Day 1 Portland to Silverton, OR 57 miles
This day will deserve so much more reflection after I am able to settle into a more normal rhythm. Today was just really full, deeply moving, overwhelming and fun. The day began with closing up my apartment, passing off my keys to my next door neighbor (Thanks Maggie!), and heading to the church for the first time in my life in biking gear.
My church family at Eastminster pulled together a wonderful send off ceremony. This was especially powerful for me. The words have not yet come, but it meant more to me than I could have imagined. I was surprised by how much the congregation is also adopting this theme of pilgrimage. I was moved and I am sure a blog will be entirely devoted just to that experience once I can get my head and heart around it.
Now to the logistics. The unpredictable nature of the pilgrimage has begun. I didn’t even get out of town before needing to stop at Performance Bicycles to re-calibrate my bike computer. In my enthusiasm to start this pilgrimage at Mile Zero I somehow erased ALL the settings and it took an expert to get me back on the road. I couldn’t leave without knowing how I was going to report how my miles I had ridden each day. It seems I took along my ego on trip as well.
My legs were sluggish today largely the result of not getting enough miles in during the last week in the frantic rush to have everything ready to go. Still I completed 57 good miles without feeling that I had gone to my limit. I have about 70 miles planned for tomorrow with some climbing. The real test will be the next day getting over Santiam Pass with the 50 pounds of gear on board. That day should give me a good indication of how ready I am for this type of mileage on a daily basis.
Another blog will have to be written about staying with my hosts through the warmshowers network. For now let me say that they saved me tonight. I snapped a tent pole tonight and luckily my host is an electrician. He had lots of little trinkets in his shop and we improvised a short-term fix. I hope it lasts one more day and then when I get to Redmond and Bend I’ll need to replace my poles for the remainder of the trip.
All in all…a good, good day.