Don's Bike Across America
Astoria, Oregon to Portsmouth, New Hampshire
June 19 to August 7, 2006

Don's Blog: June 15: Departure Day

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June 15: Departure Day

As has often been said and written, “The most difficult part of any journey is taking the first step.” If that is true, then for journeys that begin somewhere other than at home, the most difficult part is taking the first step to actually get to the starting point. Since this particular journey is set to begin on the other side of the country, a cross country flight served as “the first step.”

I don’t know about you, but for me, leaving home requires significantly more energy than coming home. I suppose a lot of that has to do with the physics of inertia: a body at rest seeks to remain at rest, while a body already moving seeks to keep moving.

Living in the Boston area makes getting started even tougher, as getting to Logan airport is almost never easy. That was the case today, as drive-time traffic forced Charlotte and I (she was driving me to the airport) to reroute our trip onto the back roads; but when attempting to reconnect with the highway, we overshot the airport exit. We had to loop back around and get back on the highway well back in the direction from which we had come.

No worries; we built in extra time for traffic issues. We were at the terminal with plenty of time to spare. But wait! The flight, which I thought was on U.S Air, was actually on U.S Air, served by United Airlines. Who ever heard of that? Not to be denied, we hoofed it several hundred yards from terminal B to terminal C and I had my boarding pass with a half-hour to spare. I was planted in my seat (on the aisle, thank goodness) and ready for the 11:20 a.m. departure.

That inertia principle I alluded to earlier? I guess it applies to airplanes as well. Due to a “problem with the hydraulics,” we sat at the gate for a very long 75 minutes before the captain assured us all was well and we would soon be airborne.

Sure enough, were soon on our way. The connection was in Denver and I was certain I would miss it by a lot. But miracles of miracles, I made it by a scant few minutes. The downside was not being able to stretch my legs in the Denver concourse; the upside was not having to spend any time waiting in the Denver concourse. I suppose it is all in how you look at it.

In any event, I am safely ensconced in Portland, my first-ever visit to the “rose city.” The weather is ideal (at least so far): in the high 60s and dry. If I could order up any weather for the bike trek, this would be it. Too bad that is not possible!