I was astonished that my bicycle and gear made the Charlotte connection; there they were, in Portland, with me. Thanks Elizabeth and John (see previous post). I had 10 minutes to make the last train to Beaverton. Beaverton?

Beaverton, OR is about 10 miles west of downtown Portland. The airport is about 10 miles east of downtown. There are a several reasons I’m in Beaverton. First, I want a photo of myself dipping my rear wheel in the Pacific Ocean. If I have to cycle in the wrong direction, I might as well shave off a few miles. (Portland is 100 miles from the ocean, who knew?) Third, there is some sweet mass transit between the airport and Beaverton, the light rail they call Max. Forth, there was an inexpensive motel in Beaverton right at the train station, and a UPS store nearby so that I can ship my bike box back home.

That was the plan. I thanked the guy that helped me figure out the automatic ticketing machine. (The entire train ride was only $2.40. It is free in the “downtown” zone.) I thanked the woman that showed me how to open the doors. The luggage cart I had used rolled up against the train and the conductor announced to all that it had to be moved before the train could depart. I never got to thank the two teenagers who I last saw cavorting away with the thing.

What a beautiful train it was. Bright and clean, and I could understand every word of the recorded voice announcing the stops. It was actually too bright; I could not see outside the huge windows because of the glare. At one stop a cyclist rolled his bicycle in and hung it up!

My bike is going to be heavy. Thank goodness I only had to walk a tenth of a mile to the motel. Two taxi drivers watched me with sadness as I struggled with the bike box (71 pounds), my duffle bag (41 pounds), and my carry-on (holding my tent, rear rack, and a few other odds and ends).