Tennessee Road - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

June 24, 2020

Tennessee Road

Yesterday

The day gets off to a poor start when we receive a message from AirBnB.  Our upcoming reservation on Whidbey Island has been cancelled by our host, “due to extenuating circumstances”.  We’re informed that COVID-19 is the extenuating circumstance, so perhaps our host decided it wasn’t worth the risk to let out her place. 

Foop!  We were really looking forward to this stay, next to the shore at the tip of an isolated peninsula.  It sounded idyllic, sitting there on the deck at the end of the day watching for whales in the sound.  At least AirBnB is giving our money back, and is refunding it to a currently active account rather than that scourge Capital One.

Between yesterday’s news that Europe is likely to exclude Americans when they open their doors to tourism next month, these are especially disheartening times for The Team.  Not that we have any real right to feel miserable - we’re well aware that we’ve had it much better than most these last few months, staying in relatively low-risk places and having reasonable freedom of movement.

It’s a scorcher today, maybe the hottest day of the summer so far.  Rachael gets out the door early, beating the heat as much as possible, and returns after randomly wandering the quiet lanes East of Peoria Road for 45 miles.  She gets in by noon, happy with herself for timing her ride perfectly.

I do no such thing.  

Today’s Ride

The temperature dropped nearly twenty degrees overnight.  It’s cool, comfortable, and overcast when we start our ride today.  We’ve picked out a route east of Albany on some roads we haven’t tested out yet, and enjoy a pleasant, quiet but undramatic ride.  Also, a remarkably flat one.  We have to round up to give ourselves credit for the 400’ of elevation gain we claim for the day.   After we cross a very low rise early in the ride, most of the elevation gain for the rest of the day comes from two freeway overpasses.  A very nice spin, but Greece it’s not.  

The Team needs a bit of an attitude adjustment, so for dinner we walk over to the recently reopened Corvallis Pub, a McMenamin’s joint a few blocks away.  We sit outdoors in the shade well away from the nearest table and alternate between cursing our deranged national leadership and tossing out ideas about what to do with ourselves in the months ahead.  We do have some attractive ideas in mind for a domestic tour this fall - if we have to be quarantined to our own country, at least it’s a very large one with lots of possibilities - but there’s no question that if things change and Europe (or Taiwan or New Zealand, which of course are even less likely devolopments) will let us in this fall, we’ll drop whatever we’re doing and quickly dash through their door before it closes again.  

In the meantime though it’s very nice to sit here in the shade, sipping a Scottish ale and eating the first Communications Breakdown burger I’ve had in probably more than a year.  Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and take what comes.

Looking back up the Willamette from Bowman Park, Albany.
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Eastbound on Kampf Drive, dropping from the high point of the day, such as it is. Mount Jefferson is faint on the horizon straight ahead.
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Looking south to Knox Butte from Kampf Drive. These first few miles bring us the most scenic part of the day.
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For about a mile we’re on Highway 226. Busier cycling, but I’m glad to get a chance to stop for this crumbling barn that we drove past earlier on our way to our rides to the covered bridges.
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On a day with relatively few sights, we enjoyed the domestic animals. Lots of sheep, goats, horses, cattle, and even a few llamas. We like the ears on this young goat - it looks like he has mold.
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Jen GrumbySheepish-looking goat
Downward tail, ears, and eyeballs
Watching too much news?
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyThat does it. I’m contacting Jeff to see if we can have a poetry page added to the website.
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1 week ago
Here’s an interesting sight, on Tennessee Road: an attractive short line.
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As in, a really short line. It’s someone’s hobby train, filling up their small acreage. The loop extends to the tree line in back.
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They’ve invested a lot in their hobby - trestles, stations, switching sheds. I wish dad had built one of these for me. Or not - he’d probably have tasked me with mowing and weeding.
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Ron SuchanekThat would be a great addition to the back yard!
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Ron SuchanekOr, to a whole set of yards! It’s probably not too late to fit in a loop that circles your whole complex. You could have a cute little depot standing right outside your door.
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1 week ago
Ron SuchanekTo Scott AndersonI like the way you think. I'm gonna propose the Grumby-Anderson Shortline, abbreviated GAS, at the next HOA meeting.
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1 week ago
Ron SuchanekTo Scott AndersonI like the way you think. I'm gonna propose the Grumby-Anderson Shortline, abbreviated GAS, at the next HOA meeting.
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonThe GAS Line! How perfect! Say, could you have the depot set up as a tiny house, so Team Anderson could stay there when they’re in town? Maybe it could include a few blown up photos from Greece or Iberia so we’ll feel right at home.
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1 week ago
Another patriotic windmill.
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Leek lines?
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Bruce LellmanThese are some kind of onions and it looks like they are being grown for seed? Or do they let them flower before being harvested? I don't know.
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1 week ago
My favorite sighting of the day was this huge immature eagle perched atop a snag just ahead of us. Not afraid of much, he let us approach fairly near to him before nonchalantly lifting off.
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Eastbound on Gore Road, with Marys Peak dead ahead.
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Several miles later, we’re still eastbound on Gore Road, with Marys Peak dead ahead. A lot of miles like this today.
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On the right is another crop new to me, the only acreage like this we’ve seen here.
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Chicory? Is it grown as a crop? I’ve only seen it as a roadside weed before.
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Bill ShaneyfeltGreens and coffee substitute. I find it somewhat bitter for my taste.

https://oregonwholesaleseed.com/product/chicory/
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1 week ago
After stopping for a quick lunch in a secluded patch beside the road, we start up again: still eastbound on Gore Road, with Marys Peak dead ahead.
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Video sound track: Closer to You, by Brandi Carlisle 

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Ride stats today: 52 miles, 400’

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Comment on this entry Comment 4
Gregory GarceauI sympathize with your current state of limbo due to the uncertainty of Greece and the extenuating circumstances behind the Whidbey Island cancellation. Yet, it takes a certain kind of optimism to use the word "Foop." Most folks would have used a different F-word.

Come to think of it, I'd like to see "Foop" included in the next edition of the OED.
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Gregory GarceauI haven’t thought of this word in a long time. When it came back to me, I was thinking I first heard it in The Music Man, but that was poop: when Mayor Shinn tells his wife Eulalie that he doesn’t want to hear one more poop out of her, and she observes that she thinks he meant peep. So it wasn’t that.

So maybe I picked it up in childhood. My parents had a number of minced oaths in their vocabularies, including fap and poop; so maybe it’s derivative of those. Or maybe it came from a comic strip or Mad Magazine? Foop, I don’t know!
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1 week ago
Jen GrumbyFoop! ... I like it. Shorter and simpler than "Dadgummit Blah!", but equally expressive.

Thanks stinks about the Whidbey Island digs. I was really looking forward to seeing photos/reading about your stay there.

Thank goodness for Team Anderson's above-average skills when it comes to rolling through adversity, shifting plans, and adapting to the conditions of the day!

Still crossing my fingers for Greece plan to work out somehow ..
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1 week ago
Ron SuchanekSucks about your accomodations in Whidbey (on Whidbey?). Stupid Covid-19.
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6 days ago