After a really transcendently fantastic five weeks in Portland, it was time to go home and get my house in order. In the future I’d like to basically move to Portland for the entire summer, with other travels around the West Coast, and getting that level of freedom is going to take some doing at home.
Thanks to everyone in Portland who made my visit so fantastic! Special props go out to Vasa, for making so much time for me while I was there and all the work she put into our relationship, Amanda for being such an amazing and gracious host, and Scott and Rita for all the Portland Local Logistical Support and hair bounces.
With various events, goodbyes, and Sangrias, it took me almost 24 hours of work to do a full tear-down and pack-up of the yurt and my gear into the Metro. I somehow wasn’t even able to fit as much crap in for the trip back as I did on the way here, and I had to leave several semi-valuable items behind. I kept having to remind myself that this it the first time anyone has ever done this, so it’s likely to start slowly. It was also clear that the effort required to sleep in the Metro on the road wouldn’t be worth it for the trip home. I wish I had made a couch-surfing account before I left on the trip, but for now I’m tent camping for sleep on the trip home. It’s actually less work to tent, and definitely a better night’s sleep. I’m also only going for 400 miles a day instead of 600, which is much easier on my body and spirit, and allows me to enjoy the trip a whole lot more.
The current plan with The Tortoise and Hare project is to buy or make a trailer to hold just the yurt and a small pop-up sleeping space, and then restore the passenger seat to the Metro. Scott and I discussed cloning design ideas from his long-suffering kayak trailer. I will also continue to pare down my field possessions until the entire kit and kabootle can be deployed in under and hour and packed in under two hours.
The last organized event I went to was a Polyamory support group hosted at someone’s house. Attendance was evidently 20% higher than ever before, with four Texan’s from our pod along for the ride. The meeting was very structured, with round-table introductions followed by a “what issues do people need help with” followed by contributions from the group. It was a great way for poly people to help each other out and share knowledge in what’s still a fairly new relating style(s). I felt very welcome and was impressed by the structure, which was more organized than most of what we have happening in Austin.
Right now I’m chilling at The Flying M Coffee Garage in Nampa, ID. It’s shockingly progressive compared to my ill-informed stereotypes about Idaho. They had no fewer than five gluten-free pastries, and huge and beautiful location with in and outdoor seating, free wi-fi, and everything was delicious. I want something a little meatier before I leave town, but I might just settle for some jerky and eat lunch further down the road. Tent camping went well last night, and I got a decent amount of sleep despite not getting there until 2 AM. Today I’m off to a much earlier start, so bedtime should be more reasonable.
I’m still averaging around 39 mpg. even with all the mountain driving and extra load. I did have the wind at my *back* coming out of Oregon, which was a *huge* difference to forcing my way into it going in.