Our house is never so clean as when we are about to leave it. Maybe someday we’ll indulge in that kind of cleaning and then actually stay to enjoy it. But it is nice to come home to a clean house.
I’m typing this on my free Ipad (Thanks Mike!) as Jess drives us the last hour from Pendelten to Elgin, OR where tomorrow we will check in for our first Cycle Oregon. The packing process wasn’t quite painless, but it was improved. I managed to fit a week’s worth of essentials into a fairly small REI duffle. Jess’s bag is a little larger but we’re both 15-20 pounds under CO’s stated 65 pound weight limit, which means we will be celebrated among the porters who will be schlepping our bags all week.
Getting our act together meant going to bed well before 3am (yay) but then today we reverted to type and left about 2 hours after our ‘goal’ time. The original plan was to get to Elgin in the early evening and check in. The new plan is to spend the night with our hosts and check in tomorrow with the rest of the masses.
Getting out of town was like trying to escape orbit. Gravity was completely against us. At the post office, Jess went in with a returns package (rejected jerseys and shorts from Team Estregen) to find one guy at the counter–with no less than 20 moving boxes to ship and one postal worker at the counter. We decided to drop the box back at home. Leaving again for our local food cart pod, we waited three minutes to turn left onto Lombard off of our street, only to end up behind a trimet bus.
But we finally managed to feed ourselves and get on the road, with remarkably little traffic getting out of town. I spent the first forty-five minutes going through my phone and making a new playlist, which brought me face to face with just how aged and hippy my music collection really is. The rules for the list were no Indigo Girls, Ani Difranco or Dar Williams. Other than that, no genre was too obscure or random to pair together. Madanna nestled snuggly up against Paul Simon with an Aretha Franklin chaser. I limited myself to two show tunes out of kindness to Jess, who doesn’t like musicals.
Highway 84 has a well earned reputation as the most scenic highway in the country. Our drive has been a good preview of the kinds of scenery that await us during the next week of riding. Personally, I find the vista of hills covered in windmills to be stunning. My brain tried unsuccessfully to dredge up a few facts from my just-finished physics class about how windmills work, but it was a lost cause. They sure are impressiive though. Then it occurred to me that the sheer number of them doesn’t bode too well for probable riding conditions. I’m sure I’ll be on the lookout for a good wheel to suck.
Soon into the drive the road narrowed to one lane for construction. I got stuck behind a van pulling a trailer and was impatiently waiting for the road to widen when Jess said, “Look who it is.”
I took a closer look. It was Augusto’s Nossa Familia van. August is none other than the coffee savior of Cycle Oregon. He and his team will be rising at o’hell-no-thirty each morning to caffinate 2000+ cyclists. I heart him. I slowed and waited patiently and Jess waved as we passed him by.
Tomorrow we check in, pick up our wrist band and find our spot in tent city. Even though I haven’t experienced it yet, let me just take a moment to sing the praises of tent and porter service. For the 300 or so folks who were quick enough on the draw, we will be able to roll into camp each night to find our tent set up for us and our bags waiting out front. No scouting for a spot or dragging our sub-65 pound bags to it.
Because you know who would be setting up our tent after an 82 mile day with 15 miles of climbing? Go ahead, guess.
If you said me, give yourself two points! Thank you tent and porter service, for making this truly a vacation for both of us.
Saturday is known as ‘Day 0’ because it’s the day we check in and then just hang out meeting people and exploring Elgin. Today I had the grand idea that introductions should all be conducted thusly:
“Hi, I’m NAME from CITY and this is my NUMBER Cycle Oregon.” Then we can get right to the good stuff. I’m going to work on making that a trend, starting tomorrow.
It’s 9:27 and we’re about 15 miles from Elgin. Only four hours later than we ‘planned.’ I’m cool with it. Our last night in a bed before we start our adventure.
This has been a test of the mobile blogcast system. Thanks for tuning in. See you on the road.