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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Brown

Leg Two- Lasagna Alarm Clock

As our night on the road concluded, we surrendered to the embrace of the oversized, fluffy pillows in our small retro-chic motor inn room. The bed, a sprawling sanctuary, welcomed us with open arms, albeit a tad cramped due to the luggage spillage from the motorcycle. Engaged in a lively game of cat and mouse for control of the plugs, we faced the stark reality – a dire need for a solution, for as we journeyed south, plugs became an endangered species. "The B side Hotel and RV"

Helmets craved their plug-in sanctuary for Bluetooth intercoms, iPhones, watches, portable batteries, laptops for impromptu morning work sessions, camera batteries, and a sudden realization that managing SD card footage had morphed into a nightly chore.

"Why didn't I just buy more cards?" I mused, but the thought flickered away like a forgotten post-it note. The idea of stopping somewhere never materialized, lost in the awe of the adventure unfolding. Duty-bound, I diligently initiated the upload process at each stop.

The next morning, the eastern sky flirted with the first light, but it wasn't the gentle glow that roused me. No, it was the alluring aroma of what seemed to be heavenly lasagna or divine red sauce. The scent wafted through the air, accompanied by the humming symphony of a microwave. Eagerly rising, I inspected our room's kitchenette, hoping it was our own mini-microwave creating this tantalizing wake-up call. Alas, it wasn't – each room boasted a petite fridge, a hot kettle, and a microwave nestled next to a vintage dresser, seemingly more a decorative relic than a practical amenity.

Then came the siren call of coffee, a fragrance that pulls at the very heartstrings of existence. I pondered, "Who is this breakfast wizardry mastermind tormenting me?" My wife lay in blissful sleep, seemingly undisturbed by my internal monologue. It's one of those unspoken agreements, a dance of morning routines - I'm the early bird, she's the snooze-button aficionado. The cosmic balance remains undisturbed.

Off to the shower I went, only to return to find Heather already awake, navigating her phone with a twinkle in her eye. Her inquiry about the day's itinerary pulled me back to reality. "How long is today going to be?" she queried. My response was an honest admission that it's a guessing game, as the road unfolds its own plot, complete with pitfalls and rewards.

I regaled her with the tale of the lasagna-scented alarm clock, and we chuckled. The room's culinary offerings seemed tailored for me, and in that moment, I might have spilled all my secrets for another whiff. Whether it was hunger or the allure of an elusive Italian haven on the Oregon Coast, the inquiry to investigate slipped my mind until this very writing.

Now, the spotlight shifts to the RV. Yes, I see the quizzical looks – an epic journey on in a RV? The original plan had whispered in the ear of my father-in-law, who, wielding a Royal Enfield Himalayan, decided it better suited his adventurous spirit. However, a family council transformed this journey into a multi-generational affair. My father-in-law, with his 83-year-old mother, and Chiquita – a quirky little white-haired dog with a charming underbite – joined the escapade. A last-minute trade of the open road for a 28ft class C RV towing a motorcycle trailer ensured that familial bonds would be woven into the very fabric of our adventure.

In an ideal narrative, it would be just us and our bikes, the open road stretching ahead with endless possibilities. However, reality welcomed the extended family along, and truth be told, their company at night was a welcomed addition. Everyone reveled in the novelty of four generations embarking on this grand odyssey.

Roles were quickly assigned in the morning ballet – my wife, the master of packing, took command of rolling and stuffing, while my approach leaned more toward packing items onto the bike with a series of clicks, cinches, and zips. The RV park, tucked behind the hotel, witnessed my father-in-law's early rumblings as he circled in wait, Grandma up front waving, and Chiquita, with her cross-jaw underbite, almost grinning, as if to say, "It's quite warm in here."

The morning unfolded beneath a crisp, 31-degree sky, layers offering deceptive warmth. A mere block down the road, the Pacific breeze greeted us, and reality hit – no turning back now. The iconic T of coastal towns revealed itself, a symbolic confirmation that this was more real than yesterday. Our goal for the day? Somewhere around Eureka, CA, another 7-hour day plus this stretch.

As we departed Bandon, the sea disappeared from view, replaced by towering pines that weaved up and down in a morning dance. The mid-morning weather bestowed a few more degrees, making the ride more tolerable as we passed through Gold Beach, Brookings, and paused in Crescent City for a makeshift RV huddle, turkey and cheddar sandwiches, and a much-needed leg stretch.

Crescent City unfolded in two parts, divided by a high bluff. The city seemed to hug the road, nestled between a forested backdrop and a marina. At the south end, the final goodbye was whispered to Curley’s Redwood Hotel, a roadside gem constructed from a single redwood tree, as a small plaque in the lobby proudly declared. Waving to this relic from a past journey 20 years ago in a 1976 Dodge Camper Van, we continued our march southward.

The highlight of the day loomed ahead – a venture through the majestic redwoods. One minor detail lost on me was the imposing climb out of there, a chilly farewell as we wound up long, winding grades. Our 350, laden with gear, could only muster 50 mph without a nudge, feeling akin to kids navigating a highway on their mini bikes. Passing lanes were our saving grace, allowing us to conquer downhill stretches with ease. In these moments, the thought crossed my mind – perhaps I should have chosen a 600cc or 1300cc adventure bike. Everyone does it on those, but this was supposed to be an epic endeavor, bordering on the impossible, channeling my muse K.S. Jones, who rode a 1933 Royal Enfield from South Africa to London.

The Redwoods, true to their reputation, did not disappoint. Though I had traversed them in a car, this felt more intimate. The scent of cedar lingered in the air, giants towering over the road, casting shadows that seemed to whisper ancient tales. The asphalt ribbon meandered between colossal trunks, curving and coiling like a pact to continue in perpetual dance. It twisted and turned like the undulating body of a great serpent, revealing dark shadows and sun-dappled patches. The sun barely penetrated the dense canopy, creating a mystic atmosphere. It was awe-inspiring and exhilarating, a wish that the arboreal giants could cradle us for a little longer. But, like a magician revealing his secret, the chrome of my side mirror gradually replaced the towering trees. The landscape shifted, the sky opened up, and we descended into an evergreen-lined corridor, resembling a long hallway.

As our exit approached, we dropped down, crossed under the highway, ascended to perch on a hill above a forested valley, and encountered Bear Creek Casino. The casino, adorned with a large carved wood bear and a twinkling Vegas-like aura, sat majestically on the hillside. A gas station with the most reasonable prices in the entire state accompanied it. Our second night of the grand adventure unfolded at this welcoming haven, offering a spacious room for approximately $150 and complimentary RV parking in the back lot. Of course if you had to join the ever so alluring Players Club for this perk. Shedding our road armor, we freshened up for an evening of happy hour, dinner, and a rendezvous with Lady Luck. The casino's atmosphere provided the perfect backdrop to unwind and stretch out after a day on the road.

The next morning, we rose early, lured by the irresistible $5 breakfast special – two eggs, bacon, and stack of pancakes. Our steeds, now becoming accustomed to the routine of packing and unpacking, were loaded as we descended the hill to the gas station. The motorcycles and extra canisters were topped off, marking the commencement of our journey to the warm and sun-drenched Dry Creek in Sonoma, CA.

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