After so many weeks riding bikes the next would be spent taking time off to drink some brews eat good food and have fun with friends. Pretty much the same as whilst riding then just without all that pedal action. The previous evening after arriving and showering up we all went to see Helio Sequence in downtown, Portland natives who me and Eal have both liked for a while.
The first rest day in Portland, we spent most of the day at the St Johns farmers market, first eating from the vendors then helping pack up. Emily had arranged a Saturday evening BBQ with lots of people coming for what was a great night with the game of cornhole, handbuilt by Stefaan, proving to be the main attraction. No other game can boast technical phrases like ‘sliding hole woody’ for point scoring.
I had the bike taken care of by a local shop ready to be picked up Monday, just a middle chain ring needing replaced. We had a great few days spent almost exclusively in the St Johns neighbourhood becoming temporary citizens to the point we couldn’t walk down Lombard without being greeted by a bunch of new friends we had made. Including Kim and Derek owners of The Olive & Vine shop who invited us round their place Sunday evening for dinner after Derek had just being victorious in a dance off at local bingo! I immediately connected with Derek when he told me of the years he had spent studying in York, so close to home! He spent time travelling via rail during his time, so was very familiar with Darlington, Newcastle even Scarborough. The latter he was able to say in the most perfect Teesside accent, “Scarbrah”. So funny.
Whilst in Portland I had booked some train tickets to head north for Seattle so we could spend some time with Flavia, she had just arrived herself! Good job Flavvy! We rode to the Amtrak station which allowed bicycles in the luggage cart for an extra $5. Portland is actually only a days ride from the coast but we are in no hurry to see the Pacific as we will have just under 1000 miles of riding down the coast to San Fransisco after Seattle.
I was beyond excited to see Flavia again, she met us at the station with her super happy face I have missed so much since Whitefish. We rode back to her sisters apartment where we will all be staying. The next few days in Seattle Flavia gave us the guided tour of the city she grew up in, its great to see a city via bicycle. We crammed so much into our few days it would take a while to list everything we did so the pictures can tell their own story. We decided we would take a train down to Kelso and then ride out to the coast from there leaving Seattle.
I found saying goodbye to Flavvy at the train station incredibly difficult not knowing when we will meet again especially as I head to the southern hemisphere in a few short weeks. I had a lump in my throat as the train pulled away, it felt like my heart had been pressed through a mangle, I was overcome this way as I road away from my Mums back in May but I can scarcely think of another situation other than bicycle touring in which you could know somebody for just a few weeks and get so close. She will always be a very special friend and one that I’m grateful to serendipity for throwing my way. Thank you for putting yourself out on Guffy in the middle of nowhere USA Flavia, total adoration. The world needs
riboflavin ryeboflavin so a future meet is not desire its a requirement. Miss you lots like jelly tots.