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TRIP 2008

Update #13 - June 03rd
Portland, Oregon
3673 miles (5877 KM)



This is the eighth update from the road. It has been a little over two weeks since I've been able to post an update. I'm not sure when the next time will be. I'm just lucky today that there was a way for me to use the laptop and also to have wifi access.

Back on April 20th while I was spending a day off the road at the First United Methodist Church in Columbus, Nebraska, the liquid crystal display of my laptop got accidentally broken. It was a freak accident and I'm still not sure how I will get it repaired. I was staying in one of the youth classrooms on the second floor and I was synching up my Ipod and charging the battery. I thought that the laptop would be safe while I went down to the kitchen in the basement to help the youth group cook a meal that they were going to take to the local homeless shelter. I didn't know that there were going to be two little kids under four years old coming along to the church. I thought that they were going to be supervised but for a while they had free-range of the church and their loud voices were heard throughout the halls of the church.

The Fujitsu Life book laptop has a touch-screen and a stylus can be used instead of the mouse. When I got back to the classroom, I found the stylus out of it's slot and there was a big gash in the display. It looked like there were two large wet spots in the display and black holes instead of color and text. I estimated that I had lost a quarter screen usage. By the time that I had gotten downstairs to the kitchen, everybody had left so I wasn't able to tell anybody what had happened and if something could have been done about it right then. For a couple of days after the accident, the screen seemed to work even though the holes moved around but then the back-lighting of the screen finally gave out too.

Nothing really has changed with the status of the laptop. It still hasn't been repaired or replaced. I'm not too sure when this might happen or if it will happen this trip. I've only been able to use the laptop a couple of times since the screen was broken and I've only been able to do so when I've been able to plug in another monitor. I've just been able to keep my trip spreadsheets updated using the laptop and also to occasionally plug it in to charge up my Ipod.

The ride across Idaho went okay. I basically rode along the shoulder of the interstate. The ride went well. I got to stay with some friends who I haven't seen in nine years in Jerome, Idaho and I made some new friends along the way that I hope to maintain. It was just good to get lower and lower in elevation.

When I got into Oregon, I decided to change my route again. I had originally planned to ride along US 20/26 through Juntera, Burns, Bend, and Sisters, on the way to Portland. This would have been through upper desert but there would have been infrequent places where I would be able to replenish my water supply. I had actually ridden this way about nine years earlier going eastward and I remember that it wasn't an enjoyable ride.

Instead, I opted to follow the interstate through NW Oregon and then ride through the Columbia River Gorge and then on to Portland. I rode through the Gorge about 11 years ago heading eastward. The ride along the interstate went okay. I climbed up to 4,400 feet above sea level but dropped almost 3,000 feet in elevation when I crossed the Blues Mountains and coasted down into Pendleton. I followed the route of the Oregon Trail to The Dalles and then I followed sections of the Lewis and Clark Trail. The ride through the Columbia River Gorge took about three days and it was really pretty. I wished that I had a camera to take some pictures.

I got into Portland this afternoon. This is where this adventure started 15 years ago. From Portland, I'll have one more day of riding here in Oregon before I cross the Columbia River into Washington state. My tentative plan up to Seattle would be through Centralia, Chehalis, Olympia, and possibly Tacoma. What is so unique about the trip now is that even with all of the days off the road I'm two days ahead of my planned schedule. I was planning to arrive here in Portland on Thursday, June 05th. This should have me in Seattle, Washington by June 10th. To celebrate my 52nd birthday, I'd like to be in Leavenworth, Washington, which is a Bavarian-styled village in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains on June 15th.

I'm hoping to find some way that I could post another update around the middle of this month.




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