Sunday, August 22, 2010

First day out of Portland

Today I left Portland. The ominous weather reflected my mood and my anxiety portended some sort of epic failure and cosmic sign that I should not be embarking on my journey. I took the max blue line to the last stop. It happened to be the day of an air show so the max was full and I had to suffer the most xenophobic and obnoxious loud conversation until I finally got off and the next leg of my bike tour began.

I began riding down the 8 to get to highway 6. The shoulders were sometimes narrow and the first 25 miles of the ride slowly ascend. I thought that I had just gotten out of shape after 8 days in Portland until I realized that I was just steadily going up hill. I made it about 40 miles outside of Portland before realizing that I had forgotten my phone charger and my warm hat (given to me by the wonderful Staysee). Now I was not only paranoid about biking 900 miles on my own, but with no way of communicating with anyone. I texted Staysee but prepared myself to have to deal without or drop some money at a mall.

As I drove through the countryside, I heard gunshots in the woods as hunters chased unsuspecting animals. Sirens raced by me to some unseen accident. Then, a hummer drove by and things were whizzing past my head and crashing! It turned out that the trailer-hitch had broken off and the bike rack and two bikes went flying in the air: one in front of me, one behind me, and the rack just bounced and clacked down the road as traffic came to a halt. In that moment I nearly gave up, it seemed like I had made a terrible mistake thinking I could do it alone.

Then, Staysee called and said that she was going to drive out to meet me with my phone charger and camp out with me for the night! All of the sudden I remembered the awesome people that I had (have) supporting me. It also happened to coincide with a really long descent into Tillamook. At Tillamook I posted up at a restaurant until Staysee and Seven showed up and I was so happy to see them!

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