Happy Birthday, America! July 4th.
I saw a lot of flags on the side of the road and especially waving in the strong northern wind as I rode through small towns. Other than the wind, however, the ride north was pleasant.
I stopped in Brookings for a photo of the beautiful coast, then continued north. There were many people walking around Port Orford, apparently getting ready for some kind of parade or other celebratory activity that was about to start — I never could determine what, exactly — and then I got stuck behind a string of cars led by two nimrods that thought the speed limit was 35 mph. WTF? It took a long time to get past them.
After checking into the hotel in Coos Bay, I showered and napped. Dinner was at the Shark Bites restaurant a half dozen blocks away in downtown Coos Bay. I ate Dungeness crab cakes with a thai pepper sauce for an appetizer, and halibut tacos for the main course. Both were outstanding. They went wonderfully with an Eola Hills chardonnay.
I had a great conversation with the gal working the bar, a student dietician named Charlotte. We talked about food and discovered a mutual love of the Food Network show, “Chopped.” For my second cocktail of the evening, I challenged her to come up with something original using mint as the main ingredient. She made a drink with mint and lemon juice muddled together, then added cucumber soda, lime juice, and Tanqueray gin, served over ice in a Mason jar. It tasted like a fresh rain in Spring time so I dubbed her creation, “Spring Rain.” Soon everyone wanted one, and the owner, Charlotte’s brother, said it needed to be put on the menu after tasting it. It was a huge hit.
Shortly after 10 PM fireworks began exploding in the sky over the Coos River 100 yards outside my hotel room window. I had an excellent view of the whole show. The loud fireworks kept setting off the alarm of a car in the hotel parking lot.