Spring Break - Winterlude 2020 - CycleBlaze

April 5, 2021

Spring Break

The Big Picture

So what is next, anyway?  If you’ve been paying close attention, you already know the answer: at the end of May we plan to fly back to Minneapolis to check in on Shawn and his family, to see how he’s faring with the new mechanical aortic valve he was fitted with about six weeks ago now.  Everything about his operation and follow-up has gone well.  He’s well on his way to recovery and plans to return to work in a few weeks.  We’re very excited to see him and the girls again, and also his girlfriend Gretchen who was such a huge help through it all.

Looking great, and happy to be back at home again after a week in the hospital.
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After that, we’ll hop on the bikes and start pedaling east: to New York City, and then hopefully on from there to Rome after a flight to Amsterdam.  We plan to be on the road for roughly 5 months, and return back to Portland in November.

First though, we have to get vaccinated and Europe needs to get their Covid situation under control enough to let us in.  We’re doing our part - I got my first shot yesterday (on Easter!), and Rachael’s is scheduled for this Thursday.  We’re both really relieved to be getting in so soon after arriving back in Oregon.

And a few words about my vaccination yesterday at the Oregon Convention Center, the largest mass vaccination site in the state.  I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was really an amazing scene.  People were streaming in constantly and queuing up in a long serpentine that reminded me of the security lines at a busy airport - except that it was very fast-moving and very efficiently run.  There were hundreds of volunteers (on Easter!), and huge numbers of us arriving in a continuous river.  At the last I heard, they’re administering about 7,000 vaccines at this site every day.  It was quite a moving and inspirational scene, and brought back vague memories of my childhood when the polio vaccine first came out.

Now, if Europe can just do their part.  If we reach New York and can’t get in yet, we’ll just improvise.  There’s plenty of unexplored acreage in our own country that we can cycle through while we wait for our November reservation back in Portland. 

Spring Break

In the meantime, in case you haven’t noticed, spring has sprung.  Spring is a really beautiful time in the Willamette Valley, but we haven’t been in town to enjoy it since moving out of our home over three years ago.  In 2018 we were in Greece and Albania; in 2019 in southern Italy; and last year, in John Day and the Palouse.  We’re excited to be back in town for our first Portland spring in four years.  And it is still beautiful - if you can get into the right frame of mind and avert your gaze a bit from the pervasive  homelessness and all the plywood-shrouded storefronts.  We’ve arrived at just the right time - a week later and we’d be missing the best of cherry blossom season on the waterfront.

And, we’re going to take a bit of a spring break, set the blog aside, and just enjoy being here.  Just as it’s been over three years since we’ve experienced spring in our hometown, it’s been about that long since we’ve taken an extended break from maintaining a journal.

We decided to sell our house and go vagabond on New Years Day, 2018.  Since then we’ve biked roughly 30,000 miles on tours through 15 countries (USA, Canada, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Slovenia, Switzerland, France, Greece, Albania, North Macedonia, Bosnia, Spain, Portugal, Taiwan) and 10 states and provinces (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California, Arizona, Utah, Hawaii, British Columbia, Alberta).  And stayed in a bazillion apartments, Airbnb’s, inns, casitas, habitaciones, auberges, motels, hotels, and sobes.

And published 13 journals, with 1,045 individual posts.  Not a bad record, for a period of roughly 1,200 days.  Yes, we think we’ve earned a few weeks off to appreciate the season.  Thank you again for keeping us company and keep us disciplined over these past three years!  Hopefully we’ll see you again down the road.  And hopefully we’ll be reading of your own adventures and wanderings soon.

I think we got our timing just about right this time.
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In the meantime, join us in appreciating a few scenes from the season and hearing the crows that we were pleased last night to find are roosting in the courtyard just below our window.

Sauvie Island, a spot we hope to see a lot of in the coming weeks.
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Horsetail eruption, Sauvie Island.
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On Sauvie Island.
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Easter egg hunt, Sauvie Island.
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Mount Saint Helens, Sauvie Island.
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On Sauvie Island.
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Multnomah Channel. Great to see Roddy out on the road again!
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A few squash, Sauvie Island.
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I always forget from one year to the next - what type are these again?
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Bruce LellmanIt's hard to say after a winter's deterioration but my guess would be spaghetti squash. But a better question would be why were they wasted? Are we sure they are not pumpkins? That would better explain why they were left to rot. The unsold ones not good for anything but Jack-O-Lanterns? Just guessing. They're not butternut squash.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanNo, definitely not pumpkins, which you also see rotting in the fields out here. Spaghetti seems right to me. I had the same question about why they were wasted like this.
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2 months ago
Jacquie GaudetWow! I agree with Bruce.
When I was a kid, we weren't allowed to put candles in our jack-o-lanterns because our mother would cook them afterward. We never objected because we all liked pumpkin pie! But Dad was handy and would rig up electric lights to go in them, with an extension cord through a hole he'd cut in the back.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jacquie GaudetThat’s a good story. The wastage is odd alright, and more extensive than is shown here. There are three long rows like this. I’m curious what the story is too.
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2 months ago
First osprey! We’re on the cusp. They’re just arriving, and the cranes are just leaving.
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So the big decision for the weeks ahead - can I stand to wait until the end of next month before dealing with this mess?
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Gregory GarceauYou're looking a lot like Neil Young in this picture. Great sideburns and wild hair. Let it grow. And, like Neil Young, you're very prolific and I bet you can't go a month-and-a-half without writing something here.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Gregory GarceauThanks for the advice. And I’m sure your prediction will hold up. Im thinking I’ll put something up when there’s a reason, maybe every week or so. Or maybe not. We’ll see.
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2 months ago
Bruce LellmanYou're all grown up now so you can do whatever you want to. Plus, during the time of Covid anything goes.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanI’ll pass this on to mom and dad the next time I speak with them. They’ve been hoping I’d grow up one of these years.
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2 months ago
Rachael AndersonTo Gregory GarceauThat’s what I think too. He’s addicted!
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2 months ago
Patrick O'HaraI'm with Rachael. Scott will think of another 'Portland Quest' while he's in town. Plus, you're rockin' the hair and burns!
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2 months ago
Bruce LellmanThere are a few new trees added to the list of Portland's Heritage Trees. If you go looking for them, Scott, you will certainly have to report on them. One of the new ones I think you have already photographed and shown in a previous journal.
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2 months ago
Jen GrumbyI suggest experimenting with some styling mouse before you decide to go and get anything cut off.

Maybe something spikey?

Now *that* would make a good blog post!
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyYes, a T Rex do sounds exactly right. I’ll check with the other half to see if she agrees.
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2 months ago
In Café Ponté, putting the finishing touches on the journal. Break time!
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Bruce LellmanKind of lonely looking which is why I will be sitting in one of those chairs tomorrow assessing your scruffy looks while our bikes mingle.
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2 months ago
Patrick O'HaraIs this your Almond Croissant place?
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Patrick O'HaraOne of two. Well, three. This one has the most character though.
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2 months ago
Rate this entry's writing Heart 9
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Bill ShaneyfeltEnjoy your time off!

Looking forward to the next journal.
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2 months ago
Kathleen JonesThe vaccination scenes have been amazing. When I got my second shot the tech tapped me on the arm and said, "You're all set." I surprised myself by bursting into tears. I couldn't even say thank you. The tech just nodded and smiled. She saw that a lot. The relief ....

My wife had a 3 hour ordeal at the nearby 49ers football stadium for her first shot, but smooth sailing for her second. Haven't heard of many horror stories like that at all but mostly good ones, fast and efficient and happy. Neither of us had bad side effects either, just a slightly sore arm and tired the next day.

I have been hiking with friends mask-free, and hugging (other fully-vaccinated) people again. It's wonderful.
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2 months ago
Bob DistelbergEnjoy your break! I guess it's a true sign of retirement when you have to take a break from your full-time vacation! Seriously, great job documenting all your adventures over the last few years. Looking forward to the next.
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2 months ago
Suzanne GibsonYou two have done a great job on keeping us posted and entertained. You deserve a break - but not too long, ok?
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2 months ago
Bruce LellmanWhat! No journal for awhile!? How will we keep track of you?

Thank you for an amazing three years of entertainment and discovery/education. I truly enjoy the way you see things.

I guess it would be alright to take a bit of time off.
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2 months ago
Andrea BrownThese have been amazing documents, Scott and Rachael. Thanks for taking us along. You definitely deserve a break.
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2 months ago
Jen GrumbyYes! A break would probably feel nice .. but I predict a burst of inspiration in the coming days.

And I hope that you'll share it here.

In the meantime thanks for the impressive dedication and entertainment over the past 3 years.

Can't wait to see you and Rachael next month!
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2 months ago
Patrick O'HaraOkay. Now, I'm officially going through Anderson Journal Withdrawal; often known as AJS. It's a serious affliction. Enjoy your well deserved break. And, thanks for sharing Team Anderson's adventures.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Patrick O'HaraHey, we started a new journal! Don’t pressure us.
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2 months ago