Heavy Weather to the South

CrossCountry Bob has a few firm rules about Winnie and one of the most important is no driving when the wind is in charge.  So, with heavy rainstorms pounding the California coast, it was a case of waiting out each storm, then scooting on south on the fair weather days.

Another hard and fast rule that CrossCountry Bob is particularly fond of is to avoid dump trucks cutting a blind corner and forcing the Jeep Cherokee almost into the ditch.  Paintin’ Peggie was feeling a bit queasy after that encounter.  If it was Winnie instead of the Jeep Cherokee…well, different result.

Leaving aside close encounters of the stupid dump truck kind, there was the close encounter of the flooded road kind but lucky for CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie they were in the Jeep…

Turn the Jeep around please

And finally, the close encounter of the seafood kind – fresh oysters (yummy prepared and coated with panko (by Paintin’ Peggie) and lightly fried to golden brown (by CrossCountry Bob), fresh smoked steehead (incredible) and unique salmon sticks (salmon pepperoni Paintin’ Peggie called them); CrossCountry Bob called them fabulous.

Then, a weather window opened and it was time to depart Bandon, Oregon, heading south towards, hopefully, more pleasant southern climes…

The next storm dodging stop calculated by CrossCountry Bob was Eureka where weather was incoming but not of the super-storm variety further south.  CrossCountry Bob located a convenient stop using his trusty “AllStays” app and there Winnie waited, all plugged in and warm. As CrossCountry Bob planning would have it, next to the RV park was a Mexican restaurant with a reputation for grade A “comida Mexicano”.  It didn’t disappoint, nor did the colourful décor.

That night was a bit storm tossed, plenty of rain and wind, and then the next morning, eureka, it was surprisingly sunny.  Taking full advantage, Paintin’ Peggie was soon riding her bike along the dune roads while CrossCountry Bob did some beach power walking.  Then there was a storm-tossed jetty area to investigate which included a few surfers who maybe should have reconsidered (thought CrossCountry Bob)

And away from the jetty, at the beach, with the beach surf producing a vicious undertow, we have one set of kids doing it right and one set (apparently unsupervised), doing it wrong.

And meanwhile, if you don’t care about oceans, CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie wandered into Artica, a suburb of Eureka. and found a throwback and modern all wrapped up in one city block…

Monitoring the weather as always, CrossCountry Bob noted another window of opportunity between storms and it was exit Eureka…

Leave now says rainbow

Each of the last two years, south of Eureka, Winnie would angle over to the coast and down Highway 1.  This time, with constant high wind warnings, that highway (coastal road more like it) was no place for Winnie as CrossCountry Bob was not interested in seeing if Winnie could act like a kite. So, it was down Highway 101 instead, which slithered south cross country some way inland from the Pacific.

The destination of the day was Bodega Bay, which had been stormy, super windy and very wet, but was now reverting to fine form of partially sunny and 10 degrees.  The drive was, as they say, uneventful, until it was time to turn west towards the coast and the bright idea was formulated to avoid Santa Rosa and the freeway by angling southwest on “country roads”.  No blame will be assigned to that “idea” as both Paintin’ Peggie and CrossCountry Bob clearly had their brains in neutral (shut off?), not processing the obvious incoming data (as in water, water everywhere)…

Couldn’t see the rainwater lake? Look again…

notice the new lake in the background

So Winnie angled to the west and it turned into zigging and zagging as successive narrow country roads were closed due to “flooding”.  Something to remember when we reminisce said Paintin’ Peggie but at that moment she didn’t sound too convincing to CrossCountry Bob.  Then, when it seemed as if the worst was past, there was this…

More than enough water for CrossCountry Bob

CrossCountry Bob watched someone coming from the other direction and thought, hmmm, only axle deep, we can do it (and no place to turn around anyway).  Slow and steady went Winnie with apparently sound footing underneath.  High heart rate and high blood pressure for a minute and then Winnie was through.  Paintin’ Peggie was right after all, it will be something to tell the grandkids (by the time that tale is told the water will have become twice as deep and the underwater road twice as long).

And then, CrossCountry Bob noticed with relief, the road was rising out of the valley and the water threat faded.  Then it was over the hill and down into Bodega Bay. Nothing to it, apparently, and CrossCountry Bob, stupidly, said that out loud. Shortly after there was a turn a touch too sharp (CrossCountry Bob thought) in a grocery store parking lot and one tow arm bent just slightly and jammed.  CrossCountry Bob will spare you the angry thoughts, the sullen curses and more.  Paintin’ Peggie calmed things down, pointing out that a bent towbar was a pain but not a biggie in the grand scheme of things. Although CrossCountry Bob knew that was true, he was sadly aware that knowing that would not straighten out the towbar.

Last rites for this towbar – RIP.

So, assigning the towbar to its fate (the junkyard), CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie walked over to the ocean and instead of thinking of bent towbars, there was this…

And did you notice the sun was out (part of the time).  So, CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie settled into ocean front camping in Bodega Bay.

A rest after all that weather weaving and dodging

Plein air painting to follow for Paintin’ Peggie and exploring for CrossCountry Bob.

Survived the storms!

Bye for now.

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