May 24, 2009

Moped Diaries: Day Five

sorry it's been such a long time since the last post, but here goes!

A low rumble of thunder shook me awake. I sat, surprisingly upright, stiff in an old soccer jersey, groggy and trying to get a feel for my settings. The room was dark with the exception of a mottled, dirty brown rectangle of light to the side of me. This was a welcome change from the damp green tent we usually slept in. I rustled my naked legs under the sheets, feeling my leg hairs catch the threads. I rubbed my thin beard, still blinking unconciously, trying to fit the room and the things in it into focus and eventually it did. It smelled sterile, like a cleaned smoking room. The whole room seemed to blend into the sixties fairly nicely with the fabric wall paper, ceiling lamp suspended on a brass chain and decorative metal artwork. Shuffling to the bathroom, I faced the large mirror. My face was growing again since the first time I shaved outside of the Oregon coast. I brushed, washed and scrubbed, and performed two out of the three s's. I didn't shave.

I re-entered the room to find that the curtains now were drawn and Ashton was sitting in the pleather armchair by the radiator under the big window. He had the grimy looking coffee maker switched on to make some hot water. Another low rumble. This time, the window rattled a little. Curiously, I peered over to the clock by the bed and it said 7am. Ashton grabbed the remote and pointed it at the television set. It hummed to life and a faded out image of an Anchorperson showed up. The sound hadn't quite caught up just yet. Then, the sound crackled to life.

"Today's news forecast calls for thunder storms until one, and high winds starting at seven pm tonight. If you're going south, avoid the coast as we will be getting southerly winds mixing up with a cold front from Canada."
"That settles it," Ashton cried, "we'll have to stay here until two.
"We gotta check out though."
"Yeah, forgot about that. OK, new plan. We'll hang out at the market until two."

Packing up the mopeds, we loaded them up in silence, breaking it only once when I leand over to pass a fart. The clouds still mussled themselves overhead, playing like waves, breaking on an ocean, but above our heads. He rode out to the Portland market, sat and ate fried fish, picked out fresh fruit, a tomato here, an onion there. Closer to two, we would sit by the coffee trolley and sit and play backgammon. When two passed, we apparently decided it would be safe to go out. The bridge over the river seperating Portland and Vancouver in Washington state would be our final farewell to Oregon. We pedaled north, following the roads into the interior, and the clouds kept coming. We found a small little trap along side a lonely side road that we decided to stop and take a break at. Turns out the man sold beaver and otter pelts. Ashton was disgusted and walked out while I remaind inside touching the soft furs.

Washington is quite strange you could say with a grin. I read back in college that a large portion of the state was used to manufacture the materials necessary for nuclear research during the second world war. My how the values have changed within the past sixty years. We continued to ride, this time, rejoining the coast and following the road north. By nine in the evening, we reached the city of Seattle. Tired, cold and hungry, we parked at another motel, this time, one not from the sixties, and ate at the dive at the corner, plunked onto the beds, still in our jackets, helmets, goggles and boots.

At one, I shifted over, realizing I was still in full ride up gear, undressed, urinated in the bathroom and went to bed.

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