California Dreaming 2005

by Mick Ayriss

Monday 23rd May

The osprey appeared again at breakfast but, so had a frost which covered my bike seat, so remembering the Ready Brek advert of winter 'central heating', porridge was ordered, and to make sure I wasn't hungry, so were pancakes.

We left at 9am on the 38 via steamboat to Roseburg. We had better riding roads today stopping at Coquille, for lunch, in a local pub.

What I remember most about this stop is the price of petrol. Gas is so cheap here the attendant who took our money was only bothered to the nearest quarter; let's not bother with the cents! How much? $8.50 to fill it up.

From Coquille we followed the river for 17 miles, with good motorcycling roads again to Brandon, and the coast. I noticed on my tank bag map it was just a 1/4 inch from point to point, the size of this country is going to take some getting used to. Port Orford was South from here, on the 101, giving us lots of chances to see whales as we rode this coastal road but, that's all we got, chances, no whales.

Gold beach and Jots Landing was our hotel for two nights and it came into sight around 4pm.

As we entered our room I got the first of my real brownie points, as our view over the estuary was almost prefect. From our patio door we could see there right in front of us seals, osprey, vulture and the Isaac Lee Patterson Bridge with is nesting barn swallows.

The evening meal was across the road, in the Rod and Reel Pub, and whilst waiting for our party to arrive we sat on a wall watching an osprey, preening itself just 20 feet away, on a dead tree. Who needs television when you have a nature programme all around you!,

Surprisingly we had fish, well, you just had to, and after all we were at the seaside. I finished with bread pudding, as its one of my personal goals to find one that tastes just like my grandmothers but, alas, whilst it tasted good it didn't match up to my image. Have I been looking through my rose-tinted glasses for too long? Will I ever find a match for that perfect pudding?

After a really good day riding and all those wonderful images the night was not good with Helen feeling quite poorly, with stomach problems, maybe it was the food or just the time change catching up with her, but the trip up river tomorrow was not looking very good.

Tuesday 24th May - Free Day/Jet Boat Trip Gold Beach