Thursday morning we hopped on a bus to Portland. It was only $20 for a round trip ticket, and the ride was 2 hours.
My dear friend Marc and his girlfriend met us at the bus station and took us out to lunch at a sandwich shop. From there, it was a 2 mile bike ride across the Broadway Bridge and to his house.
I wasn’t really sure what to do in Portland, so I looked up a top 10 list. I decided to rule out strip clubs and it became a top 9 list. Biking across one of the long bridges was on the list, which we had already done when we crossed the Broadway Bridge.
We set off for the city and went to Powell’s book store, which was on the list and would be check number 2. Powell’s is a giant, multi-level book store with everything imaginable. I kind of wanted to cry because I knew I would never get to read every book there, but I managed to choose just one.
There was a whole city block with food trucks on it, so we stopped for a smoothie. Food trucks were 3rd on our checklist.
Finally, we hopped on the light rail and went cross town to the Rose Test Garden (number 4). There seemed to be hundreds or thousands of rose bushes. Marc cracked a joke about stopping and smelling the roses. I guess at the test garden, they breed new strains of roses and kill them if they’re not good enough.
The following day, we headed back to Tillamook to keep biking. I had to eat some famous Tillamook ice cream before leaving town. It was as delicious as I had imagined it would be. We biked on down to Cape Lookout State Park to spend the night. They had a great hiker/biker site that was right by the beach. I relaxed by the ocean for an hour or so and read my new book.
The next morning, as usual, I went to the bathroom and plugged our phones in so they could charge while we got ready. There wasn’t much going on at 8 am, so I knew they’d be fine. Anyway, I didn’t think the people in expensive RVs wanted to steal my phone. Before we left, I went back to the bathroom to get the phones and they weren’t there.
There was a lady with a golf cart cleaning the bathrooms, and I asked her if she had seen them. She got them out of her cart and gave me a long lecture about how I can’t just leave my phone laying around because someone will take it (which was what she did, basically). She told me I need to sit with my phone while it charges. I think I have better things to do than sit in the bathroom for 2 hours though.
Our phones weren’t very charged, because she must have came along and unplugged them just a few minutes after I plugged them in. We sort of use our phones for everything, so it was a bummer.
Today we had a 800 foot mountain first thing in the morning. It took us forever to make it the 3 miles uphill, but afterwards it was an easy 12 mile cruise into Pacific City. We stopped for burgers and fries, and I tried in vain to find a bike shop to fix my brake. A nice local even had a look at it, and she couldn’t solve the problem.
From there, we hit an unexpected mile of gravel. With our thin road tires and our extra weight from our gear, biking on gravel was really slow and unsteady. After the gravel mile, we had a 700 foot uphill. We didn’t even try to bike up it; we just walked. After almost an hour of walking, we were finally at the top.
I zoomed to the bottom and waited for Mom, as usual. I was waiting for way longer than normal, when a car pulled over beside me. A couple hopped out with Mom and her bike. She had gotten a flat and they pulled over to help. The guy replaced her tube for her, and they were on their way.
We biked the last few miles to Devil’s Lake State Park, where yet another park lady lectured me for plugging my phone in and showering while I left it unattended. At least the shower was free and hot.