Wish You Were Here

Day 2

Well, it rained all night long, nonstop.

I woke up and headed inside the house.

Greg, Laurel’s father, was asleep on the living room couch. I met Greg at the Grocery Store in Cannon Beach the day before. He drove Laurel and Jameson to Astoria and he is driving around doing some sightseeing while they bike. He doesn’t have a plan, so for now he is doing his touring until he decides to head back home.

Greg

Tim was in the kitchen. The morning silence invited us to sit down and share. I told Tim a little bit about my life and he shared a little bit of his life with me. What an amazing and inspiring journey! He left early to go to work. He told me that it takes him 5 minutes walking to get there. I told him, once again, how much I appreciated his hospitality. He left with a smile on his face.

Greg woke up. Laurel, Jameson, and Lottie joined us.

Hugging the world

Greg cooked  a delicious breakfast while Jameson played the guitar and we sang Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.” It brought me good memories of my two sons, Pedro and Mateus, and the times we jammed together.

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell, blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What’ve we found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

www.pierofalci.com

An Evening of Kindness and Generosity

Day 1

There’s a lot to be said about those who have the kindness to open up their homes to strangers. These are really special human beings!

Lottie and Team

Lottie and Tim invited us over to their house to make our journey a little bit more comfortable. There is a lot of kind and generous people in this world.

Lottie's yard

We pitched our tents on their yard.

They showed warm hospitality with a cup of tea and freshly baked cookies. They invited us to use their bathroom and take a warm shower. They allowed us to cook dinner in their kitchen. They introduced us to their dogs and cats. Tim built a bonfire in the backyard to warm us up.

They let us in. Nothing fake. Nothing to hide. Pure simplicity and authenticity.

Lottie shared a little bit of her story and some tears came to her eyes. I felt honored that she allowed me to be there in such a special moment of her life. I thanked her for creating a special moment in my life.

I shared with her the story of my boat. The boat that was useful to cross the river became a burden once I got to the other side. I carried it for a long time but the moment came when I could not carry it any longer; it became too heavy. Once I realized that it had served its purpose, and that there wasn’t a good reason to carry it, I left it behind.

“You know, Lottie, I chose not to tell the story of my wounds any longer. It may have been useful for me for a while, but a time came when I had to let it go; I released it, and it released me. I chose then to tell a different story, a story of blessings and gratitude. I learned that we all can rewrite our scripts… at anytime.”

Jameson prepared a healthy dinner with fajitas, rice, beans and vegetables.

Le Grand Chef

I am going to my tent now. I am going to dream about the gifts that I have received. This was fantastic kick-off for my adventure. How lucky I am to be the recipient of so much kindness and generosity.

www.pierofalci.com

 

 

I Own My Decisions

Jameson told me, “I am trying to own my decisions. Once I make a decision, I live with its consequences. If something goes wrong, I don’t complain. I know it was my decision.”

“We have to be mindful,” he went on. “We have to remember that we have to stop and think. We have to stop, ponder the alternatives, and decide. We have to be mindful.”

Owning our decisions - Seaside, Oregon

Laurel and Jameson have decide to cross the country, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, on their bicycles. They are raising money for Bikes Without Borders. I am going to learn more about this charity when I have a chance. Here’s the address of their website:

www.meanderingmatch.com

Good people... You can tell by the smiles

Please, check their website, and send them words of encouragement. They are adorable human beings and they were a special treat for me on the first day of my journey.

 

www.pierofalci.com

 

I Found Ringo

Day 1

Ringo is hiding from fans and media in the Oregon Coast.

I found him.

Ringo's Peace

He is living a simple life these days, planting his vegetable garden, taking care of his dogs, patching old jeans pants, and playing croquet on the course he created on his lawn.

He smiles a lot.

He played a John’s tune on the keyboards, and we sang with joy, “I am He, As You are He, As You are Me, And We are all together…”

I am He

Ringo is a kind soul, and I connected with him. I feel that truly we are all together.

“I am the Egg Man, You are the Egg Man, I am the Walrus, Goo Goo Gadjoob…”

God bless him!

www.pierofalci.com

 

(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher

Day 1

This song has been in my head.

I keep singing it while I am biking.

It makes me feel good and brings a smile to my face.

I also sang it in the parking lot of the Cannon Beach grocery store and and many folks, including a singing dog, sang it along with me.

The Singing Dog

 

“(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” is a R&B song originally performed by Jackie Wilson in 1967. Check it out on YouTube.

Your love, lifting me higher
Than I’ve ever been lifted before
So keep it it up
Quench my desire
And I’ll be at your side, forever more

You know your love keeps lifting me
Higher
Higher and higher
I said your love keeps lifting me
Higher and higher

 

www.pierofalci.com

 

Day 1- Riding from Astoria to Cannon Beach

I took off at noon time. The adventure begins! Left one empty duffel bag with Pat at the bike shop and the other one with The Girl That Never Sleeps at the check-in desk to the Best Western Hotel where I spent the night. They were happily surprised. There’s no way I could I carry the bags. I have 48 lbs. of stuff plus 42 lbs. of the bike itself.

Started following the map… not this easy! I guess a GPS or an Iphone would have made things easier but I have chosen to keep a low budget and go low tech… a map it is,  a gift from Steve, the Mentor of Monsters, my mentor. The truth is that I didn’t have the money for the Iphone… quite expensive, but I guess it’s inescapable in everyone’s future.

On the Lewis & Clarke Road I met Jameson and Laurel, or they met me, not sure. We became best buddies immediately, I guess this is what bike touring does. They also are starting their journey today, but theirs is a lot longer. They are crossing the country from Astoria to Yorktown, VA. They where in South Korea teaching English for one year, then they did some bike touring in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, came back to the US, and 30 days later here they are starting a new journey. I guess the bike touring bug really exists. I will be telling more about them in the future. Lovely human beings!

Laurel and Jemeson
Joining the explorers!

They were very kind with me, waiting for this old and out-of-shape guy. They moved faster but stopped so I could join them. I asked Jameson, “How come you go so fast uphill, and I take so long?” “Five months of bike touring in Southeast Asia!” he replied with a big smile.

We were in Seaside when Laurel said, “I wish I could have some clam chowder.” Three minutes later we were parking our bikes in front of Tsunami where they have the best clam chowder in the entire world (it is a well-known fact!)

Clam Chowder in Sourdough Bread Bowls
I sang "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" to Valerie. I told her that I loved her. "I love those who feed me with warm food when I am hungry and cold." She laughed!

After that we had to face the hills… ah, the hills!

Torment for those going uphill, but always followed by joy and freedom in the downhill. I guess that everyone has to pay a price for pleasure.

We got to Cannon Beach and decided to call it a day. Enough of biking in the rain. We were looking for a place to stay, so I asked a lady in the parking lot of the grocery store where we stopped to get some groceries if she knew of a campground. She told us about one she knew and then she left.

Meanwhile, I got a few people to join me in singing together “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me, Higher and Higher!” Everybody now! It was a joyful moment.

We called the campground but it was closed and would only open in two weeks. While we were debating what to do, the lady came back with her husband and invited us to stay at their place. They said we could pitch our tents in their backyard. Nice people. Kindness exists! Let’s go!

www.pierofalci.com

Day 1 – Morning in Astoria

A nice little town, full of kind people. Everyone I met was kind with me. Two movies where filmed here “Goonies” (it was filmed more than 25 years ago, and when I go back home I am going to rent and watch it again!) and “Kindergarten Cop.”

The most beautiful little house in Astoria

I woke up and went for some sightseeing. The bike shop would only be open at 10 A.M. so I had time to spare. I went up to the Astoria Column, as Bob had told me to do. Great suggestion!

 

Astoria Column

When I was about to start climbing the 150+ stairs to get to the top, my friend John called me. He loves nature. He calls me every now and then to describe the sky, the clouds, the sun, the birds, the lizards, and how he is in awe. So, I returned the favor: “John I am on the top of a hill and I am looking at the Columbia river. I see hills and mountains covered with pine trees. I see birds flying. There’s water to my left, to my right, and in front of me. Life is good!”

