Get Bent
Coast to coast by recumbent bicycle

Portland OR to The Dalles OR

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Columbia River

Expenses($ US)

Left Phil & Sharon's just as I was getting used to being around the kids. Rode the 40 mile loop from their house to the end then north on 257th street to Interstate 84 in Troutdale. The shoulder on the freeway is nearly wide enough to be used as another lane. At something around 10 foot wide it's the perfect bicycle lane. I saw one cyclist heading the other direction, otherwise I am the only one on the road. There are a few bad spots where it narrows down, usually on overpasses. On one overpass a double-bottom tanker truck refuses to give me any space. The wake knocks me for a loop, but I regain control fast enough.


Traffic is moderate, mostly trucks. A few too many wide loads for my taste. There must be a prefab housing factory around somewhere. Saw quite a few housing modules barreling down the interstate. They are wider than the lane, but when they see me they move over. Their rearview mirrors are mounted at the end of a long pole and it's quite unnerving to have this thing whiz over your head. There was also a short tunnel. It was on a downhill section so I was able to crank it up to about 25 mph and race through it before the trucks could terrorize me. Made it to The Dalles before 3:00 PM. The wind reversed direction somewhere east of Portland from a headwind to a tailwind. The Interstate follows the Columbia River so there are no great altitude changes. I pass through the Cascades without blowing out my legs climbing hills.

In The Dalles I ask about lodging down the road. Even though they're small towns they all have motels in them. The person at the Chamber of Commerce calls them "truck stop towns". Ate at Burgerville, but for some stupid reason I had the fish and chips. The sign on the Interstate reads "Next Burgerville, 27,999 Miles". The implication is that there's only one Burgerville and to get to it by driving in this direction you'd have to drive around the circumference of the earth. Someone ought to tell them they've got their figures wrong. The circumference of the earth is closer to 24,000 miles. Their distance would take you around the earth once and across North America. Maybe the next Burgerville is in Newfoundland.

The motel still has hardwired phones so I can't plug in the computer. I will mail out the first few days of this journal tomorrow.

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