The next stage of this trip will go eastwards to Idaho. Certainly one of the more unconventional routes around this time a year but I am eager to give it a shot. My initial dream would have been the Great Devide Mountain Bike Route traversing the Rocky Mountains but this would be straight out suicide with my setup [a guy did it in November experiencing minus 30 degrees in a snow storm in Montana] Most other people would rather take the iconic Highway 1 along the coast but since I've been to California a few times [Ilma has been living there for 6 month] and also am not so fond of busy highway riding at the moment I opted against this route [to be honest even before starting this journey]. The west coast is also much more populated and I am still longing for the more remote experiences. So I will try to get in as much as possible until it certainly gets much busier in Central American.

I had a great stay in Portland. Very bike friendly, very liberal, very colorful and diverse, great food, a ridiculous number of bridges... What I find interesting is how intertwined city and industrial/commercial sights are, especially in East Portland [already had glimpses of that in Vancouver and Seattle]. I don't know how living in this mix would be, but to me it adds some sort of rough and busy character to the city. I like that.

Nonetheless, I must admit after all the cities and the comfort of traveling from host to host I really do miss the feeling of being out in the open. The stage to Boise in Idaho is supposed to deliver that.

I leave Portland around noon without much aspiration for milage. Mile by mile [yep we are in miles again, guys. I am sure you missed it as much as I did] I make it out of the city towards the mighty Columbia River while the city deconstructs. Skyscraper Downtown - Busy East Portland - Suburbs with a nice homely feel - all the way amazing bike infrastructure [they even have bike zebra crossings, so cars have to stop and bikes can proceed without stopping].

Once I reach the river, mile after mile homeless people in primitive housings along the river banks. Ville told me that due to the liberal politics in Oregon even people from states with harsher politics against homeless people migrate here. Devastating... I saw homeless people occasionally on this trip [even up north in Fairbanks which is freezing by now] and Ilma actually lived just a block from Skid Row in downtown LA. So I've seen some things. Still it's always quite shocking to me to see the magnitude here. Regardless of their situation, I always got to know them as very polite and humble people.

The rest of the day passes by rather uneventful. I ride along the Columbia River Gorge on the Historic Highway 30. A great Route with many beautiful views of the Gorge [wondering whether the word gorgeous comes from gorge] and pass by countless waterfalls dropping down from the steep rock walls beside me. The gorge is also known for its windy conditions making it a world class kitesurfing spot. The predominant wind direction is from west to east. Probably needless to say that it is east to west the next two days [=headwind].