Posted by: chptr37 | 04/01/2009

Pg. 0: Portland


View of downtown Portland from the balcony of the room at the Governor Hotel.


  • Miles Today: 247
  • Miles Total: 247
  • From/To: Portland to La Grande
  • Soundtrack: Johnny Cash, “Sixteen Tons.”
  • Slept: The Governor hotel
  • New thing: Wind turbines along the Columbia Gorge


Down on my knees scrubbing the hardwood floors. Carrying my suitcases through the rain to pack them into the car. Heading east out of the place that’s been my home for a very long time. Pouring rain. I mean pouring. And then the snow on the pines as I hit the blue mountains.

This is what my days are going to be like for a while, I think. The world going by outside my window. The sound of the road, barely drowned out by the music I’m singing along to at full blast. Me, in my head, wondering what the hell I’m doing here, driving across the country, opposite of the way that I got here so many years ago.

Got a late start today and didn’t make it very far. From Portland to La Grande. Tomorrow’s going to be a day of playing mile catch-up already. It’s also going to be the day that I turn 37, and officially begin Chapter 37, as it were. It’s going to be a crazy, wild, wonderful, wacky, challenging and constantly changing year. And I’m, surprisingly, looking forward to it more than I’d like to admit.

Far and fast, s.


“If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.” -Glenn Clark



  1. Wow three weeks! I did a google map to see how long it would take if you did straight shot, no stops, and it’s a day and 17 hours. Though I have to admit, if I were to drive across country I would probably want to do it the way you are. Any plans on places you are going to visit or is it more just letting the wind take you?

  2. Shanna, I’ll be following along. And in case you can’t check in tomorrow – Happy Birthday!!!

  3. Happy Birthday sweet baby! Miss you so much! Safe travels. Scarf some good greasy road food for me, would you? Thanks taking us along with you…..

  4. You make me miss our flight through the desert, cats and UHaul trailer in tow. It hurts, it’s hard. It feels wonderfully alive and full of potential I still miss Portland, but even if we’d stayed, you can’t go home again. Time passes and things are lost even if you hold still trying to prevent it. Best to throw yourself headlong into the stream and see what happens!

    I always have loved car trips through the American West – love it for me.

  5. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    He was careful
    Then he wasn’t
    And this made him lucky

  6. Shawn: I know. Right? But I’m hoping to see things (canyons, caverns, pixies, masks, sages, lizards…) along the way! And I’m totally playing it by ear.

    Ero: Thanks for the wishes. So glad you’re coming along for the ride!

    Gina: I’ll do whatever you ask of me. You know that. Except, perhaps, lay down naked in the moss… we all know how that turns out.

    L: You make me miss you. And Portland. And the furry creatures. I’m taking my home with me is all… And I promise to love every minute of it. Okay… maybe not -every- minute…

    Mike: Is that my birthday poem? If so, I’m so excited — thank you. Can you tell me the poem topic for SCAA? I want to play along.

    I miss you all already, even those on the far side of the world. It’s wonderful and odd to be in transition…

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