The Loneliest Roadtrip, Day 6

15 Mar

Day 6: Oregon, California

A foggy drive down U.S. Highway 101…

Visiting the Sea Lion Caves near Florence, Oregon was an element of my favorite childhood vacation, wherein we made this very drive and I swam at the local driftwood-covered beaches despite the cold.

The sea lions tend to swim around in little groups called “rafts,” and their collective consciousness is impeccable. One moment they’ll all be resting on a rock, the next they’ll simultaneously dive into the water for a dip. Similarly, one leads the pack to a rock for a break, and the whole clan will scoot out of the water, seemingly without communication. This cycle appears to make up their daily goings-ons, and thirty minutes inside the cave gives you the chance to see several rafts’ comings and goings: open ocean, cave break, open ocean, cave break. My trusty point n’ shoot digital camera tried its darnedest to capture the inside of the cave, but alas! Shooting in near darkness is not its strong point. If you pretend like you’re scanning a Where’s Waldo book, you might be able to pick out at least four Steller Sea Lions in this photograph.

On one side of the cave, one can still see the remnants of the original 135-stair wooden tower tourists would use to reach the caves before an elevator was constructed in the 1960s.

Strain your eyes! There is a large raft bobbing in the water near the coastline, I promise.

Where I end and you begin…

Prehistoric Gardens drive-by shooting:

We eventually made it to a campsite south of Eureka, somewhere in the Redwood Forest. This is the point at which driving thousands of miles in a few days time began to wear on me. Frustrated by time constraints, the sudden flakiness of my 8mm camera (which worked perfectly up until we reached the most beautiful view I’ve ever seen…), and the sleeping boy next to me who still can’t drive a stick shift, I turned into the worst possible version of myself. I was the inevitable incarnation of The Rage. By the time we reached our final destination, we had to quietly set up camp in the dark so as not to disturb the sleeping folks we were meeting up with, one of whom was crashed out on the picnic table. This task involved me hissing about doing things myself while tearing the tent poles out of Logan’s hands, followed by the two of us getting into a whisper fight about who could or could not see me peeing. Nobody said 4000 miles would be easy…


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