Valentines Day - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

February 14, 2020

Valentines Day

Note: if you’re coming to the game late, the first section of this journal may confuse you.  At first, in those long ago days before the Coronavirus arrived and consumed all of our lives, we thought this was to be the journal of a ten week tour in the southwest.  Our tour was of course abandoned.  It’s not really a journal of a tour any more, but more a chronicle of how we’re riding out the plague.  (March 24, 2020)

________________________

Roll up
That's an invitation
Roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up
To make a reservation
Roll up for the Mystery Tour
The Magical Mystery Tour
Is waiting to take you away
Waiting to take you away

About this tour

Well, consider this an invitation; and you don’t even need a reservation.  All are welcome (well, that’s not actually true - the world being what it is right now, I can think of one or more individuals that are decidedly not welcome; but I doubt any of them are reading this).

But, the Magical Mystery Tour isn’t quite ready to take you away yet, because the start date is still off in the future a ways.  And, magical or not, you might not choose to be taken along anyway, since you don’t even know where it’s going yet.  You know Rocky and I are going though, for what that’s worth.

And, we’re not going to tell you where we’re going quite yet.  We might slip a hint or two along the way, sort of like a game of 20 questions; but we’re feeling in no rush about it.

Question #1: How soon does the tour start?  38 days.

The Scavenger Hunt

I open my envelope for this year’s Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt and find this difficult challenge:

  • An event start and finish
  • Rust
  • A Trunk
  • A Mountain
  • A Little Free Book stand
  • An SD Card reader
  • A bicycle tire
  • A Valentine’s Day cookie
  • Two CR 2032 batteries
  • Three Ms
  • A snowman
  • A sheep in the shadows
  • A beer.

Impossible.  No way that I can find all of these objects today.  The snowman is particularly tough now unless I hop into Old Paint and drive up to the mountains; and downtown on this overcast day, sheep in the shadows doesn’t sound at all promising either. I’ll just have to do the best I can and try to come up with a respectable list that doesn’t leave me too embarrassed.

The list is customized to the individual contestants, so some background is in order.  The items are a mix.  Many are related to this month’s Cycle365 Challenge: Choose your own adventure.  The idea is that participants should come up with their own theme  for this month and then publish a post that includes a photo of it, with bicycle.  Additionally, they are encouraged to also include photos for the themes announced by other participants.  The themes announced so far:

  • Scooter: rust
  • Gregblood: a snowman (a rather cruel choice, in my opinion; what are folks in Australia supposed to do?);
  • Grumbleface: Mountains;
  • the Navigator: 3 M’s;
  • TJ and Hopkins: beginnings and endings;
  • Suzanne: stumps;
  • NancyG: little free libraries.

Others are personal errands:

  • Replace the SD card reader that we lost on our latest tour, so we can download photos and video to our iPads.  We still have one, but like to carry a backup.
  • Replace the batteries in the keys to the Jetta.  We discovered this was an issue when I couldn’t unlock the car when we returned after five months without resorting to the primitive, arcane trick of inserting the key into the keyhole.
  • Deliver a new bicycle tire to REI, so they’ll replace the most worn one when they overhaul our Bike Fridays in preparation for their next tour (the one of which we speak here).
  • The cookie is a valentine for my sweetheart (or a sweet heart for my valentine?).
  • The beer is for me, as a needed and well earned reward at the end of the event.

So, how did I do?  Fair to middling, at least.  No snowman, no sheep, and no 3M’s; but 10 out of 13 rates a passing grade I think, and should earn me a ticket into the next round.  My evidence follows, although I see that I failed to take a photo of the tire.  Trust me on this one though.  As proof, I offer an anecdote: when I wheeled Rodriguez up to the REI bike service counter with my 20” Schwalbe Marathon tire looped over the handlebars,  the service man apologized and said they couldn’t mount it.  They’re notoriously tough tires to mount, and at first I thought that’s what he meant.  But no, he’s a wag.  He means there’s no way they can stretch it to fit the 27” wheels of the Rodriguez.  Ha, ha.

A postscript: our friend Mr. Shaneyfelt, an expert at all manner of creatures, identified the statue in the North Park Blocks as a Meticulously Marvelous Monstrosity.  3M!

On the balcony of our home for the moment. A beginning, for the journal as well as for TJ and Hopkins (sorry, folks: the ending won’t come until the end of the tour). And, with a close look and imagination, there’s a mountain for Grumbleface way out there: you can just make out the base of Mount Saint Helens beneath the cloud layer.
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Portland has many Little Free Book stands, and I’m sure we’ll see others before the month is out. I picked this one in the Ladd Addition because it’s closest to home, but it’s pretty sad - just one soggy children’s book. Nice rust though.
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Jen GrumbyRodriguez makes this LFL look very sophisticated!

One of my favorite Little Free Libraries (for its creative design) is between NE 21st and NE 28th in Sullivan's Gulch. On Multnomah, Wasco, Clackamas, or Halsey. I'm pretty sure it's on the south side of the street.

If you are out and about in the area, maybe you can look for it?
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3 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyYup, thanks for the tip. There are several others I like too that I’ll loop in somewhere along the way. This one was a bit of a disappointment.

Is the GBO literate, btw?
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3 months ago
Jen GrumbyFunny you should ask. He doesn't really have eyes or a brain .. but he loves to read!!

I'll bet he'd love to take a tour of a few LFLs, and he'd also appreciate the help of your hands to pick out a book or two.
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3 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyGood to know! Next I suppose you’ll be telling me that he’d be a tree hugger too, if he had arms.
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3 months ago
Jen GrumbyAbsolutely! He's eager to go out on a Heritage Tree ride. You'll be surprised at how teary he can get in the presence of a wise tree (for a guy with no eyes).
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3 months ago
Some rust for Scooter, whoever he is. And a heart for my valentine. No, not you, silly. For Rocky. I still like you too though.
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At the Apple store, hoping they’ll have a replacement for lost SD card adaptor.
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The situation when I leave the Apple store. Rain was not on the scavenger list, not in the weather forecast, and not wanted. It was supposed to stay dry today. We miss Tucson!
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This statue in the north blocks is a freebie - it has nothing to do with the scavenger hunt, but I just like it so. It looks especially nice now, freshly washed.
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Bill ShaneyfeltMeticulously
Marvelous
Monstrosity
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3 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltWow. My hero!
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3 months ago
Bill ShaneyfeltOr take a picture of a rack of 3M tape or post-its or...
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3 months ago
After three tries, success! Lovejoy Bakery comes through again.
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A trunk, for Suzanne. At least I think a bamboo stub counts as a trunk. I forgot my dictionary today and there wasn’t one in the LFB either, so I can’t be sure this fits the definition.
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Bill ShaneyfeltObserve the main portion of the human body also bearing the same designation as that of a large pachyderm's proboscis...
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3 months ago
Bill ShaneyfeltTo Bill ShaneyfeltOr the boot of a British auto seen in the USA.
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3 months ago
Suzanne GibsonWell, a trunk isn't exactly a stump. I know how you like to use a varied vocabulary and never call a thing by the same name twice. However a stump is a cut off trunk. And you did get it right in the picture, they are cut off.
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3 months ago
Batteries (from Ace Hardware, which has everything); an SD card reader; and what little remains of a Buoy red ale, from Astoria.
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My valentine is all abuzz and aglow when she gets home. She got rained out on her bike ride, went for a walk instead, and came back with this great jacket to replace the one she lost in Iberia, at HALF PRICE!
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