A bicycle adventure, season-turning trees… and more kitties


It’s been a couple of weeks since I wrote. I’m feeling much better, thanks to many supportive friends and a change of scenery.

And… it’s a new season now! Fall is always bittersweet for me; the leaves are beautiful, but I mourn the loss of the warmth and light. Hence my plan to head south, in just a few weeks; I’m looking forward to California!

As I do my best to wrap up my time here in Portland—where I’ve been back for a year, as of September 17th—I’m feeling mostly good, but some of my medical appointments may require me to come back briefly in November or December. I’m not looking forward to the cost, weather, nor logistics of this, but it is what it is, and I’m choosing to move forward and enjoy California as much as I can, starting on October 12th.

Meanwhile, around here I was generously gifted a ride back from Bend (thanks again, Raven!) and then a ride across the Columbia River into Vancouver, Washington (thanks, Lindsay, if you’re reading!) to care for an adorable little orange munchkin named Clementine.

Clementine lives near some lovely parks, and I went out several times to enjoy the late-summer sunshine and beautiful trees.

My ride back to Portland, though, fell through. I had assumed that bicycling back would be more challenging than I wanted—even at only 11 miles—with my rig. I had biked the I-205 bridge once before, years ago (on my old bike, no rig) and remembered the uphill and headwind on the bike lane (in the middle of the freeway) though to be fair those were mostly on the northbound journey. But this day was to be 90 degrees (32 C) and I had just given plasma that morning, including a one-hour round trip bike trek to and from the plasma place.

I can’t take my rig on a bus, though. And when I thought of ordering a Lyft, I worried that drivers might be loath to allow me to put all my (sometimes grungy) traveling components into their car.

So, I figured, why not just do it? Yes, plasma, yes, 90 degrees, yes, some hills… but it’s 11 miles! Don’t be ridiculous! You can do this.

And… I could, and I did. I admit I felt a bit wilty and tired in the heat at times, but there was some lovely scenery, and I took a few rests.

And at the end of the day, I arrived in SE Portland to my new cuddly and vocal charge, Lavender!

I spent several days enjoying his snuggly energy, and then it was time to move on to a more regal kitty, in SW Portland, named Quinny. She gives the most deluxe kitty boops I have ever experienced; I have dubbed them “Quinny boops.”

Arriving here to Quinny’s abode did involve a hill challenge: right at the last leg of the journey, there is an 80-foot climb in a one-block stretch. I cannot bike that angle, with or without a rig! So I hoofed it, remembering similar “hikes” from my year’s travels, including one in San Francisco and a gravel one between San Jose and Santa Cruz.

I’ve got one more night here with Quinny, and then tomorrow I’ll be staying with a bicycle friend in NE Portland for a few nights.

Happy fall to those of you up north here with me, and happy spring to those in the southern hemisphere!

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