14 June 2011

on the road 2011 - usa - westcoast week 2

10th may

This was the day it was all starting for me .... I was gonna hit the road all by myself ... First me and my parents made our way back from Yosemite, which was a nice drive... Dropped mum and dad at the airport in san fransisco, one more emotional goodbye, I guess we've had quite a few this past year. All for the dive into the great unknown, filling up your days with new smells and sights, turning knowledge into wisdom and gathering some new knowledge along the way, it's evolution that counts, instead of running to stand still ... ..

So start all engines, lock your doors, seat belts on, 55 miles is 88km per hour .. no speeding here .. here we go .... First I went to haight ashbury for a cup of tea and some vinyl searching, ended up with a mint copy of U2's lp Boy, with the "altered" sleeve design. A picture of a young boys face was the design for all other countries, but this was not possible in free and brave america kaaaaa ..... so they changed it's photo for the sleeve to a morphed thingie of the faces of the four band members ....

After the record hunting and landing on earth from saying goodbye to my folks, and really realising that it had all begun ... it was time to hit the road, on to sausalito, just outside san fransisco. There I had spotted my first free and comfy parking spot a few days earlier. It is located right next to the first houseboats you see when you come off the highway and enter sausolito after you crossed the golden gate bridge. There is a small cluster of houseboats, or what looks like them in some instances, cause it is really messy looking and if you dont know better, some look as if they could sink any day ... anyway, right next to the last "hippy" colony sort of thingie, there was a small parking area, right by the water. That was gonna be my spot for night one, along with the guy that was sleeping it rough style, a few meters away from me, out of sight for anybody as he was behind some big logs of wood and tucked away underneath some blankets. I guess he had a full tummy as earlier that day I had left him the cans of tuna and some corn that was left from my parents and since I dont eat that stuff, he was a good "candidate"

Did some much needed re-organising of the content of the bus, stuffed all the books away inside the clothing compartments, and i was glad i found some room by the gas and water tanks, so with those out of the way I could easily fold down the bench, to make it into a bed for the night, without having to deal with a full stack of things, now it was a done deal in a matter of a minute. Then it was time to warm up the pasta my mum had left me, and have an early night, I was exhausted ...

11th may

Woke up all fresh and ready to go, it was a blue sky and straight away I made a major change of plans, after all it was day one, and from what I had seen the past copuple of days I was not gonna go on the major highway north, and slightly east towards reno, on the way to lassen national park as "planned" originally. Instead I decided to follow the amazing coast driving on the 1 and 101 north. This pacific northwest coast, you can not imagine what it looks like, especially with the spring colours and the sun that played along. So, highway 1 and 101 it was from then on ... on to redwood national park, and up north .. maybe ...or cut inlands to lassen np ... ?
After a great drive along the magnificent pacific ocean I found this amazing campsite where I had a very nice and huge campfire and peaceful night, even though I had to pay 20 dollars, I got a lot of "inner rest" so to say ...

This place also meant sleeping upstairs on the bed that sleeps like a dream ... unreal for a small camper van like this, the bed is modified with a proper matrass and wow ... the freshness from all outside air coming in trough the ventilation nets that you only have in the canvas that makes up the fold up roofs outsides all around. And the sound of the sea, making me fall asleep in an instant ...

no cops chasing me away, a nice spot for a fire, loads of wood to be scavenged in the forest right next to the campsite ... it was bang on by the sea with a nice beachline to be explored just before the sun was to set, and found a nice chair ... took some running for the pic .... ha ha ,..

no cops chasing me away, a nice spot for a fire, loads of wood to be scavenged in the forest right next to the campsite ... it was bang on by the sea with a nice beachline to be explored just before the sun was to set, and found a nice chair ... took some running for the pic .... ha ha ,..

12th may

today was all about the redwoods and the avenue of the giants, huge trees along the way, so impressive, making you feel like a little tiny thing compared to these monsters that are some 2000 years old. The camping was expensive in the park, as usual ... So I decided to continue a bit inland after the point where highway 1 had connected to highway 101 again, here was the huge jedediah smith forest, that was a national forest, this meant that you can roam around, and find a spot as long as you are not too close to an official camping. Ideal ... went to the ranger station to ask for some tips, and boy did I get some ... I made my way up a dirt road, into the forest and up the hill, decided to leave the first "spots" alone, as they were a bit too close to civilisation and made my way further up untill I found a spot right by the river without any possible room for any neighbours, perfect ... Build a huge fire again, by now I had a full set of clothes for campfires, the smell was too much to wear during the day, but at night ... things changed ... and after that nightly intermezzo this time it was not the sea but the sound of the river that made me fall asleep in an instant after I had once again, occupied the upstairs bed.

