Silverton, Corvallis, and Thessaloniki - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

June 3, 2020

Silverton, Corvallis, and Thessaloniki

Silverton

So, after only nine nights here we’re leaving the big city again for the heart of the Willamette Valley: quieter, less stressful Corvallis, a lovely small college town that we visited regularly when we lived in Salem years ago.  Waking up this morning, a clear, vibrant image of cycling down a quiet road beside the river flashed before me, so I took a photo of it.  Unfortunately but not surprisingly, there was nothing retrievable from the camera when I woke up later.  You’ll have to wait a day or two to see what I was imagining.

On the drive down to Corvallis we stopped in to visit the Grumbys.  After catching up over a BYO lunch in their yard, we walked up the ridge to check out the status of their new home.  There’s been huge progress since we last saw them in early March when we drove down with Bruce and Andrea just days before the world began to fall apart.  It is really hard to comprehend that that visit was less than three months ago.  It feels like a different age, looking back on it now.

It’s a house! They really have a beautiful home in the making here.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Decisions, decisions! They’re trying to decide on a paint color for the living room, and I’m sure would appreciate your input.
Heart 1 Comment 2
Andrea BrownThe middle one.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Jen GrumbyTo Andrea BrownAh, the trickery of light!

Off camera these colors look different .. and we ended up going with the one on the right.

Its name is Natural Linen.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Ron interrupts the tour to scare Rachael with his best grizzly bear imitation. After braving the wild dogs of John Day though Rocky doesn’t scare easily, and calmly reaches for her pepper spray.
Heart 2 Comment 1
Ron SuchanekThat people spray smarts! And it didnt help that she had that evil gleam in her eyes...
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Such an attractive place, but it’s too bad they’ve moved into the wrong neighborhood and have been tatted by vandals already.
Heart 2 Comment 0
We tried to keep Ron out of this photo so we could focus on how well Jen blends in with the planned color scheme, But he just kept crowding his way in.
Heart 3 Comment 2
Ron SuchanekVery few photos are improved by my presence.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Ron SuchanekI bwg to differ. I forgot to point out your uncanny resemblance to Lance Armstrong here.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Walking back from their new home, we stop to look up at these colorful galls on an Oregon White Oak.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Socially distant selfie!
Heart 7 Comment 2
Jen GrumbySo great to see you two! Thanks for taking time to stop by.

How lucky to have nice weather for much-needed social connection! :0)
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Ron SuchanekYes, thanks coming over. We look forward to exploring Corvallis by bike with you guys.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago

Corvallis

We make it to our new home at about 4, quickly unpack the car and head out for groceries and then dinner.  We’ll have more to say about this place later, but for now let’s take a quick look around before we trash the place.

Image not found :(
Our home for the next four weeks.
Heart 2 Comment 0
The house has many mirrors.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Image not found :(
That guy peering into our bedroom looks sinister to me. I hope this all works out.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Not much room to spread out here. Other than the throne, you’re seeing pretty much all of this room.
Heart 2 Comment 0

Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki?  That’s not in Oregon.

No, but our thoughts about the fall are congealing enough that we might as well let you know what we’re thinking.  We haven’t decided to go to Greece, but we haven’t decided not to either.  We have though decided to act as though we could easily be going to Greece, and are making plans accordingly.

Why Greece, other than the obvious reason that we love the country and have always planned to return to it one day?  Several reasons, but they all boil down to our own assessment of relative risks.  Where is it safer to be right now - biking quiet roads in a country that we love that’s so far anyway been one of the least touched by COVID-19 of any country in Europe; or almost anywhere in our own country right now?  It’s not an easy choice, with no right answers.  For us, the facts that Greece is opening up quickly, wants and needs our business, and doesn’t feel on the verge of breaking out in civil war make a pretty compelling argument for being there rather than here.

If we were going to go to Greece, we would leave sometime in September. We wouldn’t go earlier because it’s too hot, and because we want more time for borders and society to open up and for us to see how it’s going.  That leaves us a gap to fill between the departure date and the end of our stay in Bellingham at the end of July.  We’ve filled it up now, with a series of motel and Airbnb bookings on Whidbey Island and the Oregon coast that will end up with us back in Portland at the end of August, staying at the same place we just left this morning.  

So we’ll see; but for now Team Anderson is talking enthusiastically about this idea, and getting excited about the thought of three months in the Mediterranean.  We’ve been to Greece three times now, but always in the spring.  The idea of seeing northern Greece in the fall when the leaves are turning, and Crete and perhaps even Santorini again in early December when the tourists have all left for the year is very enticing.

And who knows?  Perhaps by early Autumn the Albanian and North Macedonian borders will be open to tourists too, and we could venture north toward Ohrid again.  Those countries are outside the Schengen Zone, so we could add a couple of weeks to the tour.  At the end, we can fly home and luxuriate in the thought of the coming Biden inauguration.

Optimistically then, here’s a tentative map that we’re batting around while we keep marking time in the good old PNW.

In our hope chest for this fall: Thessaloniki to Chania, by way of Albania and North Macedonia.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Rate this entry's writing Heart 9
Comment on this entry Comment 0