Columbia River

I went to the bike shop and met Scott and Pat. Great guys! My bike was ready and I took it for a test ride. I went to the Riverwalk, and it was a bad idea. The Riverwalk, or at least the section I was in, was made of wood boards. My front wheel got caught on a rail and I went down. Nothing major. Lost some skin in my left knee and hit the palm of my left hand kind of hard; the pain has been uncomfortable, but nor unbearable. Stood up, and on my way back to the bike shop I met two touring bikers, a couple from Germany, who were looking for the bike shop and I said with confidence (that was a little bruised after I went down), “Follow me!” Got to the bike shop and told Scott, “Two good news: I brought you two new customers, and I fell down.” “How this can be good news?” Pat asked. “Well, if I had to fall down during this trip, no better time to do it than when I am riding slowly, on the first day, actually in the first minutes.”  

Bikes and Beyond, Astoria - The Good Guys: Pat and Scott

They rechecked the bike. Everything was fine and I was ready to go! I am heading to the hotel now. I plan to start biking at noon time.

Wish me luck!

 

www.pierofalci.com

 

The Mystic Mystery

Not a lot of space… they really cram all the people they can inside airplanes these days… and people are not getting any thinner. Well, here I am confined in this amazing metal tube, looking through the window at the snow covered mountains down there, and dreaming with open spaces. I guess I will have plenty of that soon.

From the Atlantic Shores to the Pacific Coast

A song from Tim Maia, the Brazilian singer, comes to my mind… “Na vida a gente tem que procurar, Pelo menos viajar, Razao para viver.” (In this life we must seek, At least travel, Reason for living.) Alrigth, Tim!

I read in the in-flight magazine an interview with John Lithgow, the actor, a Harvard graduate who in the commencement speech gave the following advice, “Four rules to live by: be creative, be useful, be practical and be generous.” Amen to that! Alright John!

Yes, I am going to see beautiful new sights, but I know that what I see outside takes me to the inside. This trip is another opportunity, a good one for sure, to examine my own life and Life in general.

The mystic mystery persists, “What brought me here? Why am I doing this? How much of this is of my own making?”

 

www.pierofalci.com

 

Standing at the Edge

“Where we had thought to travel outward, we should come to the center of our own existence… Where we had thought to be alone, we should be with all the world…” I heard these words from Joseph Campbell speaking about The Adventure and the Hero’s Journey in “The Power of Myth.”

I aspire this trip will give me the strenght to undergo another major and marked creative transformation. The old must die so the new may be born.

I had a choice: to say “Yes” or to say “No.” I could have chosen to said “No” to the Inner Voice. I have chosen to say “Yes.” I have decided to say “Yes” to Life and embrace The Adventure.

I am not sure if I am prepared, but how can I know without trying? I believe no one is fully and completely prepared for anything. I am standing at the edge and I have decided to jump into it. Ready or not, here I go!

Smiling in DFW

www.pierofalci.com

Wet Portland

Day 0 was fine in Portland was fine. Lots of rain, but enjoyable.

I landed in Portland and got good advice from Sarah at the Airport. She told me where to go and how to get there. I purchased a All Day Pass for their public transportation system and started exploring.

Oregon Airport with Sarah

It caught my attention that they are bike friendly. This is the first airport I remember seing a Bike Assembly Area.

My first stop was at the Greyhound Station where I left my bags in the locker. Then I went walking around. First stop Patagonia. Second stop The Laughing Planet Cafe where I ate rice, beans and steamed vegetables… Healthy! And by the way, while I was there guess what music was playing ? Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher and Higher! I instantly said to myself, “This is good omen! This is going to be a good trip!” For those of you who don’t know, This is the song I have been singing while pedaling. What a nice coincidence!

Then I went to REI and I bought the face mask I need to protect me from the cold.

I went to one of the largest bookstores I have ever been in my life. I guess the name is Powell’s Books. And then I went to the Japanese Gardens but never made it because it started pouring. Lots os rain. Overall, nice city with friendly people. Everyone I approached was nice to me.

I then made it to the Train Station and caught a bus to Astoria. Actually the Greyhound and the Amtrak stations are side-by-side. I thought I had a Greyhound ticket when in fact I had a Amtrak bus ticket… go figure! Anyway, a nice guy even gave me $1 because I didn’t have the right change for the locker which only accepts cash and does not gives you change back. So be ready with change. You never know when you might need it.

Amtrak station in PortlandInside the train station - Portland

Checked into the Best Western for a good night of sleep.

Ready for Day 1!

www.pierofalci.com