I had the strangest feelings leaving Niel at the airport and flying away. I felt nervous for a minute and then suddenly really empowered. I felt oddly like I had gained a sense of independence and self confidence. I don't know if that makes any sense, but I felt liberated. I know what Niel meant when he rode across South America and said he was scared at times, but also felt like he could do anything. Now don't get me wrong - I love Niel and all the trips we have done together, maybe it's simply that this trip came at the right time in my life.
I've always heard that LA is the busiest and most unappealing of international airports. It certainly is busy but then so is Hong Kong or Bangkok, but LA seems to have endless queues that are very trying. And exiting my flight into the terminal someone had put the heater on! ! It was definitely Summer again and all those extra layers had to come off.
I got my bike together and took it for a test ride and firstly the computer wasn't going because I had put the wheel in back to front - duh. Then the handle bars started to turn around because I hadn't tightened it enough - back to the motel fixed everything and tried another test run this time my bike felt great and I felt less jet lagged and more alive. I'm looking forward to a decent ride to Astoria tomorrow.
Leaving Portland - I was surprised at what a big city it was. My very kind friend - Jan took me to Tillamook - just over 100kms down the Oregon Coast from Astoria and I rode against a strong headwind to Astoria. That coast would have to be the most scenic in the world it is a stunning combination of trees, beaches, rocky islets and estuaries. After getting lost at one point - I finally pulled into Astoria at 8pm.