We had the bike back, and it was running well, but there was still no way we could reasonably expect it to survive the trip back to Austin without further repairs, given how frequently it had broken down so far. It was a difficult decision, but we decided to try to sell the bike in Portland, which we were still determined to make it to. After that, we’d just fly home. Of course, plane tickets are much cheaper if you buy them a bit ahead of time, so we sunk most of the rest of our money into plane tickets home from Portland on the 8th of September, and put an ad up on portland.craigslist for the bike. One problem, I had intentionally not brought the title with me, since I didn’t want to lose it. Obviously, I would need the title in order to sell it.
It was our last morning in Arcata, and I was legitimately sad to be leaving. Our hosts Kobe, Fiona, Chelsea, and Erika had been absolutely amazing, and though we had technically been stuck here, it was probably the part of the trip that was the most like vacation. Hanging out in a sweet house tucked into the Redwoods smoking insane amounts of weed with Gianna and three other hot girls, plus Kobe, who is chill as fuck, is a hard to beat vacation. We packed up the last of our things, smoked some farewell bowls, and rolled off down the road.
We had to stop at a FedEx first. I needed to print the Request for Title Copy form, fill it out, and send it to the DMV in Travis County, Texas. I also had to include an overnight envelope with a return address in Portland so I could get my new title as soon as I got there. It ended up being pretty expensive between printing and two overnight envelopes, but I really needed that title. By buying those plane tickets I had given myself a deadline by which I either had to sell the bike, or be totally broke and screwed when I got back to Austin.
Twenty minutes later we were heading north on the 101, following the coast through the vast Redwood Forest. As we approached the point where the bike had previously died, I got a little nervous, but we roared right past triumphantly. Before too long we passed the Oregon border. As we headed further and further north, the trees began to change, with the redwoods giving way to the temperate rain forest of the Oregon Coast.
Eventually, we came to stop at a rest stop to smoke a bowl and snack a little. As we were leaving, we were approached by two very surly looking park rangers, hands on holster. “Do you have a vehicle here?” demanded one of them.
“Yeah, it’s the motorcycle over there,” I said, gesturing with my helmet to the bike some 30 feet away. I looked down at the motorcycle jacket, riding jeans, and boots I was wearing and wondered how the rangers hadn’t figured this out already. They glanced over at the bike, realized I was indeed holding a motorcycle helmet, and relaxed immediately.
“Sorry, we thought you were somebody else.” she said as they turned to leave. As their little SUV pulled away and out of the rest stop, I had to wonder what all that was about. My guess is they’re trying to discourage hitchhikers from catching rides at rest stops, but at the same time it seems ridiculous that those without cars would be forbidden from using tax payer funded public rest areas. We chalked it up to just an odd occurrence, and set off back down the road.
Before too long we had arrived at Sunset Bay State Park, which beautifully still had camping available. This campground had Yurts, but they all get reserved months ahead of time. We ended up in a nice secluded little tent spot with plenty of trees, and set up camp quickly. By the time we’d finished dinner, a heavy fog had rolled in off the bay, and visibility had been decreased to perhaps 60-70 feet. Still, it wasn’t that late and we decided to head out for a night stroll down to the bay, which as you can probably guess by the name of the park, was very close by. Though I’m sure this walk would have been lovely during the day, it was honestly pretty creepy in the dark and heavy fog. At one point the path took us under a bridge. There was even a place where all we had to navigate by was the sound of the ocean nearby, as our vision was completely obscured by the fog. Appropriately, a fog horn blasted from the distance, adding a further eerie ambiance to the night. We held hands and stared at the bay for half an hour or so before we turned to venture back through the fog. By the time we arrived back at camp, it was pretty late, and everyone was quiet. Sleep came relatively easily.