- Wednesday, April 17, 2002

On Tueday afternoon we ventured north from SF and connected with the coast via 101. The traffic north of the city up until way north of Rohnert Park was bumper to bumper so we took a lot longer than expected. We found a great park near just south of the Arcata area. Heimo was parked next to trees that were about as wide as he is. The next morning after breakfast, we explored the park and found that the Eel River passed through one edge. It was a great spot and Dave would have loved to go fishing. We did let Chuy go smimming a little and play fetch. After that we continued up the coast through the Arcata/Humbolt area. As we rolled through Crescent City and found a Wal-Mart to replace our broken cooler.

As we crossed into Oregon the weather continued to be generally crappy. So we again had to camp with the top down which makes things a little tight in the van. Anyway a great camp spot with hot showers and electrical hookups. We got to use our toaster oven, what a luxury. It was raining so we got up the next day and kept moving up the coast continuing our beautiful drive. Lunch was at the Pelican Pub & Brewery in Pacific City, OR. This was no ordinary lunch. Yes, we had good food and a great brew, but there was plenty of action.

Evidently, in what has to be some of the crappiest surfing weather ever (20 + mph winds and no sun) two guys were out trying to catch some waves. One of them lost his board and was caught floating in the riptide and couldn't make it back to shore. His friend made it in and called the local fire rescue squad. Meanwhile, this is all taking place outside the Brew Pub and we had a front seat show. The local rescuers showed up and proceeded to put 2 guys in out in the water on their jet ski to go out and get the guy. On the first try they realized the guy was ok and that they needed some additional gear for the rescue. They rode back to shore and picked up the equipment and took off again. As they were approaching the surfer they were hit by a pretty good size wave and tossed off their ride. We're not sure where the jet ski ended up, but the two rescuers were pushed by the tide toward the rocky shoreline side of the bay.

At this point Marisa and I figure that these guys are in trouble. Then along comes the USCG rescue helicopter from Lincoln City, with a diver hanging off the side to pick up these two unfortunate local boys. The chopper picks them up first, drops them off on the beach, and then retrieves the surfer, again landing on the beach. This is evidently a big deal around these parts to have the fire department and the Coast Guard hanging out together because it seemed like all the people in town came down to the beach to watch the show. It was interesting to watch all this go down. I'd sure like to know what happened to the rescue jet ski though. It's probably being scrapped for parts by a guy on the beach in Japan.

Well, after the lunch time fireworks, we traveled the last 2 hrs up to the Portland/Vancouver area arriving a day early to suprise Dave's brother (Jon) and sister in law (Jen) and their dog Guiness (7 mnth old Chocolate Lab).

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