California Dreaming 2005
by Mick Ayriss
Tuesday 24th May
Breakfast was given a miss, mainly because this hotel did not serve food or more unusually have a café next door. To be fair, though Helen didn't want any, and it was only the lure of wildlife that got her up at all, but the rooms all had coffee machines, so we had our kick start of caffeine.
It was Tuesday, and a day off from riding, but included in the holiday was the chance to ride the Wild Rogue River by jet boat.
Our captain for the day, Darren, came across the Estuary to the pick up point, within spitting distance of our room, making the whole experience so easy, before showing us what three 350HP Chevy engines can do when coupled to jet water pumps. Yes, over a 1000HP on tap he could make this shallow draft boat hit 50 mph, at any time he asked for it, over the 104 mile round trip. Irene decided boats and her didn't mix so it was just Colin, Helen and myself who experienced the wild life, either side of the river, with some real classics like black bear, deer, bald eagle, osprey and humming bird, but to name a few. The boat itself could do allsorts of things, in the hands of these experienced pilots, including 360° turns to soak who he wanted to, when he wanted to, and great fun!
The coffee stop, going up river, was welcome as was the 'All You Can Eat' Lunch, for $10.00, on the way down. Arriving back at Jots, by 4pm, gave us just a little time to reflect on the trip, and prepare for our evening meal back at the Rod and Reel Pub.
The beer on offer was really quite good and not what I would have expected with pale ale, brown Derby, and Weizen beer with Hefe, which was more yellow, in appearance, than usual instead of, perhaps, the more traditional white colour.
A walk onto Isaac Lee Patterson bridge followed our meal of a samburger and chips (my first, I was being good) for me and for Helen, chicken strips and salad.
The bridge was under restoration and, whilst the barn swallows were interesting to watch, at such close quarters, my most memorable part of the walk was the construction gangs, which included women! This is something I have never seen before in any country I have visited. Lets be right about it, we never normally see anyone, just mile after mile of traffic cones.