't stop reading yet. Look for the upcoming three part epilogue:
Epilogue Part I: If we could only see us now
Epilogue Part II: Roadtrip through the lens
Epilogue Parth III: Thank you's and No thanks to's
Miles: Over 13,000. Exact figure for the final trip will come in the epilogue.
Sounds of the end:
Thrice - Vheissu


g said...

woo-hoo! 50 days man. That is a lot of time. Good trip dude.

daddylikeyblog said...

Hey Colin!
I just wanted to tell you that I've wasted considerable amounts of work time reading this blog-I love it. Good writing, good stories, good pictures. Well played, sir, well played.

matt said...
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