August 3rd 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1

Up at 8, washed, breakfasted, and ready to go by 9.  Said goodbye to the rest of the van Groenous, and were off.  First stop was the Post Office, to send off another batch of goodies to England, and then to Safeway to stock up with a few provisions for the journey.  The day before we had called Tom, one of the ride-seekers who had not been in, and he had seemed keen to take the slow route to Seattle, so next stop was over to pick him up.  To my surprise we were able to find his place quite easily.  His uncle + aunt offered us coffee while he was getting ready, and then we were off.  Physically, Tom looked short, but strong – even the sleeves on his T-shirt were torn so that his arms would fit in them.  However, he was fairly quiet, and, we later discovered, a real fuss-pot over the smallest things.  He also had the annoying traits of being a back-seat driver, and a know-all.  But most of this we were to find out later.  We cut across the Richmond bridge, and took the road out to the coast, and then up along Rte 1, following the coast.  There were some beautiful views along there, especially when the sun was out, but being California, the fog soon rolled in.  We stopped a few times to take photos or just take a better look, and that, plus the fact that the road was very twisty, made the drive long and pretty tiring.  Finally we stopped 15 miles or so north of Eureka (we had forgotten to call Patti, the night before, so didn’t have the address to stop at her brother’s) and managed to find a campsite on the beach.  Tom wasn’t too pleased – he seemed to want somewhere with all the facilities – but we managed to sway him.  After a dinner of salami sandwiches, pitched our tent among the dunes, smoked a joint, then to bed, to christen the sleeping bags.  That’s all, so what’s happening in the world?  Royal wedding of course – “did you stay up to see it!?  You didn’t!!”  The riots in Britain, tho’ they had more or less died down by this time.  A strike by the US air controllers, deemed illegal by Reagan, who threatened to fire them all.  And the end of the baseball strike, 49 days of it.

My first foray into keeping up with the news, which all seems pretty universal – it could have been any year.  And that royal wedding is now lodged in history – we even have a pair of commemorative caricature egg-cups of the not-so-happy couple on our window-sill at home.

On our way again, and for the first time with our own set of wheels, giving us a real sense of freedom, nobody to please but ourselves… and Tom, of course.

  1. Pamela J Blair

    Finally on the road again! Looks like you’ve got yourself a real gas guzzler. I’m glad you took the coast road–it’s so beautiful, but I think you may have missed some of the spectacular redwood parks up there. Come back another time! I hope your rider gets easier.

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