Tour without a goal – 23/24 July 2014


I always felt terrible on the trail the first day after a break. Katz, on the other hand, just always felt terrible. Whatever restorative effects a town visit offered always vanished with astounding swiftness on the trail. Within two minutes it was as if we had never been away—actually worse, because on a normal day I would not be laboring up a steep hill with a greasy, leaden Hardees breakfast threatening at every moment to come up for air.
-Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods

at the house of bikes
I spent two days off the tour in Portland at Shawn’s house, recouping my energy, resupplying and taking in a bit of the city. The first day I was here it rained most of the day and we spent it indoors doing chores and taking care of business. The next day Shawn had to work so I went downtown and went to some of my usual P-Town haunts: the Deschutes Brewery and Powells World of Books. Afterwards I just rode around downtown a bit and ended up on the waterfront where the Oregon’s Brewers Festival was going on. Well I couldn’t resist that so I bought a few tokens and had sample pours of a variety of PNW brews.


The day concluded with meeting Shawn and some of his crew at the Hopworks Bike Bar for an engaging evening discussion bicycle touring, the outdoors, Portland, beer and myriad other topics. It’s been a few years since I’ve been in Portland and the bicycle culture is all they say it is and more. Really easy to get around from NE Portland where I was staying to downtown and anywhere else. Bicycle lanes, signed routes, bike boxes at tricky intersections, bike racks everywhere (and full too most often) and hundreds of people of all sorts riding everywhere on every kind of bicycle. It’s been a nice visit and a good break and I’m glad I got to see even a tiny slice of this vital city. Many thanks again to Shawn for putting me up and arranging these actives.

down in the city
falling into old routines;
thinking of wildflowers

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