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Friday, October 14, 2011

The Road Home

We're back!
Yeah, it's been a week since we returned, but what the hey? I promise to get my "blog legs" back, and start posting regularly again. Let's play a little catch-up:

  • Tuesday October 6: Our last full day in Chicago was a whirlwind adventure. We rode from Rogers Park to "The Loop", hitting up the Art Institute of Chicago. I checked out the big exhibit they had on Soviet posters from World War II, while April looked elsewhere. Then for the most touristy experience of the trip, a visit to the John Hancock Center. Rather than pay beaucoup dollars ($18 each) for the view at the top (100th floor), we opted for the secret cheaper option: a drink at the bar on the 96 floor. Yes, the drinks were mondo overpriced, but it still was A LOT cheaper than the alternative. After a quick stop at Quimby's bookstore, we had dinner with my old Portland pal Nate. And I almost got hit by a car. Yay, Chi-town.
  • Wednesday October 7: We hustled to Chicago's Union Station just in the nick of time to box our bikes and get on board the eastbound Empire Builder to Portland. For the next two days (from about 2pm Central Time Wednesday to 10am Pacific Time Friday) we lived aboard the train, accompanied by Paul and Caroline (and Paul's dad, Jerry). Paul and Caroline just finished their cross-country bike tour, Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine. The trip back was fun (despite some verrrryyyy obnoxious drunks in the Lounge Car), we all caught up with each other and watched the Plains roll by.
  • And the week we've been back has gone by like a blur. Set up "shop" in our temporary digs. Vaguely "look for work". Re-introduce myself to friends and acquaintances. It's good to be back, but weird. The weirdest is riding around without having to think about where I'm going. And ten years later, it's still weird to think about Portland being "home". But home it is. I'm getting spoiled by the West Coast. Chicago was the furthest east we went. It's not "The East", but it felt East enough for now.
Wish me luck on the toughest adventure to come, "Real life back home."

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