Entering the States through the Backdoor
Crossing the Border was a challenge. The Guys from the Custom are known as one of the toughest in the world and so i was a little bit tensed as he appeared in front of me. The Visa they gave me in Alaska was going to expire in two months and so I asked for a new period. So I had to answer a lot of questions. The Fact that I hadn’t´t been in Germany for a long time was suspicious for him. If he gave me the new period the USA would be the country I´ve spend the most time in the last Year. That´s totally right, but I only want to cross it… I could make it plausible for him and got my next 6 Months, puh!
After the Border I left the Main road quickly and followed an empty wonderful Route through a parallel River valley. The Landscape was breathtaking beautiful. The Autumn that accompanies me since Alaska gave it all so the colours were so intense, the Lakes in the Valley were crystal-clear and every few kilometres there was an opportunity to camp. A Dream!
On the second day I reached Omak and took a break at Annies and Scotts House to rest. Checked my Equipment and Annie repaired some of my stitches with her sewing machine. Waited long for that opportunity. At the End Scott accompanied me a part of the next da up to Omak Lake on his Recombent Bike. From there the road lead me down to the Columbia River.
At the Grand Coulee Dam, the biggest in the States and the biggest at Columbia River I crossed and followed the Grand Coulee, a gigantic trench that brought me south to the Dry Falls. There I learned the Story of this trench. It was a gigantic glacial flood that came down from Montana and washed out the region and produced this gigantic Waterfalls that are now dry. Impressive Landscape
My Way led me through dry brown hills and (thanks to irrigation) green valleys down again to the Columbia River to the Hanford Site. Here the US Army build a Research Facility to produce weapon-grade plutonium. The Nagasaki Bomb was filled here. The Areal is still in use and one of the highest polluted areas in the world. Incredible amounts of nuclear waste is stored there and the solution of the region is incredibly high. They started clean up and are not really sure how long it will take and how many billions of Dollar it will cost. Krass!
From there I cycled up into the Hills again and it went green. Behind the Hills I reached the Wineries of the Rattlesnake Hills and at their feet the little Town of Sunnyside. The Weather was not that nice the last days and so it was surprisingly that there were some Sundays at the city sign… Behind the Town the Indian Reservat of Yikama starts and I crossed it to reach the Columbia Gorge. In the Reservat there are wild horses that ran around the meadows full of joy.
Columbia River broke it´s way through the Cascade Range to rech the Pacific. This Breakthrough is now the Columbia Gorge. I rolled down into it and followed a little part of the historic US Highway 30 that winds along the Walls of the southern side of the Gorge westwards.
My Body used a Stop in Mosier in the House of Kris to feel a little bit sick and so I decided to stay a day longer and cure myself.
After that I cycled over the Shoulder of Mt.Hood, a gigantic Volcano down to Portland. I slept on the shoulder and enjoyed the rally close view to the Peak and the colourful Spectacle… Very Nice!
The Road down to Portland was relaxing and so I reached the City on the next afternoon. I decided to stay here for some days to have some days off the Bike and to enjoy the culture of that lively colourful city.
Portland is probably the most liberal Place in the USA. Oregon legalised Hemp and so you can buy it everywhere and the Smell is all around you. The City is busting of new Ideas and everything is mixed together, kitchen, Music and Culture… There is always something new around a constantly change. To repair my bike was a step into DIY (Do it Yourself) cause the shops give you the tools and let you do the work. The Part was used but in good conditions and cheap, perfect!
The last days in front of the election were relaxed. The people were a little bit afraid of Uprises they expect when Trump will loose the Election. Surprisingly I found almost no Clinton Advertisements in Oregon and Washington, even when these States are traditional elections the democrats. In the East the Country was covered with Trump Signs. Kirs explained it to that the farmers don´t want to pay taxes, a thing the democrats always stayed for, so they elect the Republican: Trump!
Everywhere in the Streets of Portland you can see the Homeless People. In the Industrial Areas they camp on the Roadsides, RV´s parking everywhere as mobile homes and under every bridge in the night it´s full of people. Impressive.
After four days in the City I had to say bye bye and my way led me southwards on wonderful bike paths that remembered me of Germany. The Day I left they elected the President so I am really curious what it will bring to the country…
What happened afterwards I will tell you the next time….