"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Saturday, July 5, 2008

7/5/08: Portland, OR

What a boner of a day! That's what happens when you get to bed at 4:30, eh?

Dave took his daughter to have lunch and catch a train to Olympia, while I stayed behind and continued to update this, and seek out possible ways to earn some money while I'm here, to no avail so far. I also decided that tonight's my last night at Dave's place at the marina. I've thoroughly enjoyed it, but am trying very hard to leave too soon rather than too late thereby learning some lessons from the experiences with Florian & Eric!

The entire day was spent on the deck typing, nursing the mild hangover & fatigue. I really needed the Internet time though! This thing takes a lot of time to update!

I've been trying to connect with another Couchsurfer here in Portland to possibly stay another day or two to further explore employment, but that doesn't seem to be likely, so as things stand now, I'm strapping on the pack tomorrow around midday, hitting up REI for Clif Bars, a grocery store for peanut butter, honey, tortillas, and Raman, then going to Border's or another bookstore to get a journal insert then heading down the road.

I'm not 100% sure which way exactly. Probably Hwy 14 in Washington though. That goes thru the Columbia Gorge area and will give me time to decide where I'm headed, which as always now will depend on money. I should be able to sustain myself for another 2-3 weeks as is, but to go beyond that I have to earn in the neighborhood of $250-$300 to get back on track. Thanks landlords. I'll spare you the rant!

Some of the ideas so far, if I can figure it all out: Michigan, Maine, Nova Scotia; all on the way of each other. There's US 2, which goes across the entire northern tier of states into the upper peninsula of Michigan straight to the Mackinac Bridge. Then there's always I-84, I-80, I-90, and I-94. I'll probably avoid all of these though in favor of state and US highways so I have the option of walking rather than depending on rides exclusively.

I feel a bit unprepared for this leg of the trip. I've had Oregon, and Portland as a goal since I got off the train in Santa Barbara and now I'm experiencing a bit of the indecisiveness that plagued me in Wyoming and Colorado. If you have suggestions, post a comment!

Portland is a great city, and I believe I would enjoy spending a lot more time here. I love Oregon in general, probably more so than any other state I've visited so far. The people are so damn authentic, and the state has an old-school feel to it. Almost like I remember things being when I was a kid. They appear to shun the plastic facades of many of places, including Santa Fe and almost all of California, in favor of an aura of authenticity. That really appeals to me of course, as does the raw beauty of the place.

Hwy 1 and the 101 are must sees. If you've ever thought about that trip and wondered if it was worth it, wonder no more. These roads remind me a bit of a modern day Route 66 with better scenery! It's very rare that reality exceed my expectations, and so far every leg of this trip up the west coast has done that.

My expectations for EAST of here however are MUCH lower! I still have a bad taste in my mouth from Wyoming, and see it staring me right in the face again. Either that or Montana. At least if I end up in Rawlins again, I'll know where NOT to camp!

Maybe I'll call Cesar tomorrow and see where he is!

Check back over the next few days, if you've read this whole thing you know that these are the times where the script tends to be abandoned in favor of improv!