I'm still in Portland. I needed an extra day to really prepare for the trip - buy supplies I forgot about: kickstand for my bike, fuel for my stove. The extra day also gave me time to properly check my gear and pack. Funny thing about last minute checks on gear; you don't expect it to fail. While its true that its much better for things to fail before a trip rather than during, its extremely frustrating to have to delay your trip another day or shell out more money for gear that supposed to work - in this case my expensive multi-fuel primus stove...this is the same stove I took to Patagonia and did not burn diesel (the only fuel we could find other than gasoline)as advertised. It did burn diesel, but only for 2 minutes before having to be primed again for 3 minutes. For all the cost and hype about multi-fuel stoves, so far I'm very unimpressed and almost wish I just had a coleman butane burner.okay, enough of the rant.
The weather is amazing, the mountains are beautiful, and Portlanders are so friendly its almost painful....but thats just because I've been living in the city too long.
UPDATE: I've made a change in plans. Instead of cycling east from Portland in order to see the Columbia River, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Rainier, I'm going to head west to Tillamook, OR and cycle up the cost for several days, before cutting back west toward Puget Sound, just south of the Olympic Penn. After much consideration, I decided that since I'm going to be cycling some of the most remote highway in North America past glacier capped mountains in July, I don't have to cycle solo through similar terrain. Instead, I'll go enjoy myself on the beach with my hammock and a good book.