It was a good start to a great trip. An Xuyen Bakery, for the best Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwiches you can buy, along with the best iced coffee this side of the Pacific. We were in high spirits as we made our way to Salem, not the witchy Salem, but Oregon’s Salem. Capital Salem. It was a brief stop, coffee at Archive, and an oil change at Valvoline, then we were on the road. We drove towards the coast, and the 101. The sun was getting low and the clouds were showing a beautiful scene. The 101 along the coast was a quick travel to Coo’s Bay where we eventually stopped to stretch out our legs, feed and walk Leeloo, and get some dinner and a beer.
7 Devils Brewing was popular on the websites that tell you that sort of thing, with fantastic live blue grass music playing, and a fairly short wait (25 minutes, short by Portland standards) we sat down and ordered a couple of the beers they had on special rotation at the moment. The beers were good. Flavorful, strong, and easy to drink. The food was way too carb heavy, not on the fault of the restaurant, just what we were craving, though the salad we ordered never made it to our table, which left the food sitting heavier than planned. We wanted to make it farther down the coast, and decided to stop in Brookings Oregon.
It was dark when we arrived in Brookings, the clouds moved in and the ocean was difficult to tell apart from the night sky on the horizon. One of the higher rated motels was cheap, and we opted for it. The front desk was closed by the time we arrived, though after a phone call a woman came wandering out from the back room. She looked high. She opened the door and her slurred speech and frazzled eye movement confirmed it for me. Our room was ready, but she said she doesn’t remember if she put towels in it, and that she’ll meet us there with towels in hand. When she arrived, she wanted to meet our dog. Leeloo wasn’t having it, and was wide eyed at this woman who kept looking back wide eyed at her. She kept asking what kind of dog she was, and held onto staring at her laughing for what seemed like an eternity. She did warn us that our neighbor motel-mate had two dogs who were usually tied up outside come the morning. Sometimes they liked other dogs, sometimes they didn’t.
It got me thinking that, sometimes, people actually used these rooms for a long period of time, and just how sad that is. I myself have been through a single long stretch of time where I spent too long in an extended-stay hotel. I look back on those times as a wonder that I was able to keep myself together during a brief crisis of life’s events. I was there out of depression, and backstabbing that I didn’t see coming. Thanksgiving meal of gas station food and bad TV. Though, I was lucky enough that my extended stay in a hotel was in a room much nicer than the one we were about to enter.
I wish I had photos of the room just to show the piss yellow color of the lighting mixed with the dirt of the room. We both were at a loss of words other than, ew. The sink was filmy, all of the windows were unlocked, the curtains were filthy, and didn’t fully cover our window which sat next to the bed. After two minutes of sitting on the bed, we decided to get our sleeping bags out of the car. We both slept fully enclosed in our mummy bags. Leeloo wasn’t at all into it, and was walking around the room at all hours of the night smelling who knows what. Eventually, and thankfully as always, the sun rose. We made our way out of there with little sleep, got a small breakfast from a local coffee shop and the first real leg of our trip started. We planned to be in San Fransisco by the evening of day 2.