Having arrived at Seaquest State Park well after dark, it’s a bit disconcerting to wake up to a forest that distinctly resembles a scene from Jurassic Park. Ferns were absolutely everywhere, and I wouldn’t have been a bit surprised to see a Velociraptor or T-Rex come around a tree, as angry and hungry as we were for breakfast. I saw the movie. I know how this works. I suspect we’re lucky to be alive.
Our first stop, after packing up and leaving Seaquest State Park, was Portland. I’m a big fan of Food Network in general, and a show called Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives in particular, and while the host, a blonde surfer wanna-be with an affinity for flip-flops and shorts, can be obnoxious at times, I can’t help but appreciate the theme: seeking out unknown, hole-in-the-wall type restaurants. As part of my research in preparation for my current trip (an entire list of restaurants that have appeared on DDD can be found here), I came across an episode that showed off Pine State Biscuits, and since Kyle and I are both big biscuit fans, we decided to make a point of stopping to check it out.
Even Kyle, a renown biscuit snob, was impressed. We both had the same biscuit sandwich; egg, cheese, and buttermilk fried chicken. I sprung for a side of hash browns and a cup of what turned out to be the absolutely best sweet tea I have ever had, bar none, outside of Tennessee. The biscuits themselves were large, flakey, buttery, and delicious. The buttermilk fried chicken was excellent, with just enough spices in the breading to bring that needed flavor. The egg was perfectly cooked. Kyle wasn’t overly impressed by the hash browns, but to me, they were as good as any I’ve ever had. I got plenty of pictures, and as soon as they’re developed, they’ll get posted. Try to keep the drool off your keyboard and screen.
Our breakfast pains sated, we moved on to the west coast. My original goal for the trip was to drive as much as possible along the coast, but once we hit US Highway 101 via Highway 6 and Tillamook (Oregon residents, you’re welcome for my contribution to your state treasury; no need to thank me), I realized that between the slow nature of the popular US 101 highway and the rain, there was no way we were going to make California in anything resembling a reasonable amount of time. Sadly, we only were able to take 101 down to Newport, then had to pick up Highway 20 over to Interstate 5 for the rest of our drive. I was disappointed to have to give up on the coastal route so quickly, but it just wasn’t going to work out. That’s ok, though. Now that I’m a bit more familiar with the drive, I’ll be able to plan better next time.
Interstate 5 took us down into the People’s Republic of California, where we’re stopped for the night. After four nights of camping, and a longer day of driving, we grabbed a hotel in Redding for some much needed electricity and hot showers that don’t have to be shared with frogs or instects.
The plans for tomorrow? Lunch in Santa Rosa with a friend, perhaps some time in San Francisco being all touristy, then east towards Carson City. We’re pretty much as far west as we’re getting on this trip; it’s time to start heading home.