The Lord hath proclaimed Sunday the Day of Rest. So hath Todd.
We got up and around a bit later than we'd have liked due to the beer consumption, and my energy level was... no so good! We didn't have far to go though, so we hopped back on the 101 and proceeded toward Eureka, Trinidad, and eventually Orick, which is the town that's essentially within Redwood Natl. and State Parks.
Eureka's always been a landmark for me as the last real 'city' in California before Oregon. Kind of a depressing little place. We stopped for coffee, which now was becoming a necessary theme, and sort of tooled around there before stopping in Trinidad for Eric to use the ATM. There was a little Artisans Market going on, and a few interesting characters milling about.
Also one embarrassing one.
I ran across the road to the gas station to reload on coffee, and while I was inside was this redneck straight out of 1965 who must be a member of the Lou Dobbs Fan Club. He was LITERALLY standing RIGHT next to a sign that read "Please take ALL alcohol purchases to the next counter!" While standing there he was berating the Mexican girl behind the counter complaining that he should be able to buy his PBR at any counter he "goddamn well pleased!" When the girl tried to explain to him that she wasn't old enough to sell to him, AND POINTED TO THE SIGN!, he went off on her perceived inability to speak English going into the now generic and tired tirade about "if yer cummin to 'Merica, ya aughts ta be able tuh speeks the Inglish!". Admirably, there was a little woman about half as tall as this endangered specimen of Redneck standing in line behind him who essentially told him to shut the hell up, learn to read, and quick being an asshole. I laughed quite loudly at this, as did a few others.
He didn't take to kindly to that, but the only thing he could say was, "Do you live here?", as if being a proud resident of Trinidad, California gave you some mythical license to be an elite breed of Xenophobic Prick.
I got in line behind my new hero and tipped the girl $2 for my $1.19 coffee.
We got back on the road after this little nugget of Americana, and eventually to the Redwoods NP Visitor Center where we got information on camping and a few other things. Eric and Marine decided on Elk Prairie Campground, so off we went to set up camp again. Another $20 site for them, but per our conversations the night before they let me slide on this because they were going to be getting these campsites anyway, and it didn't matter if there were two or three people. I had made it clear that there was NO way I could continue paying for camping on a daily basis, and beer, etc. They were wildly cool about that, as long as I wasn't costing them anything.
This campground, while beautiful, was another episode of Romper Room. SOOO many damn kids! LOUD kids this time!
I was still pretty wiped out from drinking the night before, so I wrote in my journal for a bit and then collapsed for a couple of hours while Eric and Marine went on a long hike. As with Florian, I tried to stay conscious of giving them time to enjoy themselves alone... without me tagging along all the time. Plus, I was exhausted. The nap did wonders for me.
I woke up, and since we had dead wood lying all around I decided to flaunt the park's Wood Nazi policy that you MUST purchase THEIR shitty $8 wood bundles, and began to collect dead Redwood pieces/ parts from around the area. It was quite abundant, and soon I had a nice little fire going. When Eric and Marine got back from their hike, they had gone to the store and Eric returned with wood, but we ended up not even needing it. At least I contributed something to the day, and Redwood smells GOOD- almost like the Pinon I've become addicted to in New Mexico!
I was sort of off in my own little world the rest of the night, listening to music and pretty much keeping to myself. The evening was uneventful, except for the beginning of the nagging feelings of annoyance at myself for tagging along with these guys for so long. It's nothing to do with them, and may have had to do with the fact that I was tired, and that the cloudy, smokey, cold- ish weather may have been affecting my mood. It's typically what happens after I'm with people for more than 2 days though... remember the Two Day Rule?!?!