Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oatus Gets Noticed

Nov. 15, 1970 Mon.
Sleep seemed to be denied me, what with all the trucks thundering up and down Hwy. 101 all night. At 05:00 the local garbage truck visited Gribaldo's restaurant next door with many a crash and clatter.
Enough! I got up and built a fire. No visibility outside. All is dark and moist. Red neon signs diffuse their colors in the fog like a drop of blood in a puddle.
Gribaldo's restaurant opened at 06:00 but it wasn't until after dawn that the breakfast crowd began to notice Oatus. It was obvious that we had become Gribaldo's morning conversation piece but no one looked too pleased.
Who could blame them?
By 08:30 no one had yet appeared to open the Tire Shop so we decided to go ashore and meet with the natives, poor things. Having seen the ship, they would now meet the crew, which was hungry.
We had no sooner seated ourselves when the Tire People showed up to open the shop. They were in a mood to be of as little help as possible. Only one tire was available in Oatus's shoe size and it went for $33.00.
While Chris dealt with the Tire Shop people I had breakfast, which was advertised on the menu as “Four Pieces of French Toast” for ninety-five cents. It turned out to be two pieces sliced diagonally.
At 10:00 we finally rolled out of town, the wrong way unfortunately. We got turned around in our bearings somehow and found ourselves mysteriously headed back for San Francisco, a terrible setback considering the effort it has taken us just to get this far! A quick about-face (military terminology for a 180-degree turn) and we were on our way out of town once again, this time for good!
Old Oatus just rolled merrily along today, without breakdowns or other disasters to distract us. We made it to Garberville early in the afternoon and took on fuel. Oatus took 14 gallons after roughly 75 miles of traveling; the Family Dog took two bucks' worth.
Mostly we just trucked today, watching the countryside slide past at 30 m.p.h. That's flank speed for us.
The sun came out, attended by healthy white clouds and the shadows began to lengthen when we passed through Eureka and Arcata. Finally we sought a berth for the night at Patrick's point, 15 miles south of Orick. It's one of Governor Reagan's State Park Blasphemies which requires hard coin and demands that all animals be locked up or otherwise restrained.
Poor Nigel Woofer took to the leash with total dismay, having sat on his tail all day with me in the Family Dog. He was looking forward to a good romp and I know he feels double crossed, poor lad.
~ But the place has showers!
One last note: it appears as though Oatus needs another water pump and it stands to reason that the best possibility for locating one is in Crescent City. The question is: can we make it?
Stay tuned!

Nov. 16, 1970 Tuesday
HAH! Ruddy water pump is shot! I went off to find a Park Ranger for information on available junkyards. McKinleyville has several, he said.
Chris hopped into the Family Dog and zipped off to the south in search of another pump while I stayed aboard in order to slap another coat of exterior stain on Oatus's Port & Starboard side, since the weather has decided to clear.
At 16:00, Chris returned with a $4.50 dead replica of our latest casualty and got to work immediately installing it. So! We're trapped on Patrick's Point 'til tomorrow. However if all goes well, tomorrow night will find us in Oregon!

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