Friday June 15 Ė Astoria, Oregon
††††††††† Up early in Portland, Oregon at the motel near the airport.† I tried again several times to get a connection to my Internet Provider Service so I could post my journal from yesterday.† I was on the phone with Paul back in Ohio but nothing worked to correct the problem Iím having with the modem disconnecting right after it dials.† †Very disappointing Ė but who knows, maybe Iím not suppose to †get all tied up with the technical stuff on a trip such as this. †So Iíll keep trying at each location.† Paul will return next week from a 6 day bike trip he will be doing in Ohio Ė then he can receive my updates by my faxing them and post them on my website.
††††††††† It was a special moment today when 2 girl friends I havenít seen since high school graduation came to the motel to pick me up and drive me to Astoria.† Carol & Carol walked in the lobby and we instantly agreed we havenít changed or aged one iota!† They looked just the same-† I could hardly believe it.† Carol K. has retained a wonderful midwest (North Dakota) accent. Carol R. and Carol K. have such wonderful smiles and good humor.† It was wonderful to see them.
††††††††† On our way out of Portland and the whole 2 hour drive to the costal town of Astoria was a beautiful drive.† So many very tall pine trees everywhere.† A bright golden yellow bush is in bloom now.† I canít remember the name of it.
††††††††† I saw several bikes along the winding rolling highway.† Made me so excited just to see another biker.† I really can hardly wait until tomorrow.
††††††††† Just as soon as I checked into my room, I went to the bike assembly room where boxes of bikes filled the room.† I guess about 10 Ė 12 people were there putting their bikes together.† I immediately checked my box and was so glad FedX took good care and not a hole anywhere.† All was good and secure and the bike was in perfect condition. There were 2 mechanics to help in reassembling the bike if needed.† Each bike had to pass an inspection before we could take it away. I had a little trouble reconnecting the computer sensor on the fork. It wanted to slip down.† But I devised something to hold it in place using a small bit of rubber padding behind it Ė then it stayed put.† Our helmet needed to be inspected for proper fit too. Also we had to attend a special flat tire repair session, if we couldnít demonstrate that we knew how to take off & put back on both the front and back tires.† I knew how to do it so I wasnít required to go through that.
††††††††† It was nearly 8 P.M. before I left the bike assembly room.† By this time my friends were hungry, and I too, for dinner.† We drove down the way to a seafood restaurant and ate overlooking the bay.† The Mighty Columbia River starts here in Astoria.
††††††††† Our hotel overlooks a large marina and we can see the impressive bridge that spans the across the river into the state of Washington.† When we returned to the motel room, we got out the old Wopanian yearbook of 1963 and talked about all the good times we had a Wahpeton high school.† We each remembered different things that one or the other had forgotten about.† We had some chuckles.
††††††††† I am so glad to be here, safe and sound.† Tomorrow is a big day.† Meeting my ďfamilyĒ that Iíll be a part of for the next seven weeks.