Friday, August 8, 2014

Day 46: Portland, OR to the Pacific Ocean (J's Version)

Definitely lost some lbs
Good EVENING!! The past few days have been a whirlwind! Of course G reaching the ocean was by far the best experience of the entire trip. It took 46 days but really, about 7 of those days were days off, so it really took him about 39 riding days averaging 85 miles with some days as few as 40 miles and as high as 125.

Let me back up to the afternoon of day 45. I went to Walmart and loaded up on crafts to make a few signs for G's ocean arrival the next day. Soon after the Walmart excursion, I entered Portland. Whoa. Portland is a pretty huge city. As soon as I hit the city, it became a "city" type of highway complete with crazy traffic with lanes and exits crossing everywhere. My first thought was "Oh, no!" So close, but yet for even an experienced cyclist like G maneuvering this area would be tricky. Luckily, he ended up getting off the highway a lot earlier and found his way to the hotel from the side streets.

Seeing him arrive in front of the hotel was definitely a thrill; however, both of us were kind of awkward about it. We were excited and pumped, but didn't want to celebrate completely because the big event wouldn't be until he hit the ocean, but yet arriving on bicycle from Portland to Portland was pretty darn awesome! Our stomachs voted for celebrating both days, so we had steak and wine that night at the hotel. We stayed 3 nights at the Hotel deLuxe. I wanted to treat him like royalty!

Pretty cool room keys
The hotel's theme is classic Hollywood, so there's pictures of the 1940s and 1950s actors everywhere. Sidenote: Always call the hotel's reservations line not the front desk people if applicable because you get better deals through reservations. I originally only booked 2 nights. Then, by the 2nd night, I realized it would be easier just to stay there instead of heading to another Portland hotel, and the front desk told me they were sold out except for a few rooms that were double the price that I paid. I called reservations and after some "wheeling and dealing" and talking to a supervisor they "found" a room (the same room the front desk told me about) for wayyyyy cheaper.

Also, throughout the evening I was getting numerous "celebratory selfies" from some family and friends. L came up with the idea, which was great and worked out because now I had more items to put on my posters! The only downside was by the time I texted people it was 6 pm. Stupid me forgot everyone on the east coast is 3 hours behind. It was all very rushed and last minute, so if I didn't get to text you, sorry! G knew I was up to something but couldn't figure out what. We got a surprise that evening from our friend's The Amore's. My girl J kept texting me to
remind me to let her know the name of the hotel once we checked it. I knew she was up to something but not sure what. We were delivered wine, beer, chocolate, and a touching note from her and her husband. It was SO thoughtful and appreciated!!!

The next morning was show time; however, part of me wondered if it was self sabotage. G still had a good 80 mile ride ahead of him, but it seemed like he was taking forever to get ready. All these distractions kept coming up. We both love the novel, The Alchemist, and one of the reasons why people don't achieve their dreams according to author Paulo Coelho is the fear of failure. You're so close and you're afraid of what happens once you achieve your dream, so you purposely mess up. Was G doing this???
The start of the last day!

Finally, at 9 am he was on the road!! I wish his last day would be a cake walk, but it really wasn't. 80 miles and about half of that ride was through a mountain. I didn't have too much time to think about his ride because from 9-1 I was busy making posters. Printing out the selfies that everyone sent me took forever because the hotel printer stinks. I wanted them in color and printing in color was "too" hard, so it the wait time was extra long. I was proud of the finished product though. Thankfully, G never needed me within that time frame.

I drove past him at one point just before the mountain. I ran out with a G on a stick that I made. Then, I proceeded through the mountain and lost cell service for about 30 miles. No!! That would mean at least 3 hours of G not having cell service either through the mountain. I thought the mountain was pretty intense, but after he said it wasn't too bad. After the mountain, my GPS said there was only like 10 more miles until the ocean, and I'm seeing no water yet. BOOM! There's the water. Oh my. My heart stopped once I saw the ocean. It's not even that it was beautiful because it really wasn't but just that it was there. I scoped out the spot that he would be at, and it was perfect because it went straight into the water.

I still had extra time to kill, so I found a little parking lot near a path that I WAS going to walk until I saw the warning sign. I should have taken a picture of it. It described how awesome the trail was BUT to be cautious because the trail was also in cougar territory and black bear territory. I ran back in the truck. Also, Pastor Mike was going to be coming for G's arrival! I couldn't believe it!

