Moving on - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

July 1, 2020

Moving on

With a long drive ahead, we make an early start of it.  It’s too long to drive straight through, so we plan a pair of stops.  First off, we have a few errands to run in Portland.  We swing by our storage unit to drop off a load of crap there so we’ll be lighter on our feet next month when we work our way back to Portland through a few shorter hops along the coast.  Next, we stop by Elizabeth’s to collect a virtual hug and pick up the mail.

Elizabeth, the bearer of good tidings.
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Then, we stop by our bank to make a deposit of this important document that arrived in the mail late last week:

They kept their word! And they didn’t even withhold a service fee. What a swell organization.
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Jen Grumby Capital One Cares!!
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyThey sure do! I think I’ll contact their public relations department and offer up this story as a testimonial.
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1 month ago
Ron SuchanekI'm wiping a tear of joy as I celebrate my renewed faith on Corporate America.

(I'm glad you got your money!)
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1 month ago

Our ship came in!  And well before when Hell Freezes Over (Sorry, Grampies - I knew you had your hearts set on the big prize).  The lucky winners: Bruce Lellman, for his optimistic but surprisingly on target guess of July 8th - only one week off!  Ana a close second, Jen Grumby for her vote for July 11th.  Since we know both of these folks IRL and have hopes of actually seeing them in person some day sooner than later, and since their guesses were so close together, we’re awarding them and their partners a joint prize: we’ll underwrite the next HAC gathering, and supply pizza from the joint of their choice (hopefully Scotty’s Pizza Parlor, if they haven’t gone under by then).

Yes, I know there’s an element of unfairness in all this.  The two families conspired to accelerate the timeline by arranging to hand deliver my Social Security Card a few weeks ago in the Secret Document Xfer Scheme.  Without their creative but self-serving intervention we probably wouldn’t have been able to deposit our check until late next month when we return to Portland, and we’d have seen two different winners: Bob Distelberg and Patrick O’Hara.  We’re of course grateful for the help and to have our $,$$$ back sooner, but it does reek just a bit.  Patrick and Bob, in the interest of fairness we’ll be more than happy to buy you a beer and pizza too if we ever meet up in person.  Hopefully someday!

Five hours later, after a lunch stop in Nisqually and a long difficult drive featuring an intermittent blinding downpour, we arrived in Bellingham.  We’re staying in a very pleasant older home that feels very Bellingham (remember, I lived here for two years long ago so I know the feel) and has a lot of flair.  It should be an excellent month, if we don’t get sick.  And who knows?  Maybe by the time we leave here Trump will have the virus well under control and Greece will open their borders to us.  

We’re not holding our breaths on it though.  It looks like we’ll be staying stateside for the rest of the year, and we may not even have that many states to choose from either from the looks of things.  And, so Jen can finally get off the edge of her seat where she’s been perched in anticipation, we passed on buying tickets to Greece at this time.

Our home for the next month. A cut above your average motel room, don’t you think?
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Jen GrumbyNice! And looks spacious, too.
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1 month ago
A stylish place, but we’ll like it better when we figure out how to turn on the heater.
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Finally, a few last words about our stay in Corvallis before we open a new chapter.  After a month, we were ready to move on - but mostly from our lodging, which for no specific reason we weren’t that enthusiastic about.    We found Corvallis itself to be a terrific cycling base though, with a rich selection of rides and hikes available starting right outside the door.  The scenery isn’t as dramatic as John Day or as seductive as the Palouse, but it’s probably the most versatile.  You can take off in four or five directions from town, and it feels like it would be a long time before you got tired of pedaling the same old road again.  

And it has a quite agreeable atmosphere, with a bit of culture, a reasonable selection of eateries, and the sort of young, liberal feeling the you’d expect in a college town like this.  If we ever decided that Portland was too big for us, Corvallis is a place I can imagine putting down roots.  If we decide to put down roots again, that is.

In case you come this way yourself and want some ideas to get started with, here’s our collection of Corvallis rides.

Spoiled for choice down here. You might give it a try.
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Comment on this entry Comment 24
Steve Miller/GrampiesWe demand a recount. Or at least independent verification. Without a current weather report from Hell there is no proof that it is not frozen over!
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesFair point, but the Awards Committee has moved on to other important matters, starting with finding a beer. If you can provide the missing documentation though, there is always the possibility that it will be considered. Good luck!
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1 month ago
Jacquie GaudetBe glad you were driving in the rain and not riding! I was, because the 30% chance of showers was forecast to end in the morning. It didn't. And, as you no doubt noticed, because Bellingham isn't all that far from here, it's cold today.
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1 month ago
Bruce LellmanMy father was always offering up little contests for our family members. His prizes always were usually were such things as: a Susan B. Anthony dollar or a Bicentennial quarter or a penny with wheat on the backside. The contests were always a great deal of fun that brought the family together via email with little emphasis on the reward for winning.
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1 month ago
Patrick O'HaraHey Scott. Thanks for the mention in the "runner up" category. Regardless of how the refund transpired, I am glad that you now have your refund. If the borders were open, I'd ride down to Bellingham for a visit! If you are riding up around 0 avenue by the border, let me know. We could have a border visit, like so many Canadians and Americans are doing. Separated by a meager drainage ditch! Thanks again for keeping another journal of your adventures.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jacquie GaudetYou were out yesterday? Yuk. We commented several times on the ride up about how nice it was to have it rain on a travel day.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Patrick O'HaraHey, let’s set a date! That’s really an awesome idea. It’s about a 50 mile round trip for us, perfect for a day ride on the right day. No pizza though - that’ll have to wait. I’m not carrying a pie and beer 25 miles and then flipping them across the border to you. We might create an international incident.

