There’s no place like home - In the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies - CycleBlaze

January 19, 2019

There’s no place like home

There’s no place like home.  There’s no place like home.  There’s no place like home.

This is true.  After five months on the road, it really is nice to be back in Portland again.  We’ve been back for a week now - long enough to catch up with folks a bit, adjust to the time zone, get back on a normal sleep schedule, and start chipping away at the long backlog of tasks we’ve been queuing up these last months.  One of the items on the list was to catch up on films we missed, and we made a good start by seeing four of them in the last five days - it’s an effective way to force ourselves to stay awake longer while we readjust.   

And for a couple of weeks anyway, it really does feel like we’re home because we’re staying at an Airbnb apartment that’s only about three blocks from our old condo.  It’s been great to wake up in the morning and walk over to my favorite neighborhood coffee shop and see some familiar faces there.

And, it’s been great to get out on our bikes again (our home bikes, Rodriguez and the Straggler).  One of the delights of returning home after a long absence is that it everything feels so fresh and new.  I really look forward to revisiting many of our favorite rides about town after such a long absence.  

Rachael has done much better at getting back in the saddle than I have, but this morning I finally dragged my lazy self out to join her on a ride out to Sauvie Island, perhaps my favorite close-in destination.  

Sauvie is special regardless of season, but I’m gradually coming around to enjoying it the most in the winter, on days when it’s not too cold, wet or slick.  The island is so wonderfully quiet in winter - almost no cars are on the island’s roads, and not many other bikers either.  As you bike along you can enjoy the solitude and peacefulness, the sounds of geese and sandhill cranes, the muted colors of rotting crops in the fields.

Today was dry and not too cold, but quite foggy - in spots almost foggy enough to feel just a bit unsafe biking out to the island on busy Highway 30.  Once we were out though, it was a special time to see the place - fog gives everything such a different cast.  I’m looking forward to returning soon on a clear day, when you can see the snowcapped volcanoes rise above the fields.

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Is Saint Johns my favorite bridge in town? Hard to say. I love though how its dramatic character presents itself in different conditions.
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Sauvie Island has gone through some changes since we were here last. The osprey are gone, the cranes are back for the winter.
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I haven’t seen these out here before. Some newbie nubians.
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I’ll have to go through some old posts to be sure, but it looks to me like this old soldier has lost half of his paint in the last two seasons. I remember it as being much whiter the last time we passed by.
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Steve Miller/GrampiesThe chimney may be about to fall, but at least they seem to have about six bicycles.
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4 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesThanks for pointing that out! I missed that completely.
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4 months ago
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Fourteen reflective cormorants on a log
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Eleven reflective cormorants on various perches
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Rotting lettuce
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Rodriguez rides again!
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Rodriguez finds an old friend trying to edge his way back into the action. We’ll have to see about that.
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Jen GrumbyHello Old Paint!

Sounds like the title of a Singing Cycling Cowboy song ..
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4 months ago

Great as this is though, we aren’t really big fans of cold, wet days.  A few weeks or months of this is OK, but come spring we’ll definitely be ready to put Rodriguez and the Straggler back in their stalls, break out the Bike Fridays again, and hit the road.  And while we’re waiting out the occasional spell of inclement weather, there are few more pleasurable ways to pass an idle hour than to imagine yourself on tour again, preferably somewhere sunny and warm.

Spring’s right around the corner.  Might as well start daydreaming now.

Thinking inside the box, here’s what we can share about our plans at this time. It’s a spring trip, and as you know we’re no big fans of extreme weather; so it will be somewhere in here. And we’ll be on bicycles, so you can narrow things down by ignoring most of the blue area. Oh, and it won’t be Kansas either. You read it here first.
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Emily SharpGood to see you are enjoying being 'home'. I see that Oman is in your potential spring ride area. The geology there is spectacular and it is on my bucket list (mostly to see the Moho). I think the temps are more bearable in Jan-March though. Wherever you go, I'll look forward to following along. Enjoy the Portland scene for now though!
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4 months ago
Scott AndersonOman? Oh, man! That has never occurred to me as a biking destination until now. I had to look it up to see if biking actually happens there, and was surprised. Something to possibly add to the bucket list and discuss with Rachael. It looks more like a midwinter candidate than spring, but we keep an eye out for those too.
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4 months ago
Ron GrumbyThe pictures of Portland make me a little homesick. Enjoy your time there.
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4 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Ron GrumbySorry, guy. We’ll start including more photos of cold, wet, crappy days and maybe a few homeless camps to take some of the sting off.
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4 months ago
Ron GrumbyTo Scott AndersonThat should help.
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4 months ago