fishing for words

(and tossing out random thoughts)

450-mile weekend

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Took a quick weekend trip to visit Christopher. It was cold and drizzly on the way up, but not too bad. Picked Christopher up about 10:45 a.m. Heading north to the lagoons, where we had hoped to fish, it became apparent that he was suffering from the onset of the flu or a severe cold. So, trying to be wise, we shelved the idea of fishing in the cold rain and instead poked along, stopped at a visitor center, got some gas and checked into the hotel in the early afternoon.

I let Christopher nap while checking up on e-mail and such. Since he wasn’t too much in an eating mood, I opted out of plans to head to the Samoa Cookhouse and took myself to Rita’s Café & Taqueria. It was good, but that’s for a separate post. On the way back I picked up some cough drops, DayQuil and 7Up. Christopher stirred once and a while, mostly due to fits of coughing, before I put head to pillow.

While it wasn’t the most opportune of time thanks to some little viral bug, it was good to see Christopher for a bit. I also got to see some of the areas in which he’s been working. The photo to the right is of a beach where he and his CCC crew are charged with pulling European Beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria), an invasive weed that infests beaches in the Redwood National and State Parks. Christopher even amazed me with his newfound knowledge of invasive plants on California’s north coast.

We spent Sunday morning sleeping in, and later drove around a bit. I showed Christopher the Samoa Cookhouse and parts of Eureka, recalling the good times I had in college with few worries and despite even fewer dollars. We grabbed lunch at the

Fresh Freeze Drive-In, decent and authentic 1950’s burger joint. With the clouds seemingly threatening to release a deluge, I dropped Christopher off at the center (with instructions to get rest and recover), and plugged home into the GPS.

The drive home was interesting. On one stretch of the South Fork of the Eel River I saw an inflatable raft with six people in colorful PDFs struggling to move upstream…yes, upstream…in the swollen and muddy river. Insane, I thought, until I noticed a truck on the side of the road indicating that they were a swift water rescue team. On and off the rain came down hard enough to limit visibility as I played leapfrog with various cars with out of state license plates. It also became apparent to me, while passing through Willits, that only the things that matter less don’t change in a small town. With the exception of the Safeway, the only places that have kept their names are the carwash, the Laundromat, and the small convenience store/arcade (TnT), which I believe was frequented by my brother.

Two hundred and fifty-five miles later I was home.

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