September 09, 2004
Fort Bragg & Song
We flew through Westport so we could reach Fort Bragg in time for dinner. This coastal town offered many outdoor choices and although it was chilly, we had drinks outside facing a fish tank and a heat lamp.
It's a historical town with a few museums and artifacts. Fort Bragg is also the western terminus of the California and Western Railroad's Skunk Train, a sightseeing railroad that winds inland along the redwood-thick and rugged Noyo River gulch and over the mountains to Willits, roughly 40 miles away. Christopher Myles in Australia - you'd love this. Thought of you, so once you get your body over here, we'll drive north.
We ended up at The Wharf for dinner where we splurged on oysters (had to have em), a bottle of chardonnay (or was it two), and sole. I couldn't help but notice four older men all wearing the same shirt.....a golf competition was my first thought. When the wine came, they stood up and started making their rounds - table to table - to sing acapella. When they arrived at our table, I told them of my journey west.
The result: they didn't leave us. Song after song, we had our own private concert. We ended up joining them and their wives later for desert and coffee.
The area was fairly booked up and despite the fact that there were few rooms left and rates were high, I managed to nail a $60 discount off a motel room suite with the Indian owner at the Driftwood Motel. I think he was amused by me and my tough negotiating skills - "I've been to India and learned from the best," I replied. This brought a gleaming smile to his face, so we chatted for close to an hour while David snoozed in the car. When I returned, he was certain we were doomed to camp along the side of the road or sleep upright in the car. My response: "Oh no, my friend. Yee have little faith. We have a suite tonight."