13th may

Decided to stay in the forest, it was amazing here. Did some more wood hunting but could not complete the entire route along the mountain, as there was a gap that was too deep and big right in the middle of the road, making it impossible for the bus to clear .. ah well .. it was ok, I had spotted my coming nights spot along the way a little while down the hill,bang on a bend in the road, giving you a clear amazing view of the mountains that embrace the jedediah smith forest.

Build myself a nice kickass campfire and made a nice office with a view ... music maestro please ... although it remains strange to have your headphones on while there is this amazing campfire that is making its own set of noises besides the occasional owl that was going off .... it was another great night after a relaxing day ...

14th may

Today I left the forest behind, time to head north. Along the coast again, small winding roads, going up and down the hills. Made my way to the drive trough tree, a huge sequoia tree with a man made hole so that you can drive your car trough it. Paid 5 bucks entree fee with the guy looking at the car and saying yes uuuh I think he will just fit trough uuuh maybe uuuuuh yes i think so ..... only to find out that the bus was too big to fit underneath the tree... grrrr ... tree still looked amazing though, one of the huge sequoias along the way. When looking for a place to sleep, it turned out that this was gonna be a bit more tricky to find myself a good spot ... as it was an area with only one real road and no ways leading off it, the in a bend where traffic slowed down there was a small parking area next to a closed and deserted coffee shop and from there I spotted this, on the other side, which turned out to be an exciting spot, great ... the ingenious cooking pot grabber did not what it was supposed to do when I was clearing the water from the freshly cooked pasta, 500 gr pasta down the bushes ...

15th may

Did a lot of miles today, finally ... after some days of slowly making my way up, today was a nice change. The coast was mesmerizing along the way. Also as I made my way into Oregon it was a joy to see the landscape fill up with lakes in all shapes, the population was definitely geared up for water. Most cars had the option to pull huge boats, or had big canoes on top, the outdoors was very much alive here. It turned out to be hard to find a spot today, so after some exploring in Newport Beach's harbour without any luck as everywhere they had signs up telling you it was forbidden to sleep there. Then I spotted a police man and decided to simply ask him, he should know ... . He refered me to some logging roads after you get out of town. Ok, that was an option but as I made my way to the outskirts of town I spotted my first Wallmart.

This meant a sleeping place as wallmart allowes rv's to spend the night on their parking lots.. It was not my preferred option, but when I saw I could hide in a quiet corner behind some of the garden stuff they were selling, it was ok.

Sometimes these parking lots are used by the local youth as a hang out and then you dont get any sleep ... But tonight that was no problem .. And next morning I would have a toilet close by ... sometimes wallmart rules.

16th may

Making my way north along the coast was a joy again, the sun was out and it was astonishing to see what water has done with the rocks along the way. Cape Kiwanda had a big parking right by the sea, it also has a big ramp allowing cars to get access to the beach so they can launch their boats into the sea. When I arrived there it was quite clear this was a bit of a magical place.

With on the right hand side a huge rock heading out into sea with at its land-edge a huge sand dune that could be climbed, I thought it was much more interesting to get into the rock that heads out into the water to see how the beach looked from there.

And I was not dissappointed, boy was it beautifull, I actually spend my entire afternoon there, even jumping into the ice cold sea, ha, 2 minutes at the most, longer was impossible as I was literally freezing, my legs were all tingly and I was glad there was a small camping not far from the parking where I could go to catch a warm shower, felt a different being when that was done ! Then made my dinner, let all of my pasta fall straight into the sand when I wanted to get rid of the water after it had cooked .. fuck me, secodn time that happened .. ... did it all over again and was extra carefull, succes .. in the end I could eat right by the sea, about one hour before the sun was to set. Then I spend the rest of the evening in awe as on one side the sun was going down with a fantastic colour pallette spread out over the ocean and the rocky coast. And on the other side the moon was coming up, almost full ... right above the hill ... picture perfect !

Slept like a baby at the parking lot, some locals had told me it was ok, ignore the signs and simply sleep there ... ha ha ok .... ciao4now ....

No comments: