We had breakfast, and then rented a weird recumbent bike for Alexander to ride around the campground. It had three wheels. Two in back and one in front. To turn the bike, you would lean the front wheel with your feet by pressuring one pedal more than the other. There was no handlebar, just handles under the seat to hold on to. After getting the hang of it, he cruised around the campground while Shelby and I packed up.

We have developed some routines, including who does what, and when. I would make breakfast while Shelby started getting the van ready for the day. Alexander would sometimes help, and sometimes play, read, or do some math work (Alexander says I don’t like math). Then we’d eat, clean the dishes, and pack up the food and cooking supplies, put the pop top down, and head out.

We took a slightly less direct route to Portland, due to both traffic, and the desire to drive through Astoria. The Rusty Cup was our stop for coffee. There was no time for working however. While I got the coffee, Shelby and Alexander checked out the local toy store, Purple Cow Toys. After refilling our mugs with coffee we drove south on 101 through Seaside. Shortly after we headed east on 26 towards Portland. Fortunately, we were heading toward Portland for the Fourth. Even though the traffic got pretty heavy, it was a lot heavier heading west toward the coast.

The traffic in Portland itself was awful, much worse than it was when we lived there almost 20 years ago. I guess that’s to be expected, but like Seattle, and Denver, it’s not a lot of fun to deal with. Those cities, plus several in California, have become so congested as to make any travel outside of your immediate neighborhood painful. I guess it’s part of the reason we left Denver, and seeing the same things in other cities we once loved was unsettling. How about we all move to the plains?

Our immediate priority upon arriving in Portland, was laundry. Additionally, we needed a tire rotation on the van, and I was in desperate need of a haircut. After getting Shelby and Alexander settled in at Spin Laundry Lounge (which was feat in itself, as traffic and parking in the area was pretty bad), I headed to Les Schwab for the tires, and then found a barber around the corner. The Broadway Barbershop was a great find. I had not heard of it, and it didn’t come recommended. It was simply the closest place I could find, and it was awesome. It’s cash only, so afterwards I went to get cash and pay for haircut. It was $19, plus tip. It was a bargain as far as I was concerned.

After reconvening at the laundry, we headed around the corner to Ecliptic Brewing to meet a friend. Then we had to get down to the Tabor Tavern for dinner with more friends. The Tavern is a nice place on East Burnside. It was busy, but the food was good. Following dinner, it was over to sleep in the same friend’s driveway. So far, this has been the only time we slept in our van, not at a campsite. It felt a little odd to be setting up in a driveway, though I know people do this fairly frequently in #vanlife.

Distance: 152 miles

Time: 4 hours

Vanlife reality: Rain, traffic, laundry.

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