[Originally posted to my blog Portlanded. I’ve reproduced it here because it details some of my trials transporting my bikes cross-country.]

So I’ve arrived in Portland. The last bit wasn’t so bad.

It’s different. Which is to be expected. But it’s really different. So on the long drive out I got the idea that I’m going to blog about it. I’m going to talk about how Portland looks to an outsider coming from a way bigger city. And I’ll talk about other stuff I like to talk about — technology, media, motorcycles.

I’ve mentioned that the last bit of my drive out wasn’t so bad. Here’s the rest: Things go wrong from the start. I’d planned on hitting the road on Monday, but meetings with potential realtors keep me around until Wednesday morning.

Of course, if I’m hanging out until Wednesday morning, I might as well stay around until Wednesday night and meet up with the ChiVinMoto folks one last time. Wednesday afternoon we loaded up the U-Haul with all the important stuff I’ll need for phase 1 of this move — three motorcycles, all my clothes, all the computers. (Phase 2 will happen in August; Diane’s staying in Chicago until the end of the summer.)

I figured we’d load up the truck, I’d head over to the Bucktown Pub, then I’d come home and get an early start Thursday. But I live (lived! lived!) in Rogers Park, a neighborhood that offers one of the last places where you can afford to buy near the lake. Unfortunately, it’s still pretty run down and is pretty popular with criminals. I finished loading the truck and hadn’t even closed the door when I saw two asshats sitting on a wall along the sidewalk (part of my own front yard, even).

I told Diane to go inside and get a few things I’d left there while I stayed with the truck. There was no way I was going to be able to leave the truck parked on the street. I decided to drive it to the Bucktown, say good-bye to my friends and hit the road. I’d put in a few hours and catch some sleep at a rest stop somewhere.

By 11 p.m., I’d said my farewells and gotten some help from the experts in fixing my terrible job of tying the bikes down. (Thanks to the Ricktator and everyone else!) By 11:30, however, I was ready to fall asleep at the wheel after the first toll plaza on I-94. (And let’s not mention that I should have been on I-90, but wasn’t thinking very clearly and headed straight north toward Milwaukee.)

I pulled off at the next rest stop — the Lake Forest Oasis — and had a surpisingly peaceful sleep in the cab of the truck until the sun came up.

Lake Forest Oasis

I’d made it about 26 miles from my house. This was shaping up to be a long trip.

OK, I’m beat. I’ll wrap up the rest of the trip out tomorrow.

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