Have you ever met Jacquie and Al? I wonder if they might bike down with you. We could claim a record for the largest the largest cross border CycleBlaze event. Masks and social distancing mandatory, of course.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanSorry, no wheat pennies. If you want a souvenir to remember the occasion, you can save a bit of pizza crust. You could start a new collection!
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1 month ago
Jen GrumbyWell, Foop!!

That's not the news I was hoping would allow me to settle back from the edge my seat.

I'm sure Trump will have the pandemic under control in no time and Greece will welcome us all with open arms.

In the meantime, though, I hope you can meet Patrick for a border visit and a distance High Five to celebrate his runner up position. That would make for an excellent blog post.

Looking forward to the pizza party!!
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1 month ago
Ron SuchanekI have an appreciation for Corvallis and this entire part of the valley after reading the journal. It'll be great to explore from our base in Silverton.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Ron SuchanekHey, and you’ve already gotten a head start! There are 18 rides in the collection. One down, 17 to go! You could treat it like a quest, and start a journal for it.
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1 month ago
Patrick O'HaraTo Scott AndersonHi Scott. I have followed Jacquie and Al's adventures too, but I have not had the pleasure of meeting them. That would be great if we could arrange something like that. We could bring our own beer and pizza! Looks like there is a lot of nice riding options around Bellingham! Welcome back to the cool and fresh coast!
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyFoop! It’s catching on! I’ve coined a neologism! Pass it around. I think if I can document one or two more usages I can get it registered. At this point, apparently it’s just called a proctologist, another neologism I hadn’t heard of before now.

The first CycleBlaze-initiated neologism! We’ll be famous!
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jacquie GaudetHi, again. Note the rest of the comment thread here. We’re thinking of having a CycleBlaze meetup at the international border, somewhere along O Street (I see that Peace Arch Park is now closed on the Canadian side, but presumably O is still OK). Let us know if you’re interested.
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1 month ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Scott AndersonAbsolutely! I’m in and will convince Al to come too. It’s Zero Avenue on this side and a popular cycling route. I last rode it on Canada Day in 2018.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jacquie GaudetO, it’s 0! Nice to know. I’m taking this offline, but let’s set a date.
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1 month ago
Suzanne GibsonI'm kind of disappointed that I didn't win, July 12 wasn't that far off. Also disappointed that you won't be coming to Greece. We could have met at the Greek-German border for gyros and schnitzel, and beer. With face protection of course. Oh wait, we don't have a common border. Still, it was a nice idea. Foop!
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Suzanne GibsonI should have noted that you were only one day off of Jen’s guess Suzanne, and of course you’re entitled to an also-ran prize - which we’ll gladly honor, as soon as we can make it over to that mythical Greek-German border.

Still, we haven’t burned any bridges. We just aren’t speculating on air fares and will wait until we know we can enter The Zone. I understand the EU is going to reconsider the position every two weeks, so there’s still hope. And if not this year, maybe next.

Hey, maybe we should have another contest! When will the Andersons get to go to Europe again?
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1 month ago
Bruce LellmanTo Scott AndersonI don't get it, you act as though I have lots of collections of things.
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1 month ago
Bruce LellmanTo Scott AndersonI think you will go to Greece when you originally wanted to. But, hey, there is a lot of the world outside of Europe. What about Taiwan, Japan or S.Korea? You guys would love the hills in northern Vietnam and it's not hot up there if you hit it at the right time which you could do. If S.E. Asia had a normal winter this winter the temps are usually ideal for touring in the northern areas. Thailand is a dream. What about New Zealand? And there is always Guam!
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanYes, we’d be happy to go to Taiwan, New Zealand, or Japan; although South Korea sounds like it would be to cold. No, I don’t think any of those places want to see crazy Americans at this point.
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1 month ago
Bob DistelbergWell, I'll be counting on that beer and pizza if you ever make it to Vermont! Glad to hear that you got your money.
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1 month ago
Kathleen ClassenTo Scott AndersonWell darn. It would be fun to participate in the Cycleblaze cross border meetup. Keith and I aren’t quite ready to cross the ditch yet though. With a car it would be okay...you can stay in your car in this time of Covid, but on the bikes would be a little trickier, so we will watch enviously from this side. Have fun! Do enjoy Bellingham as well. It is a great spot. It feels like you are so near, yet so far. This is just for now though, not forever, as Dr. Bonnie says. Greece will be waiting for you.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Kathleen ClassenDoctor Bonnie? I had to google her. Foop - we want one of those! You sane Canadians are so lucky.

Regarding the Zero Street meetup though, saner heads have prevailed and it’s a no-go. After thinking again, we agreed to wait until we can have a proper visit. Canada, like Greece, will have to wait.
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1 month ago