Spring’s arrival in Portland


This has felt like the longest winter ever.

Last year I “opted out” of Portland’s winter, in what I hoped was the beginning of a new pattern. It felt so satisfying to be traveling through warm and sunny Arizona, Georgia, and Florida during Portland’s winter weather.

Alas, I’m back here this year, and this particular winter has stretched on seemingly forever, with temps still not ever having reached 60, I don’t think… and rain, rain, rain alongside the chill.

Fortunately, at least the blossoms have begun making their appearance, and that is always delightful.

I left Silverton a couple of weeks ago on an extremely rainy day. Fortunately, the homeowner whose cats I looked after was willing and able to drive me and my rig to the Salem train station; I would have been continuously drenched during the hour-and-a-half pedal if not.

Once I arrived at the train station, whom should I spy but a fellow Bromptoneer! Sadly, the volunteer photographer I hastily pressed into service as our bus pulled up was not the most skillful at framing, but I wanted to at least commemorate the occasion with a photo. This fellow cyclist lives in Portland and works in Salem, and he told me that his wife and daughters also each have Bromptons. It’s always fun for me to run into such others “in the wild.”

When our bus pulled into the Portland station, I happened to see my sister briefly; she was arriving in Portland on the train from Seattle! She got to meet my friend Greg, who picked me up at the station on our way to enjoy a delicious meal at the all-vegan (and queer- and Mexican-owned) taqueria Mis Tacones. Their tacos are amazing.

Before I met up with those two at the station, though, I briefly stole away on my bike—stashing the trailer in the first-class lounge, as is my perk as an Amtrak Select Plus member this year—to photograph the nearby cherry blossoms in the Japanese American Historical Plaza along the Willamette River waterfront. The blossoms were nearing peak bloom, so I was glad to be able to capture my (nearly) annual photos. Being in Portland does have its benefits.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been sitting a total of three adorable cats, including nearly identical littermates Dora and Acorn, as well as my old friend Simba, whose humans will sadly be moving away soon, so I may not see him again. (The last photo is of him, peeking out from under the leaves.)

I’ve also been out doing various errands and such, and have taken advantage of the opportunities to enjoy bicycle paths and spring blooms. The camellias are gorgeous this time of year.

I did get caught in a wicked downpour a few days ago. Wow! Reminded me of my ride from Niagara Falls to Buffalo last summer, when I could barely see through the driving rain. Thank goodness for Gore-Tex!

My other primary activity, for the past month, has been talking with people all over the world via Cambly. I’ll have to write more about those experiences in a future post, but I’ve spoken with people from about 20 countries, on multiple continents, and it has been very interesting and rewarding. I’m glad I’ve added this new activity to my life.

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