While the above title is most certainly the opposite of how we view pedaling, it is fitting for the last week.
Total miles 842
We didn’t ride over the last 4 days, but instead took in Portland and the Hospitality of the Eddy’s. Their daughter, Sarah, was captain of the ski team with me at Colgate, and her and her parents hosted us in from Wednesday to Sunday morning.
I enjoyed Portland, it’s a nice city, but I also understand why the phrase “Keep Portland Weird” exist. We explored the city a decent amount. Ryan and Erik got massages one day and I got a haircut and a hot shave. We got a day of climbing in and we went out to eat with our hosts, Tim and Joyce, a couple times. W grilled by their pool once and pretty much relaxed a lot. oh yeah we went to a lot of breweries... A lot.
Tim is an avid cyclist and worked with Ryan on planning our route from Portland to Seattle. They were great company and remarkable host. Their house was the perfect place to watch the sunset and to take in a view of hundreds, if not thousands, of firework displays over Portland and into Washington, including a view of Mt. Saint Helens. We slept on their roof top terrace under the stars every night.
As the days progressed unfortunately I started to develop a rash. By the time we left Sunday morning, I had been applying over the counter remedies religiously in hopes it would clear up and bought new bike shorts hoping they would help make the upcomming ride more comfortable.
LEAVING PORTLAN AND ENTERING WASHINGTON
Total miles 892
Tim took us out by the Columbia River Gorge Sunday morning and by the waterfalls before getting picked up 45 miles into the trip to make sure he could see his youngest daughter, Olivia, off to the airport as she headed back to NYC. It was an incredible ride and so nice to not have to think about directions as Tim lead the pack, often being extremely patient as we lugged behind on our much heavier riggs.
After Tim left we had about 7 more miles to Cascade Locks and the Bridge of the Gods. I left early to scope it out while Erik and Ryan worked on Ryan’s chain that seemed to have mysteriously broken. This is why we have spare parts.
I got to cascade locks, checked out the local grocery and picked up a different rash medication, at this point I was in severe discomfort and was having trouble walking without looking like a total penguin. Ryan and Erik showed up and met me at the local brewery where we met four other lads doing their own long tour. We had some beers and watched the USWNT wreak havoc on Japan in the opening 16 minutes of the world cup final… Awesome. It’s been so hot that we made sure to get most of the ride in before noon, and then waited until after 7 to finish.
We packed up from the brewery, headed to get supplies for the next 2 ½ days for the ride to Seattle, as it would be fairly remote the whole way. At the store, after purchasing supplies, Erik and Ryan convinced me to stay the night and get a car ride to Seattle. Tim had tried this earlier in the day but my stubbornness was in full effect. At this juncture though, my rational since out powered my fear of missing out, and I agreed it was the best play given my worsening condition. Sarah was headed to Seattle the next day and graciously agreed to pick me up, a good 80 miles out of her way if you count the out and back, and get me to Seattle so I could go to urgent care.
I stayed at the Best Western in Cascade Locks that night but not before heading out over The Bridge of the Gods and getting our group photo in front of the Welcome to Washington sign. I tried the new over the counter drug I picked up and woke up definitely feeling better but still in fairly rough shape.
I got into urgent care at a Zoom + facility the next morning after crashing with a very nice Warm Showers host, but not before I got to have dinner with my good friend, Jamie, and her family. I am getting spoiled with all this hosting.
I was in and out of Zoom + Care in 15 minutes with a diagnosis. These places are awesome and most certainly something that would be great in upstate. The short of it is I have a staph infection and a fungal infection. Antibiotics for a week for the staph and a higher strength drug for the fungal for two weeks. It sucks but its helping me come to terms with missing close to three days of riding... But I’m antsy.
As good as it has been to catch up on work, it’s not what I envisioned, but when is life what you envision?
If Kelly taught me anything is that you play the cards you are dealt and be stoked you have a deck to play with in the first place. Part of this adventure was always going to be the downs with the ups. This is certainly a down, but it’s still part of an incredible journey, it’s still part of making this story. The antibiotics make you feel like crap at times, I can see why Kelly hated it when she had to take them for C.DIFF. Then again, throw chemo in there along with everything else and It’s a constant reminder to me why she will also be remembered by “though she be but little, she is fierce”.
Miss you Muppet.