Movin’ Out - Breaking out of the box - CycleBlaze

February 2, 2018

Movin’ Out

The Move

The big move happened yesterday.  Rachael and I picked up our 15 foot U-Haul at 8:30 and brought it back to our condo.  I’m pleased that it’s easier to handle than I’d imagined, and I have no difficulty backing it in to our loading zone.

Look at that impressive parking job!
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Ron SuchanekYou should tell your readers about the stellar parallel parking job on that rainy night on SE Belmont....!
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4 years ago

We’ve done well with our prep work.  Everything that’s going out this morning is cleaned out, boxed up where appropriate, and easily accessible.   There’s nothing left to do but wait around for the moving crew to arrive at 9:30, and look out the window wondering if it will rain on our parade.

Before
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Before
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The crew arrives right on time.  They’re a couple of young guys, Brad and Joseph.  We chat a bit before getting started, and share our bike touring plans with them.  They’re enthusiastic and excited for us, and  Joseph surprises us by saying he tours also.  He’s one of those ultralight bike camping types, with an impressive set of short regional tours he’s completed.  That’s Portland - every other young person you meet is a biker in one fashion or another

The move goes very well.  Brad and Joseph are both very industrious and efficient, obviously knowing what they’re doing.  Rachael and I mostly just stand around giving directions.  Hiring them was a last minute decision - I at first thought my nephew Vance and I would just do it ourselves, but this is so much better.  My back is very appreciative.  

About three hours later, and they’re done.  Everything is out, and it’s a good thing - we’ve run out of truck at the same time.  We reserved exactly the right sized vehicle.

There goes the sofa! That’s Joseph, the bike packer, bringing up the rear.
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Brad, loading some of the last items into the nearly full truck.
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This photo makes me feel good, imagining all the heavy lifting we opted out of.
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We have three drop off destinations: our storage unit, Goodwill, and the dump.  We go to the storage unit first, only three blocks away.  Brad and Joseph go with us - we want them to help with this mostly because there are stairs involved.   Loading the storage unit goes fast - they just jam things in wherever they will fit.  Rachael and I will come back later and repack it, following the layout I’ve envisioned.  

After that we send the packers packing, and go out to the dump to drop off the mattress and box springs (we couldn’t find a donation site that would take them) and then to Goodwill.  Everything goes well, and we return home at 3:30 to a pretty spartan apartment.  That’s it for the day though - we’re both pretty well spent from the last two weeks’ nonstop pace.  We grab a bite and then veg out the rest of the evening watching Masterpiece Theater on our futon, one of the few furnshings left.

After. We’ve still got some work to do, but nothing too serious.
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After. Rodriguez is happy to finally get a window seat on the exciting street life below.
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This wall surprised us. The dark rectangle is where the wall was protected by the bookshelves. Between repainting and fading, the color has really drifted over the last fifteen years.
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Kelley Point

I awake early this morning, feeling the most at ease that I have since we returned from Hawaii and started in on this crazy project.  Rachael has gotten out on her bike nearly daily though all this, but I just didn’t have it in me - I know riding would have been good for me, but between working on the move or thinking about it, I just didn’t have much left over.

Today is different though - I don’t feel stressed by the calendar, and look forward to a ride.  Happily, it looks like the weather is going to cooperate.  I get out the door early, and head over to Lovejoy Bakery for coffee and a croissant when it opens at six.  

Lovejoy Bakery, one of my favorite early morning haunts. Odd to think that in a few days it will fall off my normal routine.
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We haven’t fully moved yet of course, but already I’m starting to feel pangs of nostalgia for our old routines that will soon drop out of our daily lives.  At the coffee shop, I take a photo of the place as a reminder, and decide to head north to Kelley Point for the day’s ride.  It’s up north, and I imagine we’ll be biking out that way less often now that we’re moving a few miles further south for awhile.

Crossing the Broadway Bridge, I can’t resist stopping for a shot.  I’ve probably posted more shots from here in my journals than from anywhere else.  It’s never quite the same, and there’s always something to catch my interest.  This morning, it’s a large raft of scaups.  They’re bobbing by the freighter when I first start watching.  Then, suddenly, they all take flight, skimming in unison low above the river before they circle and then easing back into the river again, a bit further away.

I never tire of this view. There’s always something.
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A few scaups
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From the Broadway Bridge I Bike north along Interstate, stopping after only about a mile at Overlook Park for another of my favorite views in this part of town.

