Things I forgot to mention in yesterdays’ post: I took a random detour when I saw a sign reading “Elk Viewing Area” and ended up taking an amazing 3 mile hike through a redwood forest. The views were unbelievable, there were giant ferns and redwood trees everywhere, and about halfway through there was a waterfall. Apparently this was the forest where part of Jurassic Park was filmed, it was pretty damn cool..
And on to today.. The original plan was to haul ass and make an early arrival to Newport Oregon, a nice little town on the coast, and also home of the Rogue brewery. I planned to spend the night at the South Beach campground and pitch my tent on the beach. Everything started out according to plan, I got up earlyish and left the hotel before 9, got my morning coffee at “Dutch Brothers” and hit the rode. I quickly realized that, with the two lane / backwoods highway, it wasn’t going to be a quick trip. I headed west toward the coast, passing through Oregon Dunes National Park, and a number of small towns along the way. The Dunes were huge, and spotted with pine trees, creating quite a breathtaking backdrop to my morning drive. I reached the coast making decent enough time, and once again joined the 101-North. After about 40 miles I decided to pull over at a nice spot overlooking the ocean and dunes and make myself some lunch. After lunch is when the problems began..
After finishing lunch, I started up the car and prepared to hit the road. The only problem was that the annoying dinging sounds you here when a door is ajar on your car, didn’t go away. At this point, I was about 50 miles from my destination, and apparently about 140 miles from the nearest Hyundai dealership. I had to make a choice, and decided my best option was to keep pushing north and spend the night at Newport as planned, then shoot over to Eugene in the morning and see about getting the car fixed. After putting on another 30 miles or so (continuing north), I realized that Eugene was not only West, but also South of me. I also came to the realization that the wind had increased drastically throughout the day and was now pushing at well over 30 mph, couple that with the fact that it was 55 degrees outside mid-day and the idea of camping on the beach didn’t seem like my best bet. After a bit more research I came to find that the nearest motel 6 (the cheapest motel I’ve found to date) was in Eugene, sooo I decided that I would turn around and head back to Eugene for the night, then push on to Portland for the morning. Loooong story short, I drove another 120 miles back to Eugene (with the extremely annoying ding ding ding going off the ENTIRE way), bringing the grand total for the day to damn near 250 miles, and bringing me a whopping 45 miles North from where I started my day in Grants Pass.
When I got to Eugene I contacted the dealership who told me they were swamped today and tomorrow, but if I bring the car in and leave it with them bright and early tomorrow they will try to squeeze me in at some point.. After checking into the Motel I headed over the Eugene Rogue Publich House for some dinner and much needed beer. The bartender told me that she was going to be heading to Newport in a few days to work at the Rogue brewery there, and what an amazing town it was, etc. etc. etc. Not exactly what I wanted to hear after coming just 10-20 miles shy of making it there earlier in the day, but the food and beer were great, and I had a good time overall.
Eugene is a rather interesting town. Very small feeling, with lots of transiants, bums, and hippies wandering about the streets. Most everyone seems to ride their bike around, and it has a very big college-town vibe to it. It seems like a rather large “small town” overall. I’m back at the motel now watching some tube, kicking back, and getting ready to hit the rack for the night. Tomorrow, hopefully, I will get my car fixed and push on to Portland. I think I’m gonna stick to main highways for a few days, I’m getting a bit sick of the back and forth winding, and extremely slow speeds of the backroad highways, not to mention the insane amount of construction on Portland highways. It seems like every 10 miles there someone holding a “slow” or even worse “stop” sign which brings traffic to a stand still for large amounts of time.. Thats all for now.