89.8km out of 939km so far
I took advantage of the motel bed and overslept by a bit. As I hadn’t unpacked all my stuff, I didn’t need that much time to get ready anyway. Made some microwaved breakfast, ate my banana and off I was on the road again. On the way to cross Columbia bridge again, I had a second look at the “campground” my map indicated and verified a motel was the right option.
I crossed Columbia river again via the steel bridge over the industrial area and headed south to Portland, via highway 30. Along the first few kilometers, all I could see by the river was piles of logs and steaming factories processing them at an unimaginable scale. The shoulder of the road around this area was full of wood chips and big pieces of bark from all the passing trucks. Maybe Longview is not exactly a city a tourist would ever visit, but I always find it fascinating to see this parts of our world.
The rest of the ride didn’t have any particular highlights. I was plugged on my audiobook and was riding endlessly. I was surprised that after cycling for 5 days in a row I was still feeling strong and the legs were kept going. I definitely need a day off, but over the past couple of weeks I’ve noticed a substantial increase on my endurance and strength which is a good sign for the next couple of thousands kilometers I have to cover.
Today I also had my first fall. At some point on the road, I saw a smaller path running parallel to the road thinking it may be a cycling route. I was trying to get a better picture over the bushes on my right, when I went slightly off-road and as I tried to come back on route, the front wheel didn’t manage to climb the tarmac which was a bit higher than the gravel. Without much time to react, bike and myself landed on the ground. The fall was more comical than dangerous, as I wasn’t going fast at all. I got up with just a small scratch on the knee. I put the chain and the panniers that popped off back to place and off I went again. The only little casualty was that the left gear shifter loosen up, which I will probable check in Portland. An awakening call to be a little more careful on.
At around 5pm I started approaching the city of Portland. I first went through its industrial area by the train yards and then I caught the road by the river to find the one of many bridges to cross to the east side of the city.
Even though I can comfortably go around my whole trip without a GPS, entering or exiting big cities is always a little problematic, so I had to ask a few people for directions. I’ve been to Portland once before, so minutes later I came across familiar places that helped me orient my self.
I headed to my friend’s flat, where I will be spending the next couple of days to rest and spend some time with them. Lindsay and Gregory are not coming back until tomorrow, but luckily they have another friend over looking after their dog Lola, so I was able to get in.
I had a shower and then we headed out with Veronika to the nearby food cart for dinner. I wanted to meet some other friends as well, but by that time the tiredness and the food coma was kicking in, so I called it a day.