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April 30, 2001  (Hillsboro, Oregon)

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Yep, I'm still in Oregon preparing for the big trip.  As I'm discovering, there are a TON of things to do, not the least of which is getting my Toyota truck ready.  During the past couple of weeks, I installed a new windshield, put in a new stereo, and had my truck's transmission overhauled, which was the first transmission work ever done on my 16-year old truck... not bad for 232,000 miles!  I normally do all my own repair work on my truck, but I didn't think the apartment manager would appreciate me doing a 3-day transmission overhaul in my carport, so I took my truck into a shop.  $1,200 later, the folks at Cottman's transmission shop are smiling and my truck runs great.


In a tribute to my former colleagues, here's Dolly Parton singing 9-To-5.

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The big project at home has been copying my collection of 600 music CDs onto a few dozen discs in MP3 format, which I'll take with me around the U.S. and to Australia.  As I've discovered, you can fit about 10 hours of CD-quality music onto a single MP3 disc.  Of course, you also need a car stereo player that can read MP3 files, which I purchased and installed a few weeks ago (a Kenwood MP-8017).  Imagine popping in a CD in the morning, listening to it all day and never hearing the same song twice!  Pretty cool.  


In addition to burning the MP3 discs, I've been making backup discs of my computer software (and backups of the backups), and have burned over 300 discs during the past few weeks in preparation for the trip.  Now the only thing burning is my desire to hit the road.  Because of all this prep work, I've had to push my departure date back to mid-May, which will give me give me about 10 weeks to drive around America before heading to Australia in August.


Although I've been pretty busy getting ready for my trip, I do manage to take breaks once in a while.  Last week, during a beautiful spring afternoon, I walked around downtown Portland and stopped by the PB-Portland office to harass my (former) colleagues.  It reached 75 degrees, the warmest day here since September, and Portlanders were out in force downtown soaking up the sunshine.


Above:  The Willamette River and Portland, Oregon  (pop. 530,000).



Above left:  My office building on 6th Avenue in downtown Portland (PB is on the 8th floor).

Above center:  Pioneer Courthouse Square, finished in 1980, is known as Portland's "Living Room."  There used to be an ugly parking garage here but during a major city renovation, planners decided to tear the garage down and build a public plaza.  Great idea!

Above right:  Ira's Fountain (foreground) and the Portland Plaza (background), where my parents lived back in the 1980s before moving up to Bellingham.



Above left:  This is Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, named after an Oregon governor who once asked folks (Californians in particular) to "visit Oregon but please don't stay."  Needless to say, he was a popular governor.  There used to be a 4-lane highway here but civic leaders, including McCall, decided to tear it up and put in a park.  

Above center:  Springtime is here!

Above right:  Downtown Portland, near the waterfront.




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May 19, 2001  (Hillsboro, Oregon)



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April 19, 2001  (Bellingham, Washington)

April 5, 2001  (Bellingham, Washington)  


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Home > Travels (2001-02) > U.S. Trip > April 30, 2001