Tour DaVita 2014 – Oregon (Farewell and on to new adventures)
Blog entry 10/4 for Wednesday, 9/17.
Alas, all adventures must come to an end sometime, and Tour DaVita 2014 ended on Wednesday, September 17. As it was about an hour’s ride from camp to Portland International (PDX), the first buses left about 4 AM – way too early for me, since I was driving and had no specific departure time. In fact, Rick, Eve and I had scheduled ourselves on to one of the last buses to leave, at 9 AM. (The bus we got on was physically the last one in line, so we were literally on the last bus out of camp.) This allowed us to wake at a (relatively) leisurely time, get breakfast, get packed, and get our gear on the bus without having to rush. We also had the time to watch our bikes get racked on one of the Backroads vans, which would follow us to the airport. And with all that time, I *still* managed to leave my helmet behind. *sigh* I think I put it down somewhere on Tuesday after crossing the finish line and simply forgot to retrieve it later – or ever.
So we had another delicious breakfast, climbed aboard the big, comfortable tour bus, and were whisked to the airport in style. Once there, we unloaded our gear and made sure it was all present and accounted for. Then Rick and I headed off to our respective long-term parking areas and retrieved our vehicles. By some miracle, we both managed to get back to our stuff at the same time, thus saving Eve the problem of having to wait with the remaining stuff for the tardy one, and also saving the early one the problem of having to go to the cell-phone lot to wait. And then…. Off to Marysville, Washington (home of Rick’s brother, Mike, and Mike’s family).
It was about a four-hour drive from PDX to Marysville, to which we added a fuel / lunch stop. Naturally, we had (or I should say *I* had) a little mixup between the fuel and food stops, in that Eve and Rick left the gas station a couple of minutes before I did and by the time I pulled out they had disappeared. Never mind that we had agreed to meet at a specific fast-food place, and that there weren’t *that many* places at this particular exit; I managed to miss the sign for the restaurant and promptly started driving off into the sunset. Thank goodness for cell phones! They provided the means to get me back on the right track, and I joined them (Eve and Rick, not the cell phones) for lunch.
After lunch, we headed north on I-5 again, passing through Seattle and various other towns. We did have one more little snafu before reaching Mike and Loni’s, when Rick’s cellphone GPS told him to take a left, then a left, then a left – and put us back on the same road we were originally taking, but it all got cleared up with no real problems. We arrived at Mike and Loni’s at some point, and I was formally introduced to Loni, their daughter, Bella, and their cat, Mia. I asked if it was spelled M-I-A and they said yes, and sometimes she was – Missing In Action, that is.
So we spent the rest of the day and evening talking and yakking and having a good time and generally unwinding after TDV and the drive up to Marysville. Oh, and being fed more delicious food prepared oh-so-well by Loni. Yum! 🙂
A few numbers that I recall from TDV: There were about 500 – 550 riders; collectively we raised over a million dollars for the DaVita Village Trust; and each mile we rode translated into the ability to help (through the funds we raised) 33 people. There were more, but those are what I remember from a distance of two and a half weeks.