California plannin’


View of downtown Portland from the Morrison Bridge bike ramp

Happy August to all! I hope those of you in the northern hemisphere aren’t sweltering too much. We did have a string of three or four 100F+ days (37C+) last week here in Portland. Fortunately, I was in a very pleasant air-conditioned apartment taking care of a wonderful kitty named Drogo (photos near the end) so I just stayed inside for a few days.

But, it’s time for me to start thinking ahead to the fall! And that means heading south to follow the sun.

From the Amtrak network map

I have taken my first leap in that direction by booking a two-week cat sit in Carmichael, just outside of Sacramento, for the second half of October. I think I will really enjoy the gig. I enjoyed my first visit to Sacramento, back in October of 2019 immediately after I got my Brompton—that was my first trip with it!—and Carmichael is within easy cycling distance to the suburb of Rancho Cordova, where there is an OsteoStrong gym.

That is one of my three main priorities as I look for sits going forward: 1) Is it reasonably near an Amtrak station? 2) Is there an OsteoStrong within about an hour by bike or transit? and 3) Is the area/neighborhood relatively flat, not too hilly for me to lug my rig up?

My general plan is to spend the fall in California, following Carmichael with November in the Bay Area (especially near San Jose, since that is the closest gym in the area) then early December around Santa Barbara and possibly a short stint in LA, then late December in the San Diego area, especially around north county spots like Carlsbad and La Jolla where the gyms are. (But I love the Hillcrest and Ocean Beach areas of San Diego, so I hope to be able to spend a week or two around there as well. I may also be willing to stay in the San Diego area into January, then possibly head toward Tempe, Arizona.)

If you know of anyone in any of those areas who might be interested in hiring a cat sitter (who now has a full year of experience, and 20 5-star reviews!) I would love your help in sending them this link to my cat sitting page.

Meanwhile, I’m still thoroughly enjoying the Portland summer. Since my last blog post, I have sat for two sister tuxedo cats in a condo overlooking the Willamette River; two sister tabby cats (my third time with them!); a gorgeous Bengal cat; and my current charges: three cats and a pondful of koi! (Sorry for the less-than-optimal photo of Max, the gray cat at the bottom here—who is still scared of me, so that is as close as I could get—and the lacking photo of Darryl, the outdoor kitty who is hard to photograph.)

Bird TV for Dora and Acorn
Drogo welcoming his new subject
Requesting a drink from the faucet
After his thirst has been thus slaked
Making biscuits
Being adorable
In his lair
Bowie exploring the new person
Max skeptically regarding the new person
Koi greeting the new person

During these various sits, I have also done my best to enjoy both the nature parks in the area and all the beautiful urban bridges. This place is so lovely in the summer.

Tualatin Hills Nature Preserve
Steel Bridge framed by roses of Sharon
Steel Bridge at dusk
Steel Bridge at night
Steel Bridge from below
View of downtown from the Steel Bridge
View of downtown from the Steel Bridge

I’m loving my life, and looking forward to its future unfoldings!

Broadway Bridge
Under the Broadway Bridge
Under the Fremont Bridge

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