Daily Miles: 0 Total Miles: 847
Ahhh, four easy days in a row. Today, we rested (again). But this rest day was part of our original plan to visit Michelle. Determined to sample Pearl’s famous croissants, we were up and out of Michelle’s apartment a little after 8 AM. Since it was raining, we decided to take the MAX (Portland’s public transit system) downtown instead of riding. Besides, both Mike and I like riding public transit (although I like trains, subways, light rail, streetcars –things on a fixed track–more than mundane buses). We found Pearl’s and shared a chocolate croissant in addition to an almond croissant (Mike’s choice) and a petite brioche (my choice). All were lovely, although I am still searching for that elusive perfect brioche that I had in France back in 1989. Perhaps it lives on in my memory better than it actually tasted in reality. Memories are like that: whether good or bad, they enlarge themselves over time, gathering in intensity as they fight against our nature and native tendency to forget. Already, our lives in California are fading into memories. On the MAX, I heard two women talking about the law, making partner, hiring new associates, etc. . . . it felt foreign, rather than comfortable. In fact, it made me tense, although I didn’t realize it until they exited and left me alone with my thoughts and reflections. I still love the law, but wonder how I should/can use it in the future. I guess that I just have to believe that I/we have made the right choice and the future will become clear as it nears–just as the next day comes into focus as we bike closer.
Tomorrow, we leave Portland and the safety of well-laid out bike maps and camping sites. Tomorrow, we throw ourselves into Phase II of the trip–less detailed maps (no or little topography), fewer campsites and less information about where they are, scarcer showers, fewer stores, and less water –not to mention less WIFI– stops along the way. It means both more planning and more flexibility on our part. Plus, we are going to try and kick it to Lolo, traveling a full century tomorrow, followed by two 80 mile days to get to Walla Walla. It looks like we have found a place to stay in Lewistown (the day after Walla Walla) through Uncle Sterling, which will be great–confirmed place, showers, and laundry stop. From there, we’ll push toward Lolo, getting there (if all goes well) on May 30th. If anyone is thinking about sending us anything (cookies, brownies, etc. ), that would be a good place to do so. Alternatively, we should be able to retrieve items in Bozeman, a little further down the road, or Sheridan, a little further still.
(SIDENOTE: My mother sent us this great Wisconsin bike flag for Talula, so that now everyone will be able to deduce where we are headed. It looks great. I hope that we’ll be able to get a picture of it up soon. But at least we are publicizing the great state of Wisconsin from this point east. Thanks Mom. You are awesome!!!!)
After Pearl’s, Mike and I (being the nerds that we are) spent several hours perusing Powell’s City of Books. The fact that we are on Talula hampered my natural tendency towards purchasing books by the half-dozen. Instead, we limited ourselves to one small, paperback book apiece, a novel for Mike and nonfiction for me. That, the cribbage board and our IPODs will have to get us through to Lolo. (SIDENOTE: Speaking of cribbage, wow, that was a great crib I got last night. I have never ever had a 24 point crib! Nor had I ever seen four of the same card come up in the first four throws. Wild.)
We then met up with Michelle and her friend Mas for lunch. After we dropped them off at the Portland Taiko studio, we drove around in Michelle’s car getting groceries and sundries as needed. It was a little strange going down the freeway at 60 miles an hour without any effort at all after spending the last two weeks plodding away against the wind to maintain even 10-12 miles an hour. The pace of life really differs when you are living on a bike. Also, strange . . . more funny really . . . was Mike asking me whether he was clear to change lanes on the way back to Michelle’s apartment. When we’re on the bike and need to change lanes or cross traffic, Mike will ask me if we are clear to the back of us since he is concentrating on oncoming traffic. He’s gotten so used to me calling “CLEAR” that he forgot that in a car, he has a rearview and side mirrors, rather than a stoker, to tell him that it is safe to change lanes!!! It’s little things like that that make clear our central reality has shifted a bit.
Since I am not sure if we are going to be able to find a lot of WIFI this week, not only because we’ll be in more rural locales, but also because we have long days planned which will limit our ability to stop and upload to the blog, don’t be surprised if we don’t post anything new for a couple more days. We’ll let you know how we are faring as soon as we can.
Signing Off, Stoker