I finally made it to Portland. It wasn't without trials, travails, and 3600 miles worth of gasoline being burnt into the atmosphere, but I'm here.

Now all I have to do is find a place to live, a job, and all of that other stuff that "people do". But damn if I'm not glad to be here.

Now I realize that at the last blog update, I was in Chicago trading blows with Steve with bread. Some time has past. At first I was mapping out a lot of pre-dated posts to keep you up to date, complete with pictures and everything. But that would take a lot of time. Instead, I will give you the abbreviated version, showing you a series of images with captions. If you just imagine a bunch of similar pictures strung together, 24 per second, for the 5 days in between then and now, then you would have a complete video documentary of everything I did.

So now... we leave Chicago and go to Grinnell.

"Hey! That's not Grinnell!" No, it isn't. My camera battery was dead in Grinnell. I didn't even get to take a picture while driving across the Mississippi River, which was really the only picture I wanted to take the whole trip. But they have corn in Grinnell.

Now on to Nebraska.

Yeah, my camera was dead then too.

But I charged it by the time I got to Denver. Denver is at the end of a long plain. Once upon a time people used to cross this plain and go up into the mountains to travel all the way to Oregon, because back into those days Oregon was the hip place to go, just like it is today. They called the route they took to Oregon "The Oregon Trail".

Sometimes bad things happened to people along the Oregon Trail.

So, when this happened, all I could think of is, "Your Oxen Have Died!"

My car broke down, like I expected that it probably would. I am no Sybyl, it's just old. Luckily I was able to keep limping along, going up hills at 50 mph, stopping to let the car rest (just like in the game!), and being scarred to death as triple-trailer trucks pasted me in the dark at 80 mph. And, we didn't have to eat Karen to survive, so I suppose I'm no worse for wear.

That doesn't mean that I didn't think I was going to die. Driving through the San Raphael desert I stopped to buy extra water because I was afraid that my car would break down and my dried corpse would be found clinging to mile marker 241.

Then I saw a range fire and I had visions of my car flipping over and burning the whole desert down only them to find the charred remains of all my personal belongings in a ditch a week later and then blame me for ruining the ecosystem.

But none of this happened. What did happened is that I drove through some 800 miles of Utah, Idaho, and Oregon that looked pretty much the same but different at about the slowest speed you can imagine over some really poor roads and finally got to the Columbia River.

Now, in the game, Oregon Trail, once you reach the Columbia River you can decide if you want to raft down the river, or take the toll road.

In the game, the Columbia River looks like that. But in real life, the Columbia River looks like this:

For scale, click on the picture to make it big, and then try and see the road on the other side. I chose to take the road.

From there, it wasn't much further until I could see Mt. Hood in the distance, and I was in the land of cheap beer, temperate climes, all full-service gasoline and unemployment/vagrancy. If you happen to have a job in Portland for me, do let me know, because otherwise I will be calling a temp agency tomorrow.

I'm sure more interesting commentary on Portland will follow once I get an internet connection. Until then, if you want to look at the full photo spread from my journey, you can find it here.

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