I’ve spent the last few weeks traveling along the west coast and having a blast. It started with seeing some family, spending great days at the beach, and my first ozone treatment.
The ozone was interesting – getting a needle in my neck and 50 cc’s of pure oxygen pumped into my blood. It brought on quite the bout of coughing, but I definitely noticed the difference in my body right away. I felt more alive. Kinda like the high I was feeling with the anticipation of my journey.
Then it was 1100 miles up the coast on my motorcycle. The first day was 400 miles, with only a single stop for amazing bowl of clam chowder at Splash Cafe (which, by the way, is award winning for good reason). The line out front looked like the line for Pinks Hot Dogs in Hollywood.
I spent the night in Novato with my first Couchsurfing host Ananda, which was a blast. I made a fantastic friend whom I share a lot in common with. (Update: I later stayed with Ananda with my dad when we traveled the PCH together!) Then it was up at 8 and back on the road in impenetrable fog and 33°F temperatures. It warmed up a bit (to the upper 30’s), but dropped down into the 20’s when I entered the Shasta National Forest. As I entered Shasta City, the snow began to fall. Heavily. The next 60 miles where rather miserable, riding with one had and using the other to constantly wipe the snow off my visor. The snow stopped as I entered Oregon, but the respite was short-lived. After I passed Ashland, I had 120 miles of rain which was barely above freezing.
But I made it, riding over 700 miles without stopping except for gas. My nutritionist friend taught me how to drink a sip of water every 15 minutes and have a bite of beef jerky every hour. It keeps you fed and hydrated without any excess you need to get rid of (pit stops). She also showed me how to ride with my feet on the passenger pegs and leaning on the gas tank. I would never have made it sitting upright the entire way. Finally I pulled up to my destination at 9 p.m. Three days later, my finger tips stopped tingling. So that’s what minor frostbite feels like!
While in the Northwest, I’ve used the opportunity to visit some landmarks and meet some incredible friends. Hiking Multnomah Falls was breathtaking. I found out that I got lucky, as the trail to the top of the falls is sometimes closed for years at a time after being washed out.
I have now finished purchasing my travel gear, and have used the last few days to finish the last of my affairs in the US. I’ve also been working on my on-line TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course, which I will definitely be using in my travels.
One of the highlights of my stay in Portland so far was my lunch a couple days ago. Went to a cafe called Shut Up and Eat. The food was delicious (update: for the record, I had no idea what a good Italian sandwich tasted like), and I had the pleasure of meeting a most fantastic friend. Leanne is about to become an international traveler herself, having retired from the military. She has the same carefree lifestyle that I have and admire so much. A charming girl, and an inspiration for my upcoming travels.
So now I’m waiting for my flight to London. I already have couchsurfing hosts lined up for London, Bristol, Wales and Scotland. From there, I have no idea where my journey will take me.