Salem, Oregon

We woke up this morning feeling pretty ready. But there was no way we could prepare for the caliber of awesomeness that we were in for.

It was a rainy November Sunday in the Pacific Northwest. The type of day Scotty would typically spend playing Boggle or Hungry Hungry Hippos with a warm glass of milk. Unfortunately for Scotty we had to cover some serious ground today. Kaarin picked us up first thing in the morning; as far as we're concerned 10:30 is first thing in the morning. She drove us from Olympia, Washington down to meet Debbie in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Lucky for us Kaarin had some great stories, a contagious smile and a homemade CD titled "Girly Mix". We would be happy to ride with Kaarin any time.

Kaarin

What made this ride even better is that we knew we would be crashing Debbie's coffee date. Debbie was out on a blind date she had arranged on the internet. Even with such an important commitment, she couldn't resist giving us a ride down to Salem. In fact, she told us to just meet her during the date and we'd go from there. Perfect. If there is one thing we go out of our way for it's awkward situations. I'm sure Bill was delighted to meet us.

Crashing Debbie's Date with Bill

After that unique social engagement, we said goodbye to Kaarin (it wasn't easy) and headed south with Debbie. It wasn't long before we were on the steps of our 31st state capitol (Salem, Oregon) on our 27th day. But more importantly, it was Debbie's first jumpshot.

Debbie

More about Debbie's date and a lot more about the Salem state capitol visit coming later tonight.

Ransom

Remeber when we left a bag with our video camera and some shirts in Memphis, TN? A few days later we were sent a ransom video from some very suspicious camera snatchers.



Suddenly there was hope that we would see our camera again. All we had to do was meet their demands.



Hopefully that should be enough to convince them to send us the camera. Those two guys seemed really intimidating. They even used their real names in the ransom video.

Debbie's Date

Here's a little before and after from Debbie's date:



So it looks like Debbie is still single. If any suitable bachelors are interested you can send us an email and we'll forward it to Debbie.

The Gorge

Before we begin, congratulations to ultra-endurance runner Dean Karnazes. Yesterday he completed his goal of running a marathon in all 50 states in 50 consecutive days. Very, very impressive. Check out his website here.

After Salem, Debbie took us out for some pizza, then passed us off to Julia and her dog Nora. Randomly, Debbie and Julia live just blocks away from each other in Portland, making the hand-off very convenient. We picked up Julia’s niece Jolie and headed east out of Portland.

Julia is an Oregon local, mother, wife and business owner. Her niece Jolie is originally from Gabon in west-central Africa. She’s been in America for six years, and has a promising basketball career. The doggy, Nora is a Norrbottenspets, a rare type of dog from Sweden. In a Korean car our international group set off in the rain to “The Gorge”.

Along the way Julia told us one of the most amazing stories ever. Julia was born blind, and remained blind until the age of 22. At this time she had surgery, attempting to give her sight. A couple days later Julia removed her bandages and saw the world for the first time. Not only did she see the world for the first time, she also saw her two year old son for the first time. It’s hard to even begin to imagine what this feeling would be like. She then joked about how we are trusting her to drive us in the dark and rain, even though she was once blind.

The friendly girls drove us to Hood River; the area is also known as “The Gorge”. We got a couple photos with them, said goodbye and found a place to sleep.

Fiddy Jolie Julia Nora 1Scotty and Julia

Idaho is on the to do list for tomorrow. Maybe even Utah if we score some good, long, fast rides. But for now we don't have any rides, and it's really wet out. If anyone is heading through The Gorge towards Idaho, let us know.

hitch50@gmail.com or 310.494.8058