Sunday, July 8, 2007

desert lions

oregonoregonoregon! our tenth and last state, our dove and olive branch. for me, it is like a sluggish, grandiose homecoming: this is my state of birth and upbringing, the only state about which i can successfully answer mundane trivia, (state bird: western meadowlark, state flower: oregon grape, state tree: douglas fir...) and it feels strange finally to have arrived, to know that we are less than a week away from the end of the trip, that these flagging days will be sipped and drunk up and then gone.

eastern oregon, in its desert sparseness and unimaginable heat (100+ degrees the last five days) has been trying, with great effort, to kill us. when we descended into hell's canyon two days ago, it was about 110 degrees outside; roughly 118 down in the canyon. yesterday, while biking, i felt dizzy and lightheaded and watery and thought i was going to pass out; paul, for his part, was stung impolitely by a wasp less than two minutes after crossing into oregon; and dave, our boyish hero, was also stung by a bee...on his upper lip. (the swelling has lessened. still, though: bulbous left cheek, plump lip, misshaped mouth) but we are indefatigable! we are armed with thunderous thighs and electrolytes. and we are in EFFING OREGON, so, really, there is nothing that can deaden our spirits at this point. we have skin like sunlight, we chew iron nails and break bodies out of boredom.

to catch up: we spent independence day in grangeville, ID, with our new friend Paul, a Brit, who, for reasons owing to his heritage, had no real reason to think that July 4th was a holiday at all. we are slowly turning him, however: already he has been coaxed into consuming peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chocolate malts, american microbrews, a chili burger, cheesecake, root beer floats, etc, none of which he tried before this trip. he will have tried grits before we're through with him.

there is more to tell but it is late, we have sung long songs to ourselves today (115 mile ride, a new record), and so we now slump to sleep. i leave you, as usual, with the address for the next post and with a small selection of photos.

there is love.

Our final post:
David Ulrich
General Delivery

United States Postal Service
35230 Brooten RD
Pacific City, OR 97135-9100

We will arrive in Pacific City on the morning of the 14th. The day before the last day of our trip. Send quickly, dearest loves; we've no time to dally!

And now:
entering oregon:

jumping high-five:


dave kissing the Oregon soil:

the policemen:

adventure cycling office:

we bleed at the shins for all the scratching. we are desert lions with small reflections.



Anonymous said...

Congrats guys! I'm jealous of all the great places you've gotten to see! Have fun on your last days of the trip! Thanks for the postcards! We've enjoyed hearing from ya'll and reading the blog. The pictures are priceless!

ps. Dave the cattle grate in the yard is commonly known as a cattle-guard! LOL! Just an FYI!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading your feelings regarding your "birth" state. Oregon is truly beautiful.
You are so close to us now I can almost feel your touch on my face--a mom's wishful thinking!! Pedal on, my little one. See you soon.

si nanamo

Amos said...

The weather, I'm afraid, will be unrelenting this week. Oregon is a desert in the summer even in the valley where it will be 100+ this week. When you hit the coast, you might want to stay -- we'll come to you!

Anonymous said...

Whoda thunk that you'd have all this desert at the end? But you are just the END of your amazing journey. How'd that happen? I guess one mile at a time.....and a ton of heart and joy and fearless hope carrying you from state to state....(plus a couple thousand angels fending off trucks... cars and whatever else...except it seems dogs (sorry Nick) and bees. At least the bees recognized that you were a native and only stung the foreigners. Oregon needs to hire a new welcoming committee to the glorious Pacific Northwest. I hope you get out of the blast furnace soon and can savor your last few stretches of open road.
Love you.
Momma U

a low roar said...

many congrats my friends. much luck and love on the rest of your journey.


Mrs. Ham said...

I think Bob and I might briefly be in Astoria-ish at the same time you are arriving. Weird.

longneck said...

hope to see you soon... we all leave on the 13th. So before or after, it'll be good. Call?


Summer said...

Ahhhh! first i was sad because i would miss the two of you on this trip and now i find myself strangely sad that it will be ending. i will miss your blogs, pictures, postcards!, and the great lists! what happend to washington? did you go through? i cant belive your already on the west coast! Congratulations Boys! im so impressed and proud of you! cant wait to hear some stories around a camp fire or something, (seems the most fitting setting to hear your tales.) :) much love,

Anonymous said...

Nick, I cannot believe you are so tanned. What a wonderful trip the two of you had. I am so envious but happy that I get to see you soon.

si nanamo

pete said...

dave- good job mr pants. whats next for you? i know..... you should do a fishing season with those guys on Deadliest Catch. you know... the show about the crab boats? ... i could see you in there guttin cod and stringing up bait... choppin ice and getting all silly. think about it...


annepants said...

wowee zowee! oregon! the west side! PST! my home coast! and nick: you ARE so tan! xo

Anonymous said...