Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Up and downs

November 9th, 2011

I’d joked that if we ended up pretty much where we’d started then he’d better sleep with one eye open. Lest he find himself sharing his bed with a porcupine. The burrowing type. Leaving Longview we’d inadvertently strayed from the Seattle-to-Portland – STP – cycle route. Missing the familiar, if slightly faded, ’STP’ silhouettes spray painted on the highways.

Unperturbed, we’d placed our faith in Google Maps to guide us towards Portland. Soon cursing it as it struggled up an increasingly tough gradient. Zig-zagging on the quiet road soon giving way to pushing. Damp now. Close on a thousand foot of climb.

Plunging descent returning us to better weather. Something, I suggested, that leaving the Van Allen belt would probably account for. Brief stop in a small cafe, as much for respite from the returning rain as lunch, then on towards Portland.

Dreary riding into the city. Cheap motels. One advertised for just twenty bucks. Fast food joints. Grey. Uninspiring. We’d have stopped for coffee but there wasn’t anywhere you’d want to.

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Longview laments

November 8th, 2011

I’d nodded off for a while. Lying on the bed. Second day back on the road, ninety miles or so. Steady riding, a few climbs. One described by the ’Seattle-to-Portland’ cycle route guide as a right of passage. Neither Giles or I thought it so. Bit of a pull, low gears, but hardly character building.

A simple motel room in Longview. A very forgettable town, long strip of fast food joints. Wendy’s for dinner, a short stroll across the parking lot. Next morning breakfast in McDonalds. I’d slept well.

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