Day 9 & 10 – California Dreaming of Home, Epilogue

When we went to bed on Day 8, Mike and I had pretty much decided that this would be our last day in California and we would spend all day tomorrow (05/18/2023) driving back to Lacey, WA. I spent the morning finishing the previous day’s blog.

Working from our luxurious furnishings in the Motel 6

Mike had ridden primarily South of Crescent City yesterday and today he was going to take the Harley mostly north. He decided to go back across the border just beyond Brookings, OR. He enjoyed his time hanging out near Harris Beach.

I spent a lot of time looking south for a spot to fish, along the Klamath River. I drove out to a boat launch and scoped things out for a few minutes when a few old timers from the area greeted me. I had thought the river looked way too deep and fast for me to have any success. After hearing about how all the steel head were gone and learning about the history of the area, I came to the conclusion that this was not going to be the place to fish. Maybe at another time of year things could be promising, but for me it was now or never.

I sat in the van and ate the lunch I had packed. We had unhitched the trailer and left it in the motel parking lot while we went our separate ways. I had already put on my waders and I only had the afternoon to try and fish. I decided to head back to the Smith River.

This time I came into the Jebediah Smith State Park entrance on the north side of the river. I met the ranger at the gate and she directed me in an opposite direction to get me to the river and the beach/shore area. When I got there, the spot looked promising but there was some type of organized training going on in the water with a dozen people. With my morning and half the afternoon already shot, I drove back to the place I had been yesterday on the south side of the river. It was just as beautiful and I got even more casting practice. I also did a lot of fishing and no catching.

Mike and I met up at the hotel later. He got the motorcycle back in the trailer. I stowed my fishing gear. Mike got another Chinese takeout, I got something from the Safeway deli, and we put a dent in the 12 pack of Miller from yesterday. The next morning we did our personal fueling at McDonalds, then headed North on 101.

It was an uneventful trip back home. Traffic was bad through Portland, as we expected. Mike really admired a Carmen Ghia that was ahead of us when we stopped for gas in Kelso.

I thought the Rottweiller guarding a truck was more interesting.

It was good to be back home. The next day, I was getting back into the home routine by mowing the lawn, practicing my archery, and taking care of other home duties. Mike got caught up on his sleep. That evening he joined me in supporting the local Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington at their Bowl for Kids. I found the closest thing I had to a bowling shirt and we had a great time at the lanes. We both have a little “hop” when we throw – just like our Dad used to do for decades.

I won’t say who got the highest score or which one is the better looking of the two of us. Like our departed Dad always used to tell us “We’re all good looking, but Daddy’s just this much better looking than the rest of you!” He was with us in spirit that night and he was right!

I played tennis with my usual crew on Saturday morning. Becky directed Mike for a beautiful ride with his motorcycle along the the Hood Canal and the ever present Highway 101. Becky gave us all a great dinner on our deck starting with some Highballs made with rum we picked up in Hawaii.

On Sunday morning, Mike had breakfast with us and then he basically retraced the path he used to get out here. On the first day he made it as far as Missoula, MT.

A few days later he was back in South Chicago Heights, IL. Like so many of these trips, after a few days it doesn’t seem real or that it actually happened. We made some new memories and shared a lot of old ones along the way.

We talked on the phone some more to check in with each other.

I have enjoyed all of my long distance trips and I have tried to captured them here. Each one has brought some new adventure and a lot of memories. As I think back, 3 of the last 4 adventures have been spent riding with someone else. I might have to work on changing my name or earning it back somehow. Either way, it’s all part of the adventure!

The Lone(?) Rider

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