After some more time passed, I got worried about G in the mountain because we didn't have cell service and what if he got more flats. I drove back and to my surprise by that time, he was almost out of the mountain and only about 11 miles away from the ocean spot!!! The excitement was growing stronger!

I met up with Pastor Mike at the restaurant, and we got to know each other as we waited for G.
Pastor Mike and G. New buds!
Soon enough, I pressed record on my phone and history was made. I did not blubber uncontrollably like I thought, but a feeling of extreme happiness flowed throughout my veins.

There's a hierarchy of attributes that are deemed "socially acceptable" to make fun of people in public. Hair color, baldness, and age seem to be "perfectly" acceptable while other attributes to people such as weight and intelligence are taboo. "You're too old..." blah blah blah. The last one in particular bothers me because WE ALL WILL GET OLDER. No matter what happens, everyone ages. G has often been the butt of bald and age jokes, and it's annoying. Next time, I hear something like this, I'm going to say, "My husband rode his bike across the country. What have you done?" 

My Superman.
The truth is; we've all been "blond" at some point, we will all eventually get old and lose most of the physical attributes that we are proud of. The true measure of a human being is what they DO with what they are given.

I cannot express how proud I am of G!!!!

The journey for me at least went by so quickly. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was blogging about G dipping his wheel in the Atlantic and the Asian man in the car was flipping us off! Good times. After the initial high of dipping his wheel in the Pacific, we all went out to dinner for steak.

Pastor Mike led us in another inspirational prayer AND he gave me a medal and trophy for being road boss, and G got some spiritual books to read. It was an amazing dinner with awesome company. Sure, if it was just the two of us it would have been grand, too, BUT having Pastor Mike there made it so much more special that he cared enough to support G. Also, during this dinner I texted family and posted our main pictures of

the wheel dipping. G actually kicked me under the table for being rude, but I had to post to social media. Everyone has been following our journey with us, so it's only fair that they see the results ASAP.

G and I drove back to Portland after dinner and still remained on our high. The next day we explored Portland. We had coffee at Heart which was on many top coffee shop lists. It was rather plain, but I think that's their thing. Blue Ribbon Doughnut was recommended by the front desk girls, and I personally loved my glazed doughnut, but G wasn't fond of his black berry. G loved Voodoo doughnut, but I didn't! Next, Powell's bookstore was amazing. They are pretty famous as well. Then, as G already pointed out, we went to The Living Room movie theater and had tapas and drinks IN the theater as we watched the movie. They even give you these tray
holders that stick into your seat. SO cool. I'm a tough critic when it comes to book to movie adaptations, but The Fault in Our Stars is by far one of the best!!! (Bummed John Green's cameo got cut.)

Portland has 3 blocks devoted to
food trucks from like every country!
Portland is also known for their beautiful gardens (Japanese/Rose/Chinese), but you can't see everything when you're exploring.There's never enough time. Getting a toolbox for the truck took precedent over the flowers. We cleared out a lot of the back seat, by putting stuff in the tool box incase one of us wants to sleep in the back for the ride home. We did see an actual wildfire in the mountains as we were driving along the highway yesterday. It was intense. The helicopter with water was over it as well.

One of the waiter's at Gracie's, the restaurant we dined at for breakfast at the hotel we became rather fond of during our stay. Terry, was not only charming and friendly, but we felt like we've known him forever. On our last day, we hugged him. We don't normally do hugs with our waiters. To make things even more funny, guess where Terry grew up? Bridgeport, CT!!! The whole 3 days we talked about the bike journey and Portland, but we didn't say we were from CT. Then, the last day we mentioned about getting back to CT, and he was like "Whoa. Wait a minute. Where in CT?" Small world!!!

We are not totally sure of how long we are going to take to get back to CT. Right now we are in Burley, Idaho which is in south east part of Idaho. The route back is different, so that'll be great to see different stuff. I want to be back by next Friday the absolute latest. I have my NYC birthday stuff Sunday the 17th-19th.

I want to say thank you again to all of you. It was so nice to read your comments. Even if you never left a comment and you're a secret in the closet fan of our blog, thanks. We kept a blog tracker of each time a page was read, and on average we were getting at least 220 views a day. More towards the last leg of the journey. It's been real. It's been great!

G is continuing to blog throughout the journey home, (he is slowly adjusting back to a non cyclist routine.) while for me this will be my last post. I'll post pictures on the Facebook page that I find interesting on the road and i'll post when G updates. Thanks for giving me more of a purpose for the blog. All your positive feedback motivated me to keep up with writing my version of the journey daily. Remember: reach for your dreams and don't give up!



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