Saturday, March 28, 2009

Epic Road Trip - Eureka, CA to Eugene, OR - Final Day, BABY!!

It was only our 6th day on the road, but we were already getting nostalgic for day one. It was hard to believe that we would be home by midnight. We planned a couple of caches for the day and one heck of a drive through the Redwoods.

One of the caches we stopped at was on location for where they filmed the movie Jurassic Park. The scenery was beautiful and the find was easy. Dalby got a picture of a fallen tree who's branches had turned into trees themselves. We drove along looking at some very impressive scenery, though it wasn't too different from what I had grown up seeing on the way to the coast and such.

The whole drive, we were looking for the turn-off to the drive-thru tree. It was supposed to be the highlight of this leg. We got to Gasquet before starting to think that we had missed it. Turns out, we had. There was a turn we should have taken back in Klamath to the Trees of Mystery which we had decided to skip. Woops. For a minute, we considered another epic U-turn, but decided that it wasn't worth the detour. Perhaps we would plan a CS trip to the Redwoods during the Summer.

Not very long after, we realized that my car was just a little bit shy of turning 50,000 miles. Dalby got his camera ready and I drove slowly, hoping to pull over when it happened so that I could capture a few pics of my own. It seemed like a good idea to pull in to the parking lot of a local inn and drive around until the odometer turned. Almost instantly we determined that the parking lot was way too small to try to drive 4 miles in circles, so we got back on the main road. With a mile to go, a side street presented itself. I took a right, hoping to avoid having traffic behind me at the big moment.

The road that we ended up on was not only steep, it was windy and narrow. Chunks of the road were missing, crumbling off into the cavernous area below. I've never driven a more intense mile in my life. Add to that the fact that we were trying to watch the odometer and take pictures at the same time and you'll understand why there was such a build-up of anticipation. The miles turned to 50,000 and I stopped the car so that we could get the necessary documentation. By the time we got the pictures taken, we were both relieved that it was over and that we could finally finish the drive home.

We drove through Cave Junction (where my parent's lived when I was born) and Grant's Pass (where the hospital was that I was born in.) We stopped at Wild River Brewing and had some dinner, then made the rest of the journey back to Eugene. When we turned back on to HWY 126, we made note of the 2031.7 mile circle that we had just completed. Day 1 felt so far away and we had been through so much together. The impressions of Maxwell hadn't even begun to get tiring and yet, the trip was over.

I dropped Mike off at his place - along with all of the remaining peanut products - and bid him farewell until we see eachother again with the new term. It was a hell of a Spring Break and I was so grateful to have had his company. Thanks Tom Tom.

I learned a few things over the week that I thought I would share:
* Those pesky bull are everywhere! BULL!
* Not everywhere in the world has a Starbucks.
* Self-doubt can keep you from getting where you really want to be.
* If a stranger offers you unsolicited information, question it before you alter your course.
* Circus Circus uses milk in their Strawberry Smoothies
* Vietnam was far more messed up than any younger generation could possibly know.
* There are two kinds of redheads.
* Guys in Nevada are not shy about asking you to dance for them.
* Some things require 1,000 words *and* a picture.
* If you miss someone before you leave on a 6 day road trip, you're still going to miss them when you get back.

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