Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oregon to Seattle

In Crescent City California I had some choices to make. I wanted to be home by December 7th, but it was clear that I wasn't getting the miles in to make the timelime. I was about 2 days behind.

EXPLICIT *** I was also bleeding badly after riding. My urine the night in crescent city was a completely red. It was significantly worse than any time before. I had been bleeding for several weeks but the visible blood seemed to go away by the next morning everyday. I felt fine and never weak nor did I show sign of fatigue, until my ride to the Oregon border.

I left from Crescent City and rode inland toward Grants Pass Oregon on highway 199. Narrow cliff side roads overlooking the white water rapids of the Smith River were chilling. The deep caverns sometimes led to open pools of crystal clear water. I could only imagine how cold it was.

But the breathtaking scenery would only take my motivation so far. I was weakening and my legs were not performing as usual. I was nautious and terribly stiff and needed more regular breaks to manage the inclines over this pass. Was is just the cold getting to me? Or was this bleeding something serious to be concerned about? Insecurity about my condition began to accellerate worries about a kidney or urinary infection. I had some abdominal pain as well. It was time to think about health and some rest.

Luckily, I have a long time friend Ericka in Medford Oregon. Even more fortuitous, her father Jerry was in Cave Junction, 30 miles ahead of me on business. Ericka and I weren't sure if we would see each other on this trip since Medford was off my direct path, but the stars aligned and my health concerns warranted the break. So I met her father at Cave Junction and we drove back to Medford and I had dinner with the Burns family.

Ericka has been ill for quite a while and I wish her the best in her recovery. We were sick buddies together the next morning each in our own recliners watching trash TV. It was fun to see her, her bright smile and her parents once again. Thank you guys for the hospitality and needed recovery.

Because of the cold and expected conditions, I decided to take a train from Medford to Portland
Oregon. This would put me back on the timeline for arriving in Seattle on December 7th and it would afford me another days rest for me to recover. I had never taken a train that I can remember (I bet mom corrects me on this though), so it seems like a decent alternative and memory for this trip.

I arrived at Portland's Union Station around 4 PM December 4th and thought I would get a workout at the local Gold's Gym just a couple of miles away. After that I would get a short night ride out of the city to a hotel before tomorrow's ride to Longview Washington. The workout proved a great idea and the ride of 25 miles at 35 degress was a little longer than I anticipated. But there isn't much outside of Portland travelling north on highway 30. I stopped at a little bed and breakfast called the Scappose Creek Inn.

The bleeding was bad once again, however, I had an appointment in Longview to see a doctor for a urine and blood test the next day.

Lee and Deborah have been longtime friends from the early 90's and my college days. Their daughter Faith and I bet high stakes on a game of pool. I put up 100 million and she gambled her college tuition. When I won I settled (out of court) for a piece of Hubba Bubba chewing gum.

I saw the doctor and was told to rest, but most importantly, I had no infection. This likely culprit was diagnosed as "exercise induced hematuria" that would diminish after I took some time off.

... So I stayed an extra day to watch the complete destruction of boxing legend Oscar de la hoya by the mexicutioner Manny "Pac Mac" Pacquiou. Thanks Lee and Deborah. I always feel welcome at your home. See you after Christmas.

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