August 13th – Windsor, Taint of California.

We managed to get about 6 hours of sleep in before a call of “Hey! Pack it up! This isn’t Walmart Campground!” woke us up.

“What about the couple dozen people camped here?” I replied through the tent.

“Uh…This isn’t Walmart campground! You have to leave now!”

“We’ve heard from everyone that you can camp at Walmarts, and there are dozens of rvs and vans camped here,” I called back.

“They have a vehicle. Get out.”

“So do we. Are motorcyclists not welcome at Walmart?” I was pretty confused at the rudeness of this asshole at this point.

“Get out of here or I’m calling the police!” he yelled and walked back inside. Seriously, such a fucking douchebag. There had been some things we’d planned to purchase before heading out, but you can bet your ass we weren’t going to spend any money here now. We hastily packed up the bike, and rode to a nearby Starbucks to use the internet.

We arrived at the Starbucks in Windsor, and sat down to send out a dozen couchsurfing requests for Eugene and Portland, hoping our advanced notice would get us more responses. We also used the free hot water to make our instant oatmeal and brew some of our own coffee in a french press. I did tip a dollar for all the services we were using, though I did not end up buying anything there. The starbucks was near a plaza where there appeared to be a fair of some sort going on, so we decided we would stick around for a little bit while Gianna tried to make some money hooping.

We stepped out of the coffee shop, and were immediately stopped by an elderly couple asking about the hula hoops. In response to a request to see some hooping, Gianna said with a smile “I don’t really hoop for free anymore, but I accept tips or silly dances!” The old lady gave a surprised chuckle and replied,

“Oh, of course I’ll tip you!” Gianna set down her backpack, and did perhaps a 5 minute set just going through most of her 1-4 hoop tricks. The old lady applauded gleefully, and her husband handed Gianna a 20 and thanked her for the performance. Twenty bucks for 5 minutes of hooping is pretty awesome. Food money for the day!

Unfortunately, the fair turned out to be a multi-church interfaith ministry festival for children. Christians are of course notoriously selfish and cheap, and though lots of people stopped to watch her, none tipped at all. I was approached by multiple people seeking to condemn me and my life without learning anything about me at all. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t find Christianity any more ridiculous than any other religion, but only Christians ever try to force their religion on me, and so I hate them the most. If they could just keep their delusions and fantasies to themselves instead of insisting everyone else drink the kool-aid too, I wouldn’t mind nearly as much.

We’d broken the last of our camping sporks over lunch, and so decided to head back to Santa Rosa to visit the REI before heading back up the coast. We selected some titanium sporks to replace the thick plastic ones we’d been using before, and then stopped at an In-N-Out before heading back west to the ocean.

We made it to the coast around 4:30 in the afternoon, and began seeking out camp grounds. At some point I pulled over to check a map, and we discovered that our brand new, rather expensive, titanium sporks had fallen out of our luggage somewhere, and we would never get to use them. In addition to that, I had received a text message revealing that we did not actually have a place to stay in Arcata. Not good news. Turns out the girl we’d thought would be hosting us was actually elsewhere in the state visiting family at the time. A bit dismayed, we continued up the coast, passing full campground after full campground. Just as we were beginning to entertain the idea of again camping on the side of the road, we found a larger campground with a single vacancy. I think it was $20 or something for a tent site, but the grounds had water, fire pits, and was ocean adjacent, so we agreed to pay the fee, and pitched our tent.

We spent the evening smoking bowls on a cliff overlooking the pacific. At some point while we were trying to prepare dinner by the dim light of our low-battery headlamps, a friendly fellow from a neighboring campsite came by and offered to let us borrow one of their propane lamps for the night. We graciously accepted. Immediately, it was 10x easier to do everything around camp. I’ll have to invest in one of those for future trips, though I still probably wouldn’t have brought one on this trip. The headlamps we used were incredibly compact, and very effective lighting with fresher batteries. Fortunately, we had extra batteries.

It turned out that we had pitched our tent on a slope without realizing it, so sleep was kind of hard to come by. We just kept rolling or sliding down hill and waking up in a pile in the corner of the tent. No matter, it was still kind of nice to be able to hear the ocean as we went to sleep.

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