Wednesday 20th August. Portland,Oregon --> Salem,Oregon, USA
Today I caught up with three other webmasters. Kacey, Sean and Morgan all run different travel related websites, and I'd been in touch with all of them since I was in Australia. Right now, they're all in Portland, and we organized to get together for a few hours. How cool. I even bought a new secondhand pair of shorts for the occasion.
Ladies first. Kacey is from Colorado. She's been driving her silver jeep around the States since the beginning of the year, keeping a web journal, interviewing people and writing stories. She seems to have become stuck in Portland! Kacey's website is www.sunbucket.com
Sean is one of the Boots'n'All boys. Boots'n'all is a huge travel website, full of valuable resources. I first got in touch with Sean when I discovered the BaliBlog that he and his cohort Nick were writing. It's a daily journal of their experiences in Bali, as they started to establish themselves a base there.
Not in the photo is Morgan, the founder of www.digihitch.com a site devoted to hitchhiking and road culture. It wasn't possible for all of us to co-ordinate a time together, so Kacey and I met with Morgan later in the park. It was so helpful to have the opportunity to meet people who have done what I'm doing, and have already dealt with some of the issues that I'm just starting to experience.
Kacey dropped me off out by the interstate and it wasn't long before I had a ride. Unfortunately it only got me a few miles, and I was waiting by another ramp. Two Mexicans pulled over. "Ey Amigo! Whatchu dooeeng? 'your car break down?"
They couldn't quite understand what I was doing, or why I was doing it. Nevertheless, Rafael and Marcos gave me a ride to my next destination, Salem. My host in Salem is Rose, who recently moved in with her sister Chrissy. Rose had explained to me in an email that Chrissy doesn't share her enthusiasm for inviting strange males into her home. It was 6:30 p.m. when I found their address. From my records, I figured Rose would be at work for another hour yet, but her sister would be home. It might be fun to go and stir Chrissy up a bit!
Chrissy was surprisingly friendly, even enthusiastic in welcoming me but explained that she was soon on her way out to a church meeting, and she didn't want me in the apartment while neither her or Rose were there. That was understandable, since neither of them knew me from a bar of soap. I pretended to be deeply offended. It was a relief to leave my backpack there, and I wandered around the capitol until seven-thirty. Rose was home by then and was hungrily waiting for me to join her for dinner. She'd been working a twelve hour shift at a bakery. That's just her summer job; during the school year, she's at university, studying rhetoric. *just what the world needs- more rhetoric*
After dinner Rose and I drove into town, where we caught up with Chrissy and a few of the girls' friends. Then she took me for a driving tour of the town, and a walk in the park, which doesn't take long when it's the smallest park in the world, at twelve feet by twenty feet! Chrissy and Rose are both very involved in their church, and had to get up early the next morning to help out on a youth group rafting trip. I thought they might both need to get to bed early, but Rose seemed happy to stay up and chat. It was refreshing to talk to someone with strong religious beliefs who can still discuss religion objectively.