I was so excited to reach Portland that I could’ve cried. Rest days are such an amazing luxurious thing on an adventure, especially after a tough stretch. A day off to sleep, sit, eat, drink and do anything except scoot…so happy!
We were staying with an Israeli family, Maya and Lior and their 3 lovely daughters, who’d found out about our scoot online and offered to put us up Our room was really comfortable and had direct access to their their jacuzzi! We had such a fun time staying with them. Playing games, sharing Israel stories and generally enjoying the chaos of a house with 3 young girls running around playing games.
KATU, a local TV station came out to film with us in the morning. It was the first time I’ve been on telly (Gil has been on National Israel TV recently). They brought their big fancy camera and filmed us whizzing back and forth on our scooters. It was a cool experience. You can watch the full video on my Facebook page.
People often ask if press get in touch with us but that is very rarely the case. We’ve been sending out dozens if not hundreds of emails to radios, news, magazines, etc in the hope that they’ll want to cover our story. I then send a reminder email as we near an area. It’s a mammoth job but the more exposure we get, the more we can fundraise!
Thanks to Backcountry Wine Tours we got to really make the most of our day off with a wine tour – something Gil and I were really excited to do. We visited a number of beautiful vineyards, learning about the process of wine making. I tried to distinguish between our tasters above and beyond ‘I like that’ and ‘I don’t like that’….I think I need more practice!
It was great tour and I learnt loads…and even managed to refrain from getting completely bladdered!
Finding it hard to leave
That night our Portland/Israeli family organised a delicious Shabbat dinner and invited friends and neighbours to watch our TV appearance (cringe! I hate the sound of my voice).
It was so much fun. The evening was over way too quick.
The next morning one of the neighbours, Sarah and her daughters Larken and Arwen, returned with a Starbucks gift card for Gil and I to use on our travels and a $100 donation for the charity. Maya had prepared a large breakfast and they all waved us off as we scooted away.
It was one of the hardest goodbyes yet and I felt that internal warmth from all the kindness and generosity that we have experienced. I wish we could have stayed for longer.
Before we’d got 20minutes from the house we’d been recognised twice from people who’d seen us on TV, including by a runner named Tom who handed us $20 as a donation.
What a morning!!
A bad decision
The first 2 days leaving Portland were scorching hot. I much prefer hot to cold although it does make me tired. We’d been joined for a short while by Devon, Crisa and Daisy (the dog). Devon from Strange Trail Productions is making a film about our expedition, which I’m super excited about. He is planning to join us at certain points. It was a nice distraction watching them with all those epic gadgets going to any means to get a good shot.
They also joined us for a night as we stayed with John and Caye. They had so many cool stories to share. John is bling so Caye reads to him every morning….I hope we’re that cute when we are their age!
Gil getting some lemonade. So American!
We left the sleepy town of Dayton on our way to Corvallis. Every kick felt like an effort. I had stomach cramps, sore muscles and a killer mood to go with it. Deciding to get away from the busy main road we detoured down an alternative route which we have done many times before. The noise and business of the main roads can get tedious.
About 12km in, the road turned to gravel – disaster!! We had no choice but to get off our scooters and push and to then take the next turning right which would lead us back to the main road, adding a total of 10km to our already long day.
I was so annoyed. My already bad mood got worse and I was really wondering why I was doing this. Then I started to feel bad because I haven’t been enjoying the scooting and I feel like I should be because I’ve been dreaming about this for so long. The irony!
The perfect medicine
Eventually we turned up at our warm showers hosts Barbara and Curt. I showered and had 3 helpings of the Mexican dinner Barbara had prepared and a massive serving of the most delicious chocolate fudge ice cream I’ve ever had.
Well that felt better!
Barbara and Curt showed us their garage which actually turned out to be a hanger with 2 planes in!! Both of them have their pilots licence and a direct private access road to ferry their planes straight to the runway!!! So cool.
Don’t get any ideas Gil….
I was tucked up in bed reading by 9 and although I was really tired I just couldn’t sleep. Instead I just gave up trying and read through most of the night instead. At least it was relaxing, plus I managed to finish my book (the Girl Before) so can now leave it behind and switch to my kindle (a bit less weight!).
2 easy days
We have planned our schedule for the days ahead based on accommodation options. Camping has been hurting my back which is then really painful when scooting so I want to make the most of a bed whenever we can.
It meant that we ended up with 2 shorter days in anticipation of the 2 linger days that proceeded it. Our first was 36km – which took us about 5 hours – on what I think was our flattest day yet. I got in to a really nice rhythm on the scooter. We ended in a town called Corvallis which I immediately loved. It’s funny because I have no sense of the places we are heading to. Sometimes they are amazing and sometimes not – I quite like not knowing!
We spent the night with Beth and Sam, both retired academics. They had an amazing grand piano in their lounge and Beth played the Flower Duet which she’d learnt for her mum. She played it so beautifully it made me want to cry!
I slept so well that night, finally catching up on sleep. I woke feeling refreshed and with a huge smile as I’d seen Beth and Sam had also donated $100 to our cause. In the morning Sam took us on a tour of the nearby OSU campus where he used to work as a dean. It left me wanting to go back to university…maybe it’s time to do a masters!
With just 26km ahead of us we took it easy. It wasn’t the best scoot – all on one road with no hard shoulder. Without a hard shoulder you’ve got to really keep an eye on the traffic so you can’t relax. We stopped at a coffee shop for a snack and then at a pub for a huge lunch. As usual we ordered way too much not anticipating the US portion sizes but still somehow managed to eat every last bite.
Our hosts for the night (Carl, Sherry and their children Shelzza and James) came and picked us up as their farm was a short drive away and on a gravel road. They dropped us back at the same spot in the morning so we could keep our continuous line.
We stretched and I quickly caught up with my blog.
James and Shelzza are homeschooled so it was interesting seeing their environment and how well the children have done from it. Before dinner Shelzza helped Gil do some route planning and contacting potential hosts while I showed James how we were fundraising and the children we are supporting. At some point James snuck into our room and left us $5 and a note saying donation and even left us with a poem and strict instructions not to read until we are scooting.
Their board game collection!
The next stretch is a long 2 days over the mountain range from Eugene to Florence where we rejoin the coast. I’m excited about seeing the sea but not so much about the mountain part in between.
We are doing this expedition to raise money for Africa’s Children in Education. Please help us build a school in East Africa by donating here. Thank you…..your support means a lot!!! Make sure you are following our journey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
This expedition is being supported by Vivo Life!