I headed inland through Portland, which seemed to me an overwhelming network of highways, interstates and horrendous traffic. The interstate was backed up for miles. I patiently sat in traffic and duck walked the bike along inch by inch while contemplating the risks and benefits of lane splitting in a state where it was illegal. A group of guys in a truck with a dirt bike in the back and Fox logo decals on the windows gave me a thumbs up as they inched by.
Then my bike began to overheat.
I pulled off the road and let it sit for a few minutes, but it was scorching hot and the traffic still wasn’t moving. As I was debating my next move, an older couple on a Goldwing rolled up next to me. I explained my dilemma and they convinced me to follow them up the side around traffic. “Don’t worry.” the man said “If we get pulled over, I’ll talk our way out of it!” and off we went, passing the cars inching along the tarmac. The previously friendly truck people all gave me the finger as we chugged past. “But it was overheating!” I pleaded apologetically. Oh well.
Eventually we were freed from the jam and I made a beeline for Eugene, Oregon where an old friend had moved for grad school. He kindly let me crash his couch for a couple nights and took me out around the town.
They have an amazing bakery there called Voodoo Donut, where they make all kinds of crazy confections.