How Blackberries almost got me killed…Camas to Hood River, OR…8/29

I decided to go through my panniers once again and mailed off probably four-five pounds of weight.  This is an ever-evolving thing.

So I left Camas after having breakfast at Natalia’s (no sense in getting rid of all my ballast)…I enjoyed a Russian’s take on biscuits and gravy.  The road was nice and flat and very scenic as it went along the Columbia river.  I spotted a fellow alongside the road with a dog all on a full-sized tricycle.  I gave him three Cliff bars…what the hell I just had biscuits and gravy!  No good deed goes unpunished….at least that’s what I thought as I saw the upcoming grade….ah hell no big deal…as long as it doesn’t keep going up around that bend.

Somewhere along here was the man/dog/tricycle…
Wild blackberries that lined the road from Portland to damn near Hood River.

Well the bend did conceal the fact that the grade just kept on going.  Armed with a full stomach I was ready.  And by God I did pretty damn good.  I got almost to the top of the grade when I decided to stop and take a photo of the wild blackberries growing alongside the road.  I unclipped my right foot as I always do and promptly leaned to the left and fell over into the road.  Christ I would have loved to seen the look on the face of the lady driving.  She must have shit a kitten!  And a calico at that.  Thankfully there was no oncoming traffic and she avoided rolling over my melon.  I got up thoroughly disgusted with myself but glad as hell she didn’t stop adding to my embarrassment.  My knee got scuffed up pretty good, but I was actually kind of happy to use my first aid kit for the first time.  However, note to self…alcohol wipes do have a shelf life…you can’t get them while working at the casino and expect them to stay damp two years later….hmmm.

I continued on and gained the top of the grade.  Just as I got there I was stopped by a road construction crew.  As I stood there waiting a young guy driving a full-sized pickup pulled up.  Having just done the grade I felt no pangs of guilt asking for a ride.  Garrick, his name turned out to be, a very nice kid from Hood River, OR.  He was on his way home from a job just outside of Camas and was happy to give me a ride there.  He was great company, but I have to admit, I would have enjoyed the descent…I earned it!

We stopped just across the river from Hood River in Bingen, WA for a couple of well deserved beers.  As I got out of the truck I found I had set up like an old bag of cement.  Damn!

Garrick dropped me off at a Motel not too far away from a place to eat and a Laundromat…I needed both.  Prior to going though I popped a couple of muscle relaxers.  Damn, I could barely keep my eyes open during the spin cycle.  I managed to however and drug my sorry ass into bed.  Any thoughts of  microbrews in a fun town like Hood River went out the door!

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