Well, take a look at the place! Quite different from the campground I thought I was going to spend the night.
A hot shower and a fireplace brought some life back to this body. I gave myself time to rest and rebuild strength. I was able to wash and dry my clothes. I was able to clean the bike (I never saw it this dirty!) and lube the chain. I got organized again. I even cooked my own dinner! Stopping here was the right decision.
Time to sleep now, and the bed is comfy. Good night! Let’s see what the future reserves for me tomorrow.
Imagine a rainy, foggy, windy and cold day. Now imagine it again, but ten times worse than before. That’s the second day of my journey.
The daily rainfall today broke a 110 year standing record! Can you believe it? I really chose my dates well!
There was so much water around me that I thought, “If we could use this water, just what is raining down today, and redirect it to places that need it, there wouldn’t be a single desert left on the face of the Earth.”
It is easy to understand why Oregon’s vegetation is so exuberant. Water! Unlimited amounts of water!
Well, high pressure here, low pressure there, and here I am with 40 – 45 mile per hour headwind gusts climbing these never-ending hills. My average speed must be 3 to 4 miles per hour. The wind is blowing so hard that I have to dismount and walk the bike. Safety first!
Temperature is 10 degrees below average, and I am soaking wet. I am constantly wiping off the raindrops from my glasses. I am happy with the helmet cover; it works well. I am also happy that I am carrying a waterproof camera; a normal camera wouldn’t make it. I deeply regret I did not put my shoe covers on; my socks, my shoes, my feet, wet, wet, wet!
I am shivering and I need to raise my body temperature fast, before hypothermia kicks in. Time to make a decision. I am at the beginning of my journey and I should not get sick. I am doing this to enjoy and have fun. I am far from where I planned to be but I’m gonna stop anyway. I am calling it a day and check in the first hotel I come by.
Mid-morning. Packed and ready to go. I invited everyone to share some moments of silence together. We closed our eyes, took a few deep breaths, and touched that place inside each one of us where the eternal wisdom resides. We, then, took turns to say what we are grateful for.
I am grateful for Lottie, Tim, Laurel, Jameson and Greg.
Jameson and Laurel have some ground to cover, and I can’t match the strength and energy of their youth. I wished them well and off they went. Not sure if our paths will ever cross again, but it doesn’t matter. It was superb while it lasted, and the memories will live on.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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: