Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Bolt upright

November 11th, 2011

There was nothing to be done. The single saddle securing bolt was stripped. No option but for Giles to ride on towards the coast standing on the pedals. Lincoln City lacked a bike shop so I’d suggested a hardware store might be worth a go. Send a photo and rough dimensions of the offending item to his wife Sara and see if she could source a selection of potential replacements.

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It worked. For a while at least. Allowing us to reach the Oregon coast. If Giles had been less than enthusiastic about it, he’d been prepared to admit it was actually rather pleasant. Reminiscent, I thought, of the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Which I also loved.

Joined now by Sara and their young daughter, we’d agreed that all of us sharing would be just a bit "weird". Besides, I was keen I not to intrude into family time. We’d finished in the dark but Sara had already found a rather quaint motel in Sheridan for us. My room was plainly furnished, but generously provided for with piles of towels and a huge tub of coffee grounds.

Laundry taken care of, time then to consider progress and the plan for the next day. Video and photos to transfer from the cameras and then upload. Never one to miss an opportunity to make the most of being indoors.

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Coast bound

November 10th, 2011

Dispossessed in doorways. Just after eight but it was dark, cold and wet. Many already wrapped up in their sleeping bags. Quiet. Down the street a small piece of cleared ground, a few homeless sleeping under tarps. Volunteers in heavy waterproofs handing out soup and snacks, chatting jovially with those who’d fallen on hard times. A few police officers wandering about. Unconcerned. Peaceful.

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Giles and I had headed over into Portland’s Chinatown. Finding a small restaurant. Decent meal, but authentic it was not. Blank looks at my efforts with Mandarin. Nihow. Shez-shez-nee. My insistence on chop sticks as well received.

Next morning Denny’s for breakfast. Then coast bound. Giles wanted to change his saddle first, and we’d be joined at some point by his wife Sara and their young daughter. I’d done the math and reckoned the art-of-the-possible was Sheridan, fifty miles away and thirty or so short of the Pacific at Lincoln City.

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