On the road in a rental truck. - Four Weeks in Oregon and Idaho - Summer 2006 - CycleBlaze

April 10, 2006

On the road in a rental truck.

We had a rude surprise when we picked up our Budget rental truck. We paid an unexpected $20. to have a second driver for the truck. It's one of those cases where they nickel and dime you to death. We finally finished with the paperwork and walked out to the truck. It was larger than the 10' truck we requested. We didn't have to pay extra for this 16' truck, but we would have to pay the extra gas to drive it. I'm sure you could have knocked both of us over with a feather, we were so amazed to see that the seats were bucket seats! Oh, no! We had three people! We stared at each other in amazment. There was nothing to do but take the truck. We brainstormed and agreed that there was room for a cooler or some sort of seat in the center. Besides the lack of comfort, the problem would be the lack of a seatbelt.

We drove the truck home and loaded four bikes and four BOB trailers. Maybe having the extra large truck was good after all. We bungied the bikes around the edges and tied the trailers together in the center. Then I went inside to call Rodney and give him the bad news about the seats (or lack thereof).

Rodney's first reaction was. "Oh, then you don't have enough room. I won't be able to go with you. Instead of doing the TransAm I will do a tour of Colorado." Wait! I think we can work this out. In the end he agreed to meet us in Grand Junction as planned. He would bring a five gallon bucket and we would try a cooler to see if it fit in the center. The cooler did work and we put Jacinto's $3.53 WalMart travel pillow on it as a cushion.

My evening was taken up with paying last minute bills and doing paperwork. I fell into bed exhausted, to tired to go to sleep. Then I woke up at 4 AM when the cat wanted in (his conceirge service is about to be discontinued!. I couldn't go to sleep and got up early. We had agreed to meet Rodney at 7 AM and I knew we would like run late unless I prodded Jacinto. It was a good idea, but didn't work. We were 25 minutes late leaving Rifle.

It didn't take long for Rodney to say his goodbyes and load his bike. He had panniers and just tossed those in the center. We were off! I took the first turn on the 'hot seat' in the center. I made the mistake of using the pillow as a back rest rather than a cushion. By the time my butt started to numb, it was too late to add the cushion . . . when we stopped in Green River, UT for gas ($2.89) - I was a very happy girl to get out of the truck.

Jacinto spends major time worrying about what and when his next meal will be. I'm used to it, but I think Rodney was a bit amused. We had no sooner eated a tide me over Arby's than Jacinto was asking if we would be stoppin in Salt Lake City for lunch. I suggested we wait and see when we were hungry. That didn't fit into Jacinto's plan. He spent the next several hours pointing out potential restaurants and noting on the map the lack of towns over the next stretch. We ended up having a lunch buffet at a Flying J truck stop. It was . . . filling. We did not stop at another Flying J after that. : )

We were quite curious as to how much we would spend on gas this trip. We filled up four times. The first two times were at $2.89 a gallon and $72. each time. Then we stopped for the night in Baker Sity, OR. (Rodeway Inn $51. for two.) Gas there was $2.99 a gallon. We decided to go down the road to LaGrande and it might be cheaper. Wrong. $3.05 a gallon. We also discovered that Oregon is a full service gas station. We had our windows washed and tank filled while we stood around not knowing what to do! It has been since my early driving days that I'd gone to a full service station. We decided that was why the price went up. Filling up at $3.05 cost an even $80. We stopped for lunch in The Dalles. Even I was hungry by then. $3.12 a gallon. We put in only $20. as the Arby's cashier said gas was cheaper in Portland.

I called Coventry Cycles and asked for directions from I-84. I recieved very concise directions and we drove straight to the store. My bike was put right into the stand. Brake pads and a new Sachs chain were installed in 45 minutes while we walked over to the Starbucks. The mechanic took the bike for a ride, pronounced the cassette fine and off we went. $86. for such great service. I was happy we didn't have to make a trip back to the store from the hostel.

Then we had to navigate the one way streets and find a bridge across the river. I was happy that I had remembered to bring a Portland city map. Jacinto did the driving and I did the navigating. We made it there with no problem, but I got a little tense with all of the doing. City traffic, even nice Portland traffic wasn't my thing.

I'll have to continue this later as I have only three minutes left and we are meeting Don and Ann for breakfast. Suffice it to say at this point to say that we got to the hostel, returned the truck. Rodney got off to the Greyhound and Seaside. We had dinner with Don and Ann. It looks like we'll have a great trip!This morning we are having breakfast and watching the World Cup. After that I don't know what we're doing. Exploring.

The bikes are loaded and we are ready for the long drive to Portland.
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