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.
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!