This is a pretty busy picture. In the foreground is he Union Pacific switchyard, down on Swan Island. Then the Fremont Bridge of course, and the south end of downtown. Then the West Hills, with Crown Point the highest point on the right.
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After this I get pretty serious and bike nonstop to Kelley Point, bypassing the temptations of Waud’s Bluff, the UP campus, and the Saint Johns Bridge.  At Kelley Point I’m startled to see this behemoth on the river.  It’s classified as a vessel carrier, a new type of seacraft to me.  It’s current ly being loaded, and a steady stream of new cars drive up the ramp and into the hold.  They look like dwarfs rolling up the ramp; and the Auto Banner looks like it could carry enough cars to equip a small city.

Biking away from the park, I soon come another sight I haven’t noticed before - vast parking lots filled with long rows of new automobiles, waiting for shipment.  While I’m watching, the gate of one of them opens up and a stream of cars spews out on a one way trip to the vast loading zone at pier six.  Each is steered by a driver sporting a yellow safety vest. There’s a whole employment niche I’ve never thought about before.  I wonder if it will dissolve in a few years, when most cars are self-driving?

The Auto Banner, a vehicle transporter; built in South Korea, operated out of Panama. I was unable to find its capacity, but it’s obviously huge.
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New Ford pickups, waiting for shipment.
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Here’s how most of them arrived - by rail, in long trains of rolling vehicle transporters.
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From Kelley Point, I bike east along Smith and Bybee Lakes, a protected wetland, and then the Columbia Slough.  On the lakes especially, it’s a good day for the birds.  I’m glad I brought the zoom.  After that I turn south and hustle home - I’ve got a date with Rachael to organize our storage unit.

On Bybee Lake, a hooded merganser tries his best with his mate. Looks like she’s not that interested yet - maybe next month.
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Goose and widgeon, Bybee Lake
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Along Smith and Bybee Lakes
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An assembly of widgeons, Smith Lake
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Common merganser, Columbia Slough
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Repacking the storage unit

I’m sure you’ve been wondering whether the packing plan I invented for our 5x6 storage unit held up.  So have we, and I’m a bit anxious as we walk over there this afternoon.  It’s such a small unit, and I’m anxious that I haven’t measured our belongings well enough and that things won’t fit as planned.

I measured our belongings just fine.  Stupidly though, I didn’t think to measure the storage unit itself.  It’s not quite an honest 5x6, unfortunately - it’s only 4’11”x 6, and those two inches less width matter.  It would have been better if it were shallower rather than less wide.  Worse, there’s another feature I hadn’t noticed before - the door doesn’t open to the whole width.   It’s really only about four feet wide, which will make it difficult to get larger objects (say, Rodriguez) in and out once the space is fully loaded.

We begin by completely emptying the unit, strewing boxes and furnishings down the hall, and then start reloading.  It’s laborious, but it all goes according to plan.  There’s only one deviation: at Rachael’s suggestion, we put the convex coffee table glass on the floor, curved behind the legs of the coffee table.  It’s definitely a better solution than throwing it on top as I’d envisioned.

An hour later, we’re done -meaning we’ve repacked everything the movers had brought over.  There’s still quite a bit back at the condo to bring over, but it looks like it should all fit.  There’s still a lot of room under and on top of the table.  Only one concern - Rodriguez and the Straggler.  If they won’t fit, something’s got to give.  It doesn’t look good, frankly.

We have to know, so I walk back home and return with Rodriguez, the larger bike.  If he can go, the Straggler will be fine.

It isn’t at all easy.  We can’t wheel the bike in, because of the door.  If it were the whole width of the unit we’d be fine, but we can’t angle it around the edge of the door and the corner of the table.  At least not without removing the pedals, which didn’t occur to me until just now.  We check out whether it will work to slide it beneath the table, but it doesn’t teally work either.   Discouraging.  I start wondering whether we can find separate storage for the bikes somewhere.

Finally, after a few more tries, we find the solution.  I’m writing it down here, so I can refer back to it when it’s time to do it again for real:

  • Remove the front wheel
  • Scott climbs over the table and gets into the unit
  • Rachael hands him the bike, flat, gears up, handlebars first, lifted over the table.

Should work fine!  A bit awkward, but we’ll only be doing it a few times each year.

What we’re we worried about? No problem!
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Bruce LellmanI like that your cycling journal is more like a journal of your life. It means that your cycling is an integral part of your life. In fact it may be a major part of your life now. And what better cycling journal is there than that!

Congratulations on your big move and fitting everything into your storage locker. Now your lives take a definite turn. I am excited for you both.
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4 years ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanI’m enjoying that aspect of this myself, Bruce. And you’re right - it is starting to feel like what’s happening now at home is part of the journey, and like we’re already on the way. I’m feeling a bit guilty about it though - there needs to be more biking in it! Soon.
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4 years ago