Closing the curtains - Looking Back With 2020 Vision, Part I - CycleBlaze

February 10, 2020

Closing the curtains

Going Home

Departing Tucson is an easier affair than usual.  We still have the rental car that we’re returning to the airport, so the logistics are simple.  We arrive at the airport a few hours before departure, ready for lunch.  It’s a small airport, easy to navigate, and has a surprisingly good selection of eateries.  We enjoy an excellent lunch at El Charro, a branch of the same restaurant we ate at in town.  One more thing to like about Tucson.

It’s a short three hour nonstop flight back to PDX.  We arrive feeling fresh and relaxed (which, come to think of it, is another attraction about Tucson - it’s so easy to get to from Portland).  We catch a cab to Bruce and Andrea’s home where our Jetta is patiently waiting for us, its battery freshly charged.  We’re grateful to them for taking such good care of Old Paint in our absence, and especially feel fortunate that they got back to town first and discovered that the battery was stone cold dead and recharged it for us.  Such good friends!

Leaving Tucson.
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This landscape is astonishing: range after snowy range taper off in the distance. This must be in central Nevada somewhere. It makes me want to get out the map and imagine possibilities. We’ve never cycled in this part of the country.
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I’ve never seen Mount Hood from quite this perspective. It’s really a fantastic peak, isn’t it? The high points of the coast range just break through the clouds in the distance - that might be Mary’s Peak out there in the center.
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Ron SuchanekIt's beautiful shrouded in the clouds like that. Every time I fly over it I think, "I've been on top of that!".
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7 months ago
The views on the opposite side of the aisle must be just as dramatic, if I could see them. The passengers in our row finally lean back enough so that I can zoom in to get a quick shot across the plane. To the left, Saint Helens is just appearing behind the wing; and to the right is Mount Adams. I’m surprised this shot came out this clearly.
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Home! Our flight pattern brings us in from the west, above the houseboats lining the Columbia that we often bicycle past.
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So, after five months we’re home again.  We’ll be in town six weeks this time, long enough to reconnect, go up to Seattle for Dad’s birthday (this weekend!), take in the foreign film festival, and wait for spring and the next tour to roll around.  We’re staying in the heart of downtown this time, in a 23rd story condo unit with an amazing view of the city and riverfront.

This morning I’m back at one of my usual haunts, Caffè Umbria, enjoying an almond croissant and coffee as I wake up and catch up on the news.  This one is a new outlet that just opened while we were in Spain, and it’s only two blocks from our new home.  It reminds us immediately of how much we love about Portland.  Nice to be home again, for awhile.

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The view from our home for the next six weeks. Outside of an airplane, I’ve never been this high in Portland before.
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How great is this? While we were out a new coffee shop opened up in town, just two blocks from our new home!
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We’re all in this together

My dream last night: 

Rachael and I are on tour, biking somewhere in northwest Washington - Bellingham probably.  We walk into a bar that doubles as the reception area for tonight’s stay, and Curtis hands me the keys to the room.  We don’t react to each other, but this is the same Curtis that my first wife Carol and I drove back to Indiana to live with 45 years ago, one of the characters in this story I shared earlier in the journal. 

Back in our room, the memory falls into place and I realize I’m certain this is Curtis.  Just then Chris, a man I knew from the office years ago, bicycles past the window arriving at the inn, whistling.  Chris is gay, I remember, as is Curtis.  They’re a couple, I intuit.

I walk back to the bar and order a beer, not introducing myself yet.  I want to see first if Curtis has remembered me as well, after all these years.  He serves me a beer without comment, but his partner at the bar is also a man from my deep past, who asks how I’ve been and if I’m still working.  I tell him our story of how Rachael and I are spending our days now, and we start catching up with each other’s lives.

Curtis hands me a slip for the beer.  I sign my name to it, pass it back across the bar to him, and look up with a smile.  I knew it was you, he says.  Just then Chris walks in, takes off his helmet, gives Curtis a hug, recognizes me, we all start chattering.

I hurry back to the room to bring Rachael to join us, but my interruption annoys her and she cuts me off.  She’s in the middle of matching the sound track to the day’s video and doesn’t want to be disturbed until she figures it out.

Later, we’re seated in the theater and a cabaret singer wearing a dark fedora steps onto the stage from between red velvet curtains.  As he croons to us, occasionally sinking back into the pleats of the curtain and dramatically re-emerging from the shadows, his dark shadow flutters across the curtain behind him in the shape of a raven, its wings outstretched.  We hold hands and sing along with him to a song we all love and hold close to our hearts: My romance doesn’t need a thing but you.

Thank you all again for joining us on this journey.  Your company and participation contribute greatly to our little romance, help us stay enthusiastic, help us feel connected.  And thanks to Jeff for providing this fine stage for us to share our stories on.  $upport the website!  See you down the road after a brief intermission.  Grab a drink, have a cookie, and return to your seats before the next act.

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Ron SuchanekBrilliant and engaging. I can't wait to see what's next.
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7 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Ron SuchanekHAC reunion!
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7 months ago
Ron SuchanekTo Scott AndersonYes! Jeff and Kristen and Juniper should fly in for the occasion.
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7 months ago
Bill ShaneyfeltAwaiting the next act!

As another great actor in the past used to sing at the end his acts "Thanks for the memories!"
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7 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltSpeaking of memories, mine is a poor one. I remember this from my childhood and can hear it in my mind, but couldn’t place the show. I had to look it up. Thanks yourself!
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7 months ago
Jen GrumbyOK .. I gotta know ... Was that dream real, embellished-real, or fiction?

Whichever, what a great story! I felt like you, the dreamer, were 85% in charge of what would happen next.

Can't wait to see you two!

Have a great time at your dad's birthday celebration.

Thanks for another incredible run of inspiring entertainment. Looking forward to the pre-tour posts while you're in Portland!
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7 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyI wish I were creative enough to consciously make this up. It would only come to me in a dream, two nights before departure. I woke up and wrote it down immediately before it faded away, knowing it was one I wanted to remember. It’s interesting all the different themes it stitches together, isn’t it? I think the singer came in because of Adam Driver’s performance in Marriage Story, which we had just seen. I especially liked the raven shadow.
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7 months ago
Suzanne GibsonWhat a privilege to be able to follow you two on your bikes around the world. So thanks and thanks again to you and Rachael for your wonderful documentation.
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7 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Suzanne GibsonThanks again, Suzanne. Great to have had you along with us. One of these times though we’ll have to hit a landscape that you can relate to a bit better. It’s a long ways from Bavaria to Bisbee!
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7 months ago
Bruce LellmanBravo!!

Thank you both for bringing us to places we have never been.

Encore!!
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7 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanHow about a celebration dinner at Malka? It’s a place none of us have ever been before.
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7 months ago
Bruce LellmanTo Scott AndersonYes, this will be fun. I've been dying to go to this great new restaurant, Malka, in Portland and all the more fun to go with you two and to celebrate completion of both our long bike trips.
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7 months ago
Bob DistelbergThanks for the great writing. Can't wait for your next adventure to start. Don't keep us in suspense too long!
Bob
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7 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bob DistelbergThanks so much for following along, Bob. I suspect we’ll know sooner than later. I’m a notorious blabbermouth.
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7 months ago
Patrick O'HaraCongratulations Team Anderson. For five months, your journal has been on of the highlights of my daily bedtime reading. Enjoy your time at home. Let us know when you will be up our way in July. You may have an empty condo to stay at if we go away this year!
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7 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Patrick O'HaraIf you go away this year? Of course you’re going away this year, silly!
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7 months ago