d1 :: BERKELEY, CA :: Oct 1
We met Jonah M. and Mike L. for goodbye breakfast at Louis the Pie Queen, Oakland, CA. It was a bitter-sweet end to our Bay Area move—the only sweet being a bite of pie. We tied up loose ends across Berkeley and filled a 20 L jug of water before hitting the road.
The drive north towards Sacramento then up I-5 past Mt. Shasta (6h) was faster than I imagined. Hunger gripped us along the way and we ate dinner at The Piedmont, Mt. Shasta City, a 1950s era kitsch-lounge with decent spaghetti. The restaurant had a strange vibe that could only be filled with a lounge singer, a wild mountain lion, or a yodeling competition. Don’t ask me to explain, just go there for yourself. That night we camped at Tree of Heaven Campground ($15) along the Klamath River in the Rogue River National Forrest, near Yreka, CA (http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/klamath/recreation/camping/heaven.shtml). We slept hard after a long first day out. I was anxious about leaving home, and excited about having a 3wk vacation with nearly nothing planned.
d2 :: YREKA, CA :: Oct 2
I was awoken early by our restless dog, Oyster, and took him to the Klamath River for an early dip. Early morning fog was resting on the water like a blanket yet untucked by sleeping water. As the sun emerged from behind mountains, salmon (or trout?) began arching out of the water to catch flies making loud jerking splashes every few minutes. The water temp was surprisingly warm (60 F) for how cold it was that night (35 F). To warm up, we had sweet peppermint tea and oatmeal for breakfast. After we broke camp we went for a hike along the Klamath River, and saw a very active bird community along the river. As the sun blazed above our heads, I could see why the blackberries were all shriveled and fermenting on the vine. At noon we started the drive to Corvallis, OR to meet Laura and Dan. Soon after we arrived, Laura poured us glasses of a local barleywine (I think?) and we chewed the fat since we last met a year ago. We told more stories over tofu/veggies and salad at food at Nearly Normals (www.nearlynormals.com).
d3 :: CORVALLIS, OR :: Oct 3
That morning we rode bikes across town to the farmers market for quinces, figs, and chanterelles. Laura and Dan live on the west side of town by Oregon State University, where Dan is an Econ Prof. and Laura is a food writer and newly minted Community College lecturer. The city was incredibly bike friendly, the way Davis, CA is. Corvallis had Davis beat in class 2 bike parking– some with solar powered roofs; no doubt due to the greater amount of rain in Oregon vs Northern California. In fact, we were immediately greeted with rain after crossing from dry and hot NorCal over a mountain pass into Oregon. After the farmers market we ate an amazing brunch at a working farm with a side restaurant, Gathering Together Farm (http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/klamath/recreation/camping/heaven.shtml). Laura had an omelet with duck that was particularly good. I had a mushroom soup with bread and greens that was awesome. In the past year I had been leery of buying Oregon mushrooms in Bay Area stores because it felt too far away (vehicle miles+fuel), but being in season and local, I couldn’t resist.
That afternoon we watched our Berkeley friends Christy and Jon play ultimate Frisbee at the Northwest regional tournament with their respective teams, Zeitgeist and JAM. As I found out after the Sunday rounds (Z 4th; J 3rd place in tourney), each team moved on to Nationals! On the way back from the game we picked up food for our trip and some things for dinner at First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op. We cooked for dinner the mushrooms in butter, made a loaf of olive bread, baked lamb-filled quinces, and had roasted blue cheese/fig tortillas. Yummy!
[see http://www.flickr.com/photos/davelove for images posted periodically]