Expecting to fly

I am staying at the house of my friends Eric and Sue just outside Portland. Sue is out of town so Eric is doing his best to show me around the area.

Yesterday we checked out a rose garden and a Japanese garden on the hills west of downtown.

That’s Eric with the statue of the rose garden’s founder.

After s midday break we drove to the Cannon Beach. The Oregon Coast is truly beautiful. Sometimes dorks get in the way of pictures of haystack rock.

After Cannon Beach we drove south to Oswald West State Park. More pretty.

We stopped one more time to gawk at the scenery, this time at Neahkanie Mountain.

The last couple of days have been like going through decompression. My body is figuring out that it’s been through a lot. My brain is happy not to have to navigate, find a place to sleep, or keep a look out for large metal things.

A tip of the hat to Eric (and Sue) for the hospitality.

I’m off to the airport in an hour or two for the flight home.

Any Road Tour: Bikeless in Bikeland

I have four things to do while in Portland and I did three of them today thanks to Eric and his wife Sue’s station wagon.

We drove to West End Bikes in downtown Portland and dropped off The Mule for its shipment home. The service department people seems to be very competent so I have a good feeling that this is going to work out fine. Still, parting with The Mule was difficult after over 4,300 miles.

Next up was a trip to Andy and Bax Army surplus across the Willamette River. It took all of four be minutes to find a big duffle bag. (Later I tried out all my stuff and it looks like I can make this work without incurring luggage charges.)

Chores completed we drove to Multnomah Falls up the Columbia River gorge. The parking lot was closed, but we could see people leaving, so we drove to the next exit and doubled back. And the parking lot was magically open!

The hiking trails were closed but we did get to check out the falls from the base and the walking bridge part way up the cliff.

As you can see, my head completely absorbed the water.

Tomorrow we may drive to the coast.

Any Road Tour: Day 63 – Put a fork in it

The hostel served its purpose. It had a bed and shower, and was walking distance to Powell’s book store.

I spent the evening hanging around the hostel, sampling a local koltsch.

This morning after checking out I rolled to Voodoo doughnuts. I had the Mafia fritter, a concoction only a deviant mind could invent.

Then I rode about 10 miles to my niece Shannon’s house. It was a mighty hilly ride.

I spent about five hours there. It once my grandnephew took a nap he was a fun play buddy. He’s currently trying to figure out how to crawl. I pulled out my grandpop’s knee bouncing act, perhaps my earliest memory.

He also had fun playing with Mrs. Rootchopper’s crinkle quilt.

His mom is a happy, if tired, camper.

After baby time, I ride a few miles to Eric’s house. Eric and I worked together for years. He’s putting me up for a few nights so that I can get The Mule and me home Thursday night.

Mikes: 12

Tour Miles: 4,313.5

Any Road Tour: Day 62 – Falls, fail, and fifty

M&Ms come in all kinds of flavors these days. Last night I meant to buy the old fashioned milk chocolate kind, but I got the sleeping pill version. I ate some and passed out at 9:15. I woke up 7 1/2 hours later with no idea of where I was.

This tour is starting to wear my ass out. Good thing it’s nearly over.

The hotel breakfast was biscuits and gravy, oatmeal and raisins, eggs, sausage, potatoes, coffee, and OJ. I took an apple and a banana for the road.

Oink.

The ride to Portland must have featured a tailwind because I put no effort into it. I rode over the St, John’s bridge and followed my maps toward Multnomah Falls which is well east of the city up the Columbia River. As I rode I saw beaucoup runners, mostly really good ones. Oregon is the home of Nike, the late Steve Prefontaine, and Alberto Salazar and the weather is perfect for running. At least it was this morning, before a heat wave hit.

There were also bicyclists riding what was obviously a predetermined route. It was the Portland Bridge Pedal. It’s like the 50 States Ride in DC but with signs instead of a 10 page indecipherable cue sheet.

I rode to the Columbia River and around the airport. I saw two story house boats and green islands and a rather enormous snow covered mountain which I took to be Mt. Hood. (It might have been Mt. Adams but what do I know.)

When I arrived in Troutdale, I saw an electric sign that said the interstate exit to Multnomah Falls was closed. I asked the Google and it told me that the cycling route to the falls was closed.

Boo.

I booked a room in a hostel conveniently located 15 miles across Portland. So I asked the Google to direct me. And I got a tour of the city. I was riding mostly in the northwest part of town. Parts reminded me of Pasadena, others of Stockholm, and others of Arlington Va. I saw light rail, Craftsman houses with interesting paint jobs, and helpful bike wayfaring signs.

I even saw two buildings that had a Peter Max kind of paint job.

I checked in to my hostel which is walking distance to all kinds of interesting stuff that is closed because it’s Sunday evening.

Tomorrow I go see my niece and grandnephew. The boy looks like a cross between Winston Churchill and Don Zimmer. This raises the question: what do they call gerbils in England?

Miles: 61

Total miles: 4,301.5

And another thing, while riding through Portland, The Mule turned 50.