We got up pretty late again after enjoying the evening of solitude away from people; especially kids! We took out time tearing down the campsite then headed toward Munson Creek Waterfalls... off the 101 toward Tillamook from Beaver.
I had 3 messages from Laina about a voice mail I'd left the day before giving her the impression that something was wrong, when in reality I was just pissed at my inability to follow a budget! I had lost my shitty Sprint cell- signal the night before and had no way of contacting her, so when I did we had a bit of a good natured "you asshole!" laugh. She had done that to me during my time as a carnie in Louisiana back in March. We started discussing possible options regarding the terminus of the journey due to fiscal ineptitude on your protagonist's part. IOW: I'm shitty with money.
I decided to get to Portland, meet my Couchsurfing host, and explore the possibility of getting temp- work while I was there, then discussing it with her later on.
Eric, Marine and I got to the waterfall and enjoyed that alot. It was much bigger than I thought it would be, and the hike getting there was nice.
From there we drove into Tillamook, home of my favorite cheese, and stopped at the library again to check emails and so they could send off CS requests for Seattle. Then it was down Hwy. 6 to Portland.
It occurred to me that I was finally leaving 101/ Hwy. 1 for the first time in nearly 3 weeks. I was also leaving my constant companion, the Pacific Ocean, too. There was a slight twinge of nostalgia because I'd enjoyed that immensely. Yet, I was also ready to see some other things. Oregon is more than just the coast, and that was being drilled home the further east we went thru the Coast Range. Simply awesome. I love this state!
As we approached Portland, I guided Eric to my drop off point and began to gather my things. I'd been in their car for almost a full week, and had been ready to move on for a few days! I'm sure, though they said nothing, that they felt the same! I quickly gathered my stuff from the trunk, shook hands and hugged , and proceeded toward Dave's place. The houseboat! I told myself...
After a quick 1/2 mile walk down the road w/ my now featherlight pack, I found the marina, and began to seek out Dave. I was 45 minutes early, so I hoped it wouldn't cause any problems. Dave saw me wandering around and came out to greet me. He was pretty terse at first, probably annoyed that I had gotten there early and that he was still working. He guided me over to his place, which was NOT a houseboat, but a small one bedroom house built on the deck of the marina. He let me chill out there for 20 minutes or so- smoking and relaxing; glad to finally be in Portland.
Dave was much happier when he got back. He directed me to a much needed shower and laundry- session, then we sat and got to know each other a bit. He and I have VERY similar views on MANY things. He's a musician, so we talked about the uselessness of radio and the future of things, both artistically and socially. We then hopped in his van and headed downtown. There's a blues festival here this weekend, but finding parking was next to impossible so instead we went to Voodoo Donuts then to a little bar that had the Tigers-Mariners game on! Tigers won.
From there it was across the river to the east side of Portland, starting with the Mississippi District. MUCH better! Reminded me of the best parts of Denver, but better. Everything was open- music flowing thru the streets. It was nothing like LoDo... much more 'texture' to it. I really enjoyed that!
We got home about midnight, and though he offered me his couch I chose to sleep on a mattress he has on his covered porch. Slept like a rock... I like sleeping outside these days!
Oregon... ROCKS! I love it here! The people seem so damn genuine... much more so than California... and there's no sales tax either, on top of the fact that stuff's cheaper to begin with. The terrain is devastatingly beautiful too.... more on that, including pictures, when I get some time.
I'll be in Portland for at least a couple days; maybe longer. I've found a place to Couchsurf until Sunday, then may have another surfer to stay with after that... we'll see. It was ALOT easier to find hosts here, and my French friends, who happen to ALSO be Couchsurfers, found it the same. No luck in SF for them either but no problem here.