Monday, March 31, 2014
Sunday, March 30, 2014
It's going to be cool and clear tonight so this is just the ticket after negotiating LAX with my boxed bike and driving a rental car in stop and go traffic up HWY 101.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
I like trains. Since 2011 I've been on the Ghan to Darwin and back, the Indian Pacific from Perth to Sydney and the Overlander from Adelaide to Melbourne in Australia. 2 Christmases ago I did the Cairns to Kuranda day trip. Last year it was various Deutschebahn trains in Germany, the SNCF in France, and the Eurostar through the Chunnel from Paris to London.
Tomorrow I fly to California to train as a bike tour leader. I packed my touring bike for air travel before I left for this conference. I hope I can fit it easily into a rental car as I have to get to Buellton for the course, then back by Friday to attend a faculty meeting before spring quarter starts the following Monday. The logistics are definitely a puzzle.
Portland would be worth a return bike trip when it's a little drier.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Let it rain.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Rode the train for a 3 hour run through cloud, rain, blue sky and sunbreaks (typical spring in the pacific NW) alongside a stretch of Puget Sound you can't see from a car and got to PDX too late for happy hour. So walked the bike through the Pearl District to the HI hostel. It's a scruffy late C19th rooming house. I have a lower bunk in a poorly lit warren of rooms with 7 other budget travelers. I'll be perfectly fine. By now I'm a veteran of hostels in several countries so I select US ones primarily for location and pack ear plugs and an eyemask. If any of my roomies choose to be inconsiderate like some of the jackasses I met during last year's tour of Germany, well I have a repertoire of responses to choose from. If I have to deal with a repeat of the noisy sex of my roommates from Baden Baden, this timeout will show no mercy and I will toss their sorry behinds out of the room, irrespective of time. Baden Baden really was a nadir of budget traveling for sure. On the recommendation of the reception folks I had an inexpensive meal (bowl of brown rice, black eyed peas, collards and pulled pork at Laughing Planet, a noisy veggie, vegan and locavore place decorated with plastic dinosaurs. Sadly, my days of dining on an expense account are long gone, and in my bike knicker pants and riding rain jacket I fit right into Portland's alternative world. All I lack is an unusual hair color and piercings. I had thought of packing my joke tattoo arm warmers for the full fashion statement but decided I was plenty weird enough just choosing to visit Portland like this. The next 4 days are 60% rain so I'm just gonna deal with it. I need to study the map as I don't want to wipe out on the MAX tracks.