And it’s hard to hold a candle

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Ahh, November in the northwest. How I will not miss thee. I am in Vancouver Washington at my cousin Ryan’s house. He’s been kind enough to give me a couple days of R&R before I head down to my sister’s place in Corvalis for Turkey Day.

The first few days of my trip have been comically wet. At times I wondered if a firetruck with a malfunctioning hose was following me around. Storm drains overflowed, culverts geysered by the roadside, and me with a huge smile on my face; laughing at the absurdity of it all. When the temperature did drop enough to make me uncomfortable I reminded myself that I was not sitting at a desk and all was well again. The irony is that some of you back in Seattle may have been saying “I’m sure glad I’m not where Dave is right now” as the rain beat down. Good times.

 

The route I chose took me from West Seattle, through Auburn; Puyallup; Spanaway; Roy; Yelm; Tenino; Centralia; Vader; Kelso; and Woodland. With the low clouds and decaying vegetation there wasn’t too much to see. I did at three distinct occasions have, what I assume must have been kids, come up behind me in a truck, honk, then speed off. I remember kids who used to do this on Whidbey Island where I grew up. Apparently they think it will scare the rider and cause them to crash. It does not. I saw roadside sign for a video store that read: “If John Wayne saw Brokeback Mountain he would put a patch over the other eye”. I had identified what the honking really was. Rednecks. Their standard to bear is that of ignorance and intolerance. How disgusting.

 

I have received quite a few questions about my trip. Check out the FAQ

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In the pipe, five by five

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Status: Green

After a brief and annoying delay, this project is back on the rails. The house is imminently sold; I sign paperwork tomorrow and it closes in a week. My other milestones are 90% complete. I’m in good enough shape to start the trip, albeit I won’t be doing 80 mile days right off the bat, and I only need a few more pieces of gear before the rig is road ready.

The lingering of the house on the market afforded me some extra time to: exhale, finish the gear planning, and take my time to clean out the house. All that remains at this point is my last day at work, tomorrow: Nov. 2nd, clean out the house, organize my gear, plan the route for the first three days, and sell my vehicles. Anyone interested in purchasing a slightly abused ’96 Subaru Legacy Outback? How about a beast? (http://thebeast.baffles.us)

The rain and cold of November in the northwest will make the first 6-8 weeks interesting. As I ride south each passing week should bring warmer weather, less rain, and more sand. I have to admit, there is something about riding south out of the cold, dark, damp Seattle winter with a middle finger held high palm facing forward that brings a smile to my face. Spite is a wonderful motivator. I’m very excited to get on the road. I feel a little like a runner who has been sitting in the blocks for several months; queued up and ready to go. I don’t think I could feel better about my preparation and planning to this point. I have intentionally avoided planning some of the tactical details of the trip to preserve spontaneity and adventure.

I’m currently planning on escaping on Nov. 14th.

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