Rain, rain, rain

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010
The two guys, Perry and Gary, who own/operate the Ravenwood Motel had, when I checked in, recited the usual line about continental breakfast offered in the morning. This usually means mediocre coffee and maybe some stale donuts in the lobby. So how surprised was I to discover in the common kitchen area an enormous spread consisting of not just coffee, but tea, juice, cider, hard boiled eggs, cereal, gourmet pastries, walnut/apple bread, bagels w/ cream cheese, cottage cheese, sliced peaches, pears and pineapples. And all the more amazing because I was the only guest at the motel! Despite my avoidance of wheat/gluten and dairy, I felt it would be rude to not partake of the bounty. (Not that I took much convincing.)

Here's a pic of the spread:

And another view of the little common kitchen area:

Conceptually, I knew that leaving Seattle in November I was signing up for some very wet riding, and had tried to steel myself for it, but the reality of it I'm finding demoralizing. I keep telling myself that better weather is (hopefully) coming, but that knowledge is doing nothing to keep the cold, pelting, drenching rain from completely waterlogging me within the first half hour of riding.

That's how it was this morning as I left the immensely comfortable Ravenwood Motel, thinking I'd ride to McKinleyville, 53 miles south.

Seven miles south of Klamath, the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway diverts from US 101 and zig-zags through Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Absolutely, positively stunning. Despite my increasingly drenched and miserable state, I couldn't help stopping occasionally to marvel at trees that were even larger than the ones I'd seen yesterday. I hope to return here someday when I have more time, am drier, and can better appreciate this ancient forest.

20 miles after leaving Klamath, in the itty-bitty town of Orick, soaked to the skin, chilled and wanting desperately to dry out and warm up (My shoes and socks again felt as if I'd stepped into a puddle up to my ankles.), I pulled into the only motel in Orick; the dumpy-looking Palms Motel.

Yuck. What a contrast to the Ravenwood back in Klamath! My room reeks of 40 years of cigarette smoke, there isn't level floor space anywhere, the bedspread looks (and feels) like it hasn't been cleaned since it was new 25 years ago and the lamps on either side of the bed don't work, among other problems with the place. But the heater in the wall cranks out the hot air and I'm grateful to be able to get dry and warm.

After seeing so many motels with empty parking lots (See photos at bottom of yesterday's entry.) because of this being the off-season, I thought it a bit strange that the Palms Motel parking lot was full. I now realize why: half the town of Orick is living here. I seriously think I'm the only transient resident who doesn't know everyone else here. (The walls are so thin I can hear everyone outside and they all sound like they know each other.)

Won't sleep well tonight with all the community activity outside.

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