July 9, 2004

7/09/04 Portland OR

54 miles (3052 total)

Kind of overcast this morning, about what we expect on this side of the Cascades. Followed the Columbia River Highway all the way to Troutdale. This road must have been amazing in it's day. It goes by these amazing waterfalls with names like Horsetail, Oneonta, Wahkeena, Bridal Veil and Latourell. But the most impressive was Multnomah Falls. Words fail to describe. And folks have been coming here in droves for a hundred years just to see it.

Multnomah Falls

But for Mike and I, the bikes called and we kept heading west up another switchback road to the Vista House. Unfortunately it was being renovated. So, we headed back down the other side.

Vista House has an incredible view

Kind of went overboard at Lyne's Cafe in Troutdale for breakfast. Made our way into Portland via a bike path that followed the river. But once we started into the city, I quickly realized I didn't know where the hell we were.

Got lost across the Willamette River but Tim at Patagonia headed us in the direction of River City Cycles. Still having trouble with slow leaks in the tires. The guys at the shop were great. And the shop was the best I've seen anywhere in the USA.

River City Cycles in Portland

Finally hooked up with Joe Kumaraskie, author of “Metal Cowboy” and “Riding Outside the Lines.” We met through the internet when I was preparing for my 2001 cross-country ride.

He said if I was ever in Portland, I had a place to stay. He told us to meet him at the Lucky Labrador Bar & Grill.

They told us no problem about bringing the bikes into the bar. The place was empty but we were early. Becka behind the bar had biked here from Memphis a few years ago and never left. She bought us our first round.

The big event here was the nightly viewing of highlights of todays Tour de France. Good thing Joe and his friend Jonathan showed up because the bar filled to standing room only as the program opened.

Joe is one high energy guy. During commercial breaks, we got caught up with his life as an writer and my trip. Otherwise, the crowd was on the edge of it's seats till the end of the two hour show. It was so amazing to see a huge room of every type of person you could imagine just to watch a bicycle race. I could definitely get used to this.

Later we all headed over to 'The Farm', a cafe Joe was reviewing for another article. It was dark by the time we headed for Joe's. His wife and kids were already in bed, and Mike and I were just as tired.