Every time I come back from the US, without fail, I spend a week or so moping. This time around I haven’t been nearly as bad, but the jetlag and continued recovery from being sick while in Eugene still gave me an easy excuse to hole up in my room and not be social for the week. That, plus all new (to me) episodes of Metalocalypse to watch.
The trip was a mixed bag, with an awesome start driving up the coast from San Fran (although 8 hours of driving after 12 hours of flying is most certainly not the ideal state to be sight seeing in). As I tend to do, I changed my plans from a partial drive up Highway 1 and instead jumped on it from the very start. This made the first day’s drive considerably longer than I’d originally planned, but, it was well worth it, cruising along winding roads in brilliant sunshine and perfect temperatures, overlooking parts of the Cali coast I’ve wanted to see for years. Some stretches were a train of cars flowing sluggishly through the turns, some were completely empty of people, to the point that some towns felt perfectly deserted, like walking through a photograph of it. The coastline was remarkable, and despite being dead tired and a lunch of poorly cooked calamari, I loved every mile, punctuated primarily by Led Zepplin and Mike Doughty’s Haughty Melodic. By nightfall I’d made it back onto 101 just in time to get a room at a Best Western in Garberville, grab some dinner at a tiny little diner next door, and appreciate the familiar smell of pine trees on warm summer air before passing out.
The rest of the drive was more of the same along 101, driving along fantastic coastline and stopping briefly to dig my toes into the sand. Once I reached familiar territory in Florence, I stopped at my now regular coffee shop in old town to gather myself a bit before kicking on into Eugene. The weather had been spotless for the entire drive, and despite reports of torrential rains just the day before, I apparently chased the clouds ahead of me as I passed road crews still in bright yellow rain gear, now all the brighter under cloudlessly sunny skies.
Unfortunately, the remainder of my Eugene stay went nowhere near as planned, as I ran some errands the next day, then promptly came down with the flu for the rest of the week. The saddest part of this was that even as I recovered, I was completely robbed of appetite and ate next to nothing, a near crime in a town of so many fantastic restaurants. Luckily, the remainder of my trip in St Louis made up for this to a certain degree, as Lucy and her family made a number of fantastic meals, and of course I got my requisite Taco Bell Crunchwrap, the most perfect development in fast food known to man. We slept in, we toured the Botanical Gardens and the local bars, played pool with STL hipsters and made fun of aging yuppies hitting on anything that moved. Shockingly we almost never made it to City Museum, possibly the most redeeming feature of the entire US midwest, but due to some bizarre scheduling on my part, we managed to go the last day and had hours of fun trying to get ourselves stuck in dark crawlspaces.
And after 25 hours of travel, here I am again. Waiting for September.