Seattle and Portland were hard to leave. The hospitality of Carola, Bill, J, Allison, Nico, Floor, Noah, Ethan, Jakub, Ellen and Marek was sooo great and their houses became such comfy homebases to me over the days I stayed there. On the road again my body and mind had to struggle to readapt to all-day-moving.
Furthermore my mind did not process yet the fact that I really crossed the United States of America on my bicycle. It does not feel like a big accomplishment yet. Feels more like “That’s all?” Maybe this is because my journey is not finished yet? Now, two weeks after arrival in Seattle and in the meanwhile somewhere more south at the Oregon coast I began to realize myself in the second chapter of this trip.
Funny thing is my strange and intense dreams during the last nights. All those dreams circled around catching a plane to the U.S., packing panniers and the nonbelieving of the fact that I would stay in America for a longer time. I did not have those dreams before I started this trip. It’s more like my brain is kind of delayed by a few weeks.
Like in California more and more big fires started to burn in the northwest. One result is the bad air pollution which I can recognize by the appearance of yellow/white -ish skies instead of blue. In Portland some schools do not let the children go outside during the brakes. Radio broadcasts recommend to avoid outside physical activities (arrgh).
The day I left Seattle I found myself at 7 p.m. without a place to stay overnight. Two warmshower-hosts happened to be not available or to not reply. A campground was not around. I followed the advice I got so often before and asked a police-officer for a place to stay. He gave me permission to stay at a day-use-only-city-park in next town. That felt good to have that permission because the whole area south of Seattle is packed with so many homeless people and I imagined some tensions of inhabitants against bum-ish tent-people like me. Evidence for those tensions? Blocked electrical outlets and locked restroom-doors in diners and fast-food-restaurants.
In Portland I participated at the “2018 Providence Bridge Pedal” together with my hosts Allison and Nico. Part of the intercity-freeways were closed for drivers and for some hours the bicycles took over!
The next day I got Nicos VW to visit Oregons highest Mountain “Mount Hood” and the Timberline lodge (parts of “Shining” were shot there). That was big fun too, to raid the mountains without pedaling …
Either the 5h of VW-AC and/or other factors led to the fact that during my first day on road I became ill with a massive cold including a sore throat. Felt like my worst nightmare became true – please! Not on a bike-trip! I threw in some painkillers and Tonsipret that I brought from Germany and pedaled very smoothly towards the next available RV-Park including some tent-sites- it became a long day against the wind. The next morning was like a test of my mental strength for me. I felt like s**t but I had to put down my tent and get back on my bike to get to the next pharmacy which happened to be in Lincoln City: 26 miles against cold wind. Long story short: At Walgreens in Lincoln City I got surprised by my friends Jane and Katy (Spinning Sisters, Oshkosh) who were in northern Oregon for hiking and decided to drive some hours due south to meet me, bring me penicillen (which I did not have to take yet) and treat me for lunch! What a reunion! That safed me – my mood raised so much. We had so little time and so much to talk about. And of course no eye kept dry. Thank you, I am so grateful to know you!
Right now I am sitting at the beach, letting the salty air help me to recover. I am hosted by Robin and Michael, who are so warm and giving people – again! They let me stay an extra-day. That should help a lot to get better.