I woke up early at Patrick’s Point on day 15. It was about 7am and my alarm was ringing loudly reverberating off the walls of the camper and shaking me awake. Once I got out of my sleeping bag, the cold rushed to my body clinging to me and making me shiver as I slowly began to move and pack up my site. Despite the cold and my general grogginess, I felt prepared and motivated. Earlier on the trip, I had begun to psyche myself out for this drive because I knew it would be a long one. I kept thinking that the father I got north, the more devastating it would be if I had car trouble. This morning however, I was feeling confident. I had my music lined up for the whole drive and I had been meticulously checking every aspect of my truck to make sure everything was running smoothly and in the right place. The drive mostly consisted of highways. I knew that the actual driving aspect of it would be OK. It was the mental aspect that had me worried. I didn’t want to push my old truck too hard.
I ended up leaving Patrick’s Point around 8am. The day started off grey and foggy but the road wound through the forested area around Patrick’s Point and towards the California/Oregon border giving the drive a mystical element. As the road began veering towards the ocean, a giant green field appeared on my right. There weren’t many people on the road besides me so I was surprised to see brake lights in front of me. I stopped right behind this SUV when I saw what was going on. A giant elk about the size of a small car was lumbering across the street in front of us. The animal was enormous! I had never seen anything quite that big in person and it shocked me. If cars weren’t waiting, I might have stayed there all day observing the animal but eventually it made it’s way across the street and I had to forge on.
My route called for me to stay on the 5 as it was a relatively straight shot. To get there though, I needed needed to cross the border and get away from the coast. Crossing the border into Oregon was the best part of the drive. Trees lined the highway welcoming me into the Beaver State and I even saw some trees changing color which was a new site for me.
I finally rolled into Portland with a sore knee and a sputtering truck but nothing could dim my excitement to finally be in Portland. I knew right away that this was the right decision. Oscar had just gotten off work as I was pulling up to his apartment, it was perfect timing. We went into his building to put down my stuff but as a good host does, he took me to get a beer right away. We took a short walk through his neighborhood to a rooftop bar. The walk itself was under 10 minutes but I loved every minute of it. Walking around in a city for the first time is something that cannot be replicated.
After driving all day, relaxing in Portland was exactly what I needed. Chillin’ on a rooftop, drinking a beer and eating nachos was an ideal first night. We continued on and eventually met up with Oscar’s wife, Cindy. We ended up going to this bar called “Mission Control” that was filled with retro arcade games. Oscar and Cindy were nice enough to let me sleep at their house that whole weekend, which I was eternally grateful for. All in all, it was a good first night in the city and I was looking forward to a day of exploration tomorrow.