Monday, August 4, 2014

Day 43: Ritzville, WA to Umatilla, OR; Day 44: Umatilla, OR to The Dalles, OR; Early Day 45 (J's Version)

Good morning!!! I was bummed I didn't get to blog yesterday, but there was no time or place. I was busy doing roadie support crew jobs for G. There was a lull for about an hour, but no where to go to set up shop. You know I have low standards. The gas station rest stops didn't have areas to blog either. Instead, I just camped out in Spearfish (the truck not the city obviously!) and did Yelp searches on my phone. This past Saturday was exactly 6 weeks on the road. G rode about 3000 miles in 6 weeks!! The grand total will be about 3300. If all goes well (knock on wood), he should be dipping his wheel in the Pacific Ocean TOMORROW!!!!

Just for clarification because I know there is some confusion out there, landing in the Pacific Ocean IS the main event. I know the whole "Portland to Portland" tagline can be misleading, BUT if you know your geography, Portland, OR is NOT on the ocean. lol It's about 80 miles east of the Pacific. Therefore, that's why we need a whole other day to get to the water. I know. I know. It's kind of like Inception. All these layers. Some followers thought just getting to Oregon was the big show, while others assumed getting to Portland was the highlight. Although, I will say, arriving in Portland later today is going to be freakin' awesome in itself! Two days ago, we saw our first mile marker Portland sign, and it all became real! I'm making G get a haircut tonight for the big day tomorrow. (He hasn't gotten his hair cut this entire time). #shaggydog

Even a few days ago, when we crossed the WA border over to OR was amazing. We celebrated with a somewhat none healthy meal. I did have some fries, but they weren't Mcd's fries. Our conversation that night mainly consisted of three words:
Holy. S*it. (Sorry, Minister Mike) Oregon!!!   (Or-ri-G-IN not Or-ri-G-ON)

Aside from reaching Oregon, the highlights of Day 43 and Day 44 were the flats. Grrrr. As G already pointed out, we made it through numerous states without a flat until now. It was quite
Flat number 654
frustrating for both of us. I hated the idea of having G waiting in the hot sun for me. For me, I hated driving back and forth trying to find him. The highway exits are extremely spread out here, so it's not that easy to just got on an off the highway. I will say though, that all turned out good and despite the flats, he made it both days to the destination we planned. Also, thankfully, we DID have cell service during all this tire drama.  #AT&T #Clutch

Currently, i'm in Hood River, OR at a Starbucks waiting for a bike shop here to open at 10. G's down to his last spare tube, so I have to buy a few more. We only have today and tomorrow left, but at the rate that the flats keep happening, it's better to spare up. Just within the past 20 miles, the scenery in OR turned quite lovely. Prior, it was just plain desert. The ugly step sister of landscape. Finally, the lush, green nature has arrived. I hope G takes some pictures because I wasn't able to.

On Day 43, I needed gas, so I pulled into a gas station, and there was a worker pumping gas for a senior citizen woman. I thought "Awe, that's nice." Then, when he's done, he starts walking towards Spearfish. I know sometimes I do have that "helpless lost girl" type of look, but I mean i'm in this tough truck. It's a RAM for Pete's sake (Who IS Pete?) Could I look that pathetic? 

It turns out it's a law in Oregon that you can't pump your own gas! Apparently Oregon and New
No Sales Tax States
Jersey (which I did know) are the only two states that have this ruling. I'm not even sure if you're supposed to tip the worker or not. Unfortunately, I didn't have any dollar bills on me. Another interesting fact about Oregon is that it's one of 5 states that has a no sales tax (stores/restaurants). My girl K, who is an avid shopper, keeps telling me,"You better do a lot of shopping." I actually wish I needed something bigger like a new laptop or something. Maybe a new bike?????? LOL

Also, almost everywhere you turn, there's signs for Lewis and Clark's Oregon Trail. I wish I paid more attention when I was in school to what that means aside from the general, "They went on an exploration of the West." Luckily, i'm married to a Social Studies teacher. I learned from G that Lewis and Clark's expedition was commissioned by Thomas Jefferson after the Louisiana Purchase. Tomorrow's lesson will be, What is the Louisiana Purchase?

I texted my sister that we are in Oregon, and she goes, "Tell Jeremy I said hi." This reference to Jeremy gave me a "OMG" moment. I've been a huge fan of the TLC show Little People, Big
World ever since it started years ago. The Roloff family lives in OREGON. Only 16 miles from Portland AND their farm is on the way to the ocean. They own a huge farm with an epic pumpkin patch, and give tours and all this other stuff. I was so excited for 5 minutes. Then, I went on their website, and they only give tours during pumpkin season which is just for the month of October. #lame!

On the upside, another place that I WILL be able to check out because they are open 24/7, 7 days a week is Voodoo Doughnut. I was first introduced to VD ten years ago on a TV special called Doughnut Paradise. VD is a one of a kind, quirky doughnut shop in Portland, OR. From what I remember from the TV special is that it's a very dark place like if Hot Topic sold doughnuts. The lines for VD are apparently like Disney. They specialize in a bunch of unique doughnuts and toppings. The maple bacon is their biggest seller. Also, they sell a doughnut that looks like a little
voodoo man.

Whichever hotel we stay at tonight in Portland, we plan on staying for 3 days. The day after the ocean we want to sleep in. Then, explore the city as much as we can. I'm SO excited and proud of him, which will be the focus of my blog entry tomorrow.

Two nights ago, I went to Walmart and bought some craft supplies. I wanted to make a sign for G to wear that says, "Portland to Portland." I didn't totally know what I was going to do with the supplies and how I would get them to stay on G and the bike, but Tim Gunn's voice kept playing in my head, "Make it work!" 

The sign on his back is clipped onto his shirt with safety pins. The sign I put together for the bike is being held together with duct tape and bungee cords. Unfortunately, the sign on the back only last a few hours before it flew off somewhere. At first, I was like, "Man, I wish I thought of this prior to the end of the journey," but in just one day (yesterday) SO many MORE people have stopped to talked to G because of the sign. It's cool for him, but he said, it's eating up riding time, too. I will change the sign tomorrow to say, "Coast to Coast."

The sign is a chick magnet.
G just called, so naturally the first thing that pops into my head is, "AHH. Return of the flats!" False alarm. He wanted to know what exit the Starbucks is.

Have a great day!!!

PS. I plan on posting a video tomorrow afternoon soon after he reaches the ocean, so you can see it in "almost" real time.


  1. Wow! Almost there. So exciting!

  2. G&J, I usually get blog update notifications via email, but haven't received any for the last couple of days, so here I am on the website. (I am so technically savvy with this new phone.)
    Jen, I am sure that you are not pouting and expressing your fury with G as you were in that priceless picture taken at the gas station, which probably seems so long ago, seeing as you are closing in on the goal.) Make sure that when you get back home you are wearing that (cowgirl?) hat. G-You can leave yours in that spanking new truck of yours.)You two are awesome. (And that's as mushy as I get.) I don't have the right words to pen that can express the admiration I have for what two have accomplished. Gee, having a dream come true and sharing it with Jen may be the high of you life. (Except of course, the day you two tied the knot.
    Your favorite brother in law, the guy that married your awesome sister, Dave

  3. So why do they call it Portland if it isn't on the ocean? That seems misleading to me, maybe it should be Portageland instead. Hah! Ok it is late here, that probably isn't as funny as I think and I should just ask The Google why it is called portland and then go to bed. Hey with the time difference maybe you will be there by the time I get up in the morning, so Congratulations!