Nick on the bike 2005: Oregon to Virginia
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Day 1:Airports & Airplanes
July 15, 2005, 11:31 PM
Where am I now: Florence, Oregon
Today's distance: something over 3000 miles

6AM: I've made it to the Charlottesville airport, hasty early morning good byes, bleary from too little sleep & too much frenzy trying to get everything together the past few days. I probably need to go for a bike ride.

There's this hurricane {or what's left of it) parked somewhere in Ohio, and it's been spinning off rain and humidity for several days now. Today looks like more of the same. Might as well try someplace else, the weather's bound to be better. Time to get on the plane.

8:30: Cincinnati, fog & rain, quick change of planes. The pilot says the weather in Salt Lake is clear & sunny. Bring it on!

My seat mate on the last flight was a friend of a friend (Dave Grant, who had many friends), we had great conversation despite the early hour. First of what I hope will be many encounters with interesting people on this trip. Haven't exactly gotten into travel Zen yet, but I'm headed there. At least I don't have to sweat about losing luggage in airplaneworld--all I have is two small carry-on sacks of stuff.

Someplace over Illinois the clouds break and there is vastness to behold from 36000 fe et...rectilinear fields & road net, occasional meandering stream, town with a bypass, haze. Something tells me vastness is going to be a recurring theme in the weeks to come. Big river, I bet it's the Mississippi. Next time I get with that one it will be more close & personal.

Great conversation with a guy from Winnamucca Nevada......radial irrigation circle below on parched brown landscape of western Nebraska, dirt roads & not much else--more vastnesss.

Southern Wyoming....we can see the Peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park to the south in Colorado, looks like there's still a lot of snow in the high country. Wyoming looks hot and dusty, suggestions of things to come in eastern Montana in a few weeks. We pass over Flaming Gorge then swing south and west over the Wasatch Mts, directly over Utah State and Logan where Beth went to school, and on into Salt Lake City. Looks like there's plenty of water in the lake. And the sun is shining. I feel better already.

hazy and hot at the airport in Salt Lake

Another plane, an hour & twenty minutes to Eugene. Salt Lake so blue and inviting, then just salt, white & forbidding not fit for man or beast.

Landed in Eugene, sunny 70 something weather, friend Tim met me at the airport & we made our way out to Florence in the old Saab. South from Florence to Dune City and the home of David & Linda on Siltcoos Lake, where I had shipped the bike.

All is well with the bike, unpacked & assembled the stuff, then we all went out to seafood dinner in Florence. A great first day all in all, I'm beat, tomorrow's a new day. I'll ride out of here {huge hill} & over to the dunes & beach.

Tim & Linda check out the rig

Linda & David's back yard with a view of Siltcoos Lake

fishing boats on the Siuslaw River at Florence

Photo of the day: