Eureka is apparently well known for both its wind and its fog (obviously not at the same time, of course). Sunday morning was foggy. I got a mocha from the Dutch Bros next door and asked the gal if she knew of a better place to eat breakfast than Stantons. She didn’t, so I decided I’d get dressed and ride up the road and see what I could find. Not two blocks north was a McDonalds, so I figured I’d get something quick and eat a big lunch later.

There was a homeless guy sitting in the booth across from me, doing something very unusual. In his left hand was a thick leather work glove, slowly turning pages in a magazine. In his right hand was a pen and a yellow legal pad. He was transcribing every single word in the magazine, ads and all. His penmanship was immaculate and he even followed very crisp margins and spacing. He was being very thorough and didn’t seem to care what was in the magazine — he was transcribing even the fine print at the bottom of advertisements.

Outside was another homeless guy literally wandering around in circles in the parking lot. A gang banger pulled up in a dropped Honda Accord with a tailpipe the size of a coffee can. His hat was on sideways and wore the stereotypical uniform of a guy ready to pop a cap in someone’s ass; baggy pants, tan work boots unlaced, white bandana wrapped around his head under his hat, gold medallion necklace. The strange part? When I was done eating and went out to my bike parked next to his car, the bumper sticker on the back-left fender said, “Real Men Love Jesus.”

Eureka is a strange town.

Fed with some Vitamin M, I rode north through the fog. It was thicker and thinner in different spots, at one point thick enough to cause rivulets of water to run up my windscreen and off my face shield. The run through the redwoods just south of Crescent City was amazing. There was enough mist to make it interesting but not enough to limit my visibility, and no cars. I enjoyed that stretch very much.

Oregon was a different animal. The fog disappeared and a variably strong headwind rose up. I rolled through Brookings and kept going until I stopped in Gold Beach for a late breakfast at Grant’s Restaurant. The three-meat egg scramble and coffee hit the spot. I’ll have to remember that place if I go back there again. Their hot chocolate must be especially nice based on how many people I saw ordering it.

Arrival at Coos Bay occurred at 1:15 PM, much too soon to check into my motel room so I took a detour up the Coos and Millicoma rivers to Allegany, where my grandparents lived during my childhood. Allegany StoreI snapped a couple of pictures of the little store and the house my grandfather built, more to show my family than anything, then kept riding upstream.

I work for a fisheries consulting firm and we had a crew counting fish in the area, so I headed up the narrow gravel road along Marlow Creek, hoping to run into them. After a few miles I turned around and headed back into town. By the time I arrived at the motel it was 2:30 and it didn’t take them long to get my room ready. I unpacked and took a nap.

Dinner was in the non-smoking sports bar at the Red Lion. This time it was a hazelnut-encrusted salmon fillet on top of a spinach salad and a tall Widmer. The bartender was a nice guy but had a propensity for foul language, which made him popular with the mullet-headed locals sitting at the bar. He was nice enough to me, though, and provided attentive service so I had no complaints.

The forecast for tomorrow? Rain.