Tilmann is soooo excited for his first train ride!
I got over to the station with plenty of time to spare. That was a good thing because I realized I had forgotten my camera connector kit to download photos from my camera. I had a short conversation with myself trying to decide if I could figure out how to transfer the photos via the wifi on my camera, or if I should just ride back home and get the connector kit. Since I had about 25 minutes before my train was to arrive, I opted to ride home and get the kit--save the wifi lesson for a time when I'm not sitting at a picnic table. Since I had already taken everything off Tilmann, I ran into the station and told the volunteer I was just going to ride home quickly, leaving the big bag and the two front panniers there. Quick as a bunny I hopped home, got the kit, threw it into the handlebar bag, and rode back to the station. Took me all of 10 minutes.
Train was on time (shock of shocks!). My favorite train guy, Mark, was working today. He grabbed my big bag and hauled it onto the train for me. Another guy took Tilmann, and I was on the train lickety split! We pulled into Portland at about 11:10. Because I couldn't carry the bag and wheel Tilmann at the same time, I stopped just off the train and loaded everything up.
The train to the left is not the train I was on. The train I was on had moved forward by the time I had Tilmann loaded and ready to go. It had moved forward to refuel, stopping on top of the place I needed to cross to get to the station. But, never fear, my buddy Mark motioned for me come across the tracks. Of course, there was no way I could carry Tilmann fully loaded across two sets of tracks! Mark just came over and picked up Tilmann and carried him across the tracks for me. What a great guy!
I left the train station at 11:25. I had Google mapped my route from the station to Champoeg State Park. I even wrote out the turn by turn directions. No problems getting through downtown.
Afterall, it is the most bike friendly city! Bike lanes everywhere!
When I came to Terwilliger Blvd, I figured I was in for some climbing. Yep, I was. Terwilliger climbs up by OHSU, Dornbecher Childrens' Hosp, and the VA Hospital. There was bike lane the whole way.
I came down the other side and missed the street Google wanted me to take. It was strange because the road I came to was later in my directions. But, I've found sometimes there is a good reason for going the way Google says (sometimes not). Since I was only a short distance beyond the road I was supposed to turn on, I went back. I wound my way through a neighborhood of rather nice homes, and came out to the same road I had been at, only further up. Maybe there wasn't a bike lane or something on the other part.
I worked my way through Tigard, and then Durham. At Durham, I saw a sign for a park. I was pretty hungry by now, so I pulled off and fixed some lunch. It started to spit rain, but it was pretty muggy, so I didn't worry too much.
Back on the road, Google said to go straight onto this one road. Well, it had a dead end sign. But, the next few directions were "Go left 150 ft. Go right .5 miles. Go left..." No street names. I discovered that's Google's way of telling you you are to go on a path. This path was through a Durham city park, and a Tualatin park. I rode through a butterfly garden, but saw no butterflies. I rode across the Tualatin River on this awesome bridge.
The bridge connecting the two parks.
I popped out the other side, and was back to following road signs. I was on a pretty busy road, but this was the bike lane, so it was okay.
Very nice, huh?
After another couple of neighborhood ramblings, I finally had to get on a hwy. There was a wide shoulder, but lots of traffic, so it was pretty noisy. It also started to rain, so I stopped to put on my rain jacket.
I went up a good climb, and down the other side where I made the turn to head toward St Paul. Champoeg State Park is before St. Paul, or at least I turned off before then. The last road was Campoeg Rd. I was finally on a country road.
Nice scenery, even in the rain.
Made it to the park at about 3:40. Even though today's ride was almost entirely in urban and suburban areas, it wasn't bad. I was rarely without a bike lane.
Champoeg State Park is the start of the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway. It should be mostly rural roads from here on out. This park is awesome! The H/B site has a power outlet and a covered shelter (two actually). Hot showers of course, as this is an Oregon State Park! There are a few of us here. Two guys and I are sharing the picnic table under the shelter.
Scott and Alex. Scott is homeless, and Alex is from Portland.
Weirdest thing today (sort of) was that I did not see a single Subway restaurant!