Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Great Darby Road Trip - Days 18 & 19

Mike Darby, well-known British car restorer and SABCC'er is on the road his newly-restored 1959 MGA roadster with daughter Stella, undertaking the dream trip of a lifetime. The Darby duo will be traveling from their Alabama Gulf Coast home to Southern California, then up the Pacific Coast to Oregon and then back to the Heart of Dixie. 

Stella has kindly agreed to send along a daily report of their progress as well as observations of the people and places that make up our nation.

After the previous night’s birthday celebrations, we made a leisurely afternoon departure for the coast yesterday.  During a (late-)morning jog, Stella spotted some wildlife when a pretty grass snake crossed the road.  The drive to the coast across Bear Camp Road necessitated pick-ups instead of less-rugged cars.  Slightly rough terrain was worth it for the mountain, river and forest surroundings. 

We arrived at John & Joyce’s favourite seafood restaurant, in Gold Beach, just in time for sunset.  We watched seals swimming in the harbour below.  Dungeness crab and fresh-caught local cod were highlights of a scrumptious meal.  (We munched dessert – leftover birthday cake – back at the hotel!)  This morning saw most of us strike out across Gold Beach Bridge, with its art deco sculptures at each end, for strolls or jogs.  The better to make room for decadent French bakery-style breakfast across the river…

Next we drove south down the Oregon coast, stopping several times at irresistible viewpoints.  At Cape Sebastian the party split for a few hours:  Mike, John and Joyce hiked down to the beach where one vehicle waited to save them trekking back up the hill.  Despite the sand-blasting effect created by high winds, Nancy enjoyed taking photos at water’s edge.  Stella took time for some bouldering on beach-side cliffs and ocean rocks.  Snake number two appeared on her path down to the sand!  

After one more roadside pause to marvel at a natural arch off the coast, we headed for home, re-tracing part of the route we’d taken inland from the California coast last week.  We felt glad to be home but really satisfied with a great day spent outdoors. Tomorrow will be our last day all together here in Oregon. 

The MGA is washed, aired up, and filled up.  Aside from a little work on the side-curtain windows, the car is ready to roll.  We’ll be sad to go, and we’ll have to push ourselves a bit more to get back to Alabama on schedule.  But none of that eclipses how glad we are we made it here, or the brilliant time we’ve had visiting (not to mention getting here!).

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