Day 1: Finally heading east!

Mt. Hood certainly was majestic flying into Portland, Oregon yesterday!

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The bicycle finally arrived today, at 15:15 (3:15 PM for you civilians).┬áIt was in good shape and Sarasota Cycle did a great job of packing it. I took a few hours to get it all assembled. Tomorrow morning, after a quick test-ride I’ll actually start heading east.

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My destination for the first day’s ride is Rickreall, Oregon, which is about 45 miles away. With a fully loaded bike, at 70+ pounds (32 kg) I don’t want to push too hard. The profile map shows one 600 foot (182 m) climb, but doesn’t look too challenging.

I’ve written to someone there that is on WarmShowers.org about possibly staying there for the night. If not, there is supposed to be the Polk County Fairgrounds that has showers and camping for $10 a night.

I went out to dinner with my hosts that have been putting up with me and helping with receiving packages, etc. They’re so helpful and wonderful. As an added treat, their little Yorkie dog, “Piper,” is a real joy. I’m going to miss her.

Piper

32,000 over North Dakota…

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Here I am at 32,000 feet, over South Dakota, cruising along and writing this on my computer. When I think back to my younger years, so much has changed. In my youth, I was building radios with vacuum tubes that were bigger than my current cell phone and consumed much more power. How far we have come. I’m writing this on my Chromebook, which is miniature compared to my early computers.

It looks like I am on my adventure, riding across the United States by bicycle, from Oregon to Massachusetts. It doesn’t seem real yet. There is still the issue of getting my bicycle, on time, in Lincoln City, Oregon. At last check, it was in “transit,” somewhere in Wyoming. Update: we are currently over Wyoming, maybe I’ll see my bike down there?

FedEx really has dropped the ball on this one. Twelve days to ship a 42-pound box from Florida to Oregon is unacceptable. Apparently, FedEx isn’t keeping up with the technological advances I mentioned earlier.

Jane dropped me off at the Sarasota airport early this morning, around 05:00. She seemed to have her emotions in control, but I suspect it was difficult for her. At one time, we considered doing this together, possibly on a tandem bicycle, but now was not the time. I promised her we will do the Camino from Rome to Santiago, in Spain. Now I am committed.

This flight is scheduled to land in Portland, OR about lunch time. I’ll get something to eat, catch the HUT shuttle to Salem, OR, and then meet my new friends, Neil and Claudia and they will then take me to their place in Lincoln City. They’re both ham radio operators, KE7XL and N0JRU. I can’t thank them enough for putting up with the schedule changes and for helping out.

The bicycle is scheduled to arrive, at the latest by tomorrow. Once I can unpack it and reassemble it, this show can get on the road!