Saturday, August 2, 2008

Saved by an angel...

No hot spring action at Lolo, but with the help of a guardian angel, we made it to Portland unscathed by Friday night. We spent Thursday night at Lolo Hot Springs in Lolo, MT, but arrived too late to have a soak in their springs, which close at 9:30. On our way there, the 75 mph speed limit eventually led to Max pushing it a bit too far and cruising at around 90 to help us try to make it by closing time.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before the red and blues flashed behind us and we calmly pulled over despite the teenage nostalgia that image inspired in our driver. A very friendly Montana Highway Patrol officer informed us that we "picked the worst possible day to speed through Montana." Why was this day more speed conscious than any other? He went on to explain that it was due to the fact that not only were the Hells Angels were rallying in Missoula, MT that weekend, but the Testicle Festival was also about to go down in nearby Clinton. It was hard to keep a straight face when the officer said 'Testicle Festival,' but we did, and as Max looked around for the registration, our faithful MHP-man got a blip on his radio and said he had to go. It seems we were saved by an Angel that night as we saw our man giving some perfectly nice looking motorcycle enthusiasts the business about a mile later.

We slowed it down, and arrived too late to soak it up at Lolo. Instead we played some pool and shared some stories with Derek and Ryan, two brothers on their yearly motorcycle/camping trip. With a GPS and internet to guide us, it is easy to avoid talking to strangers. They reminded us of the importance of talking to other humans as you travel. We stayed up way too late and don't regret it at all.

After finding out in the morning that the hot springs were not part of the admission fee for our campsite, we turned the car towards Portland, OR and ended our quest to sit in hot water on this journey. There have to be hot springs along the west coast, right?

The last 500 miles of our journey were quite uneventful. Ryan texted us during the drive that Blind Pilot had a show at Portland State University at 9:30pm, an arrival time that would have been very achievable if we did not get sidetracked by Cabela's in Post Falls, ID. Max bought a cool retractable fishing pole as he had begun to regret leaving his back east. Emily really wanted to buy a 12-volt coffee maker for the car but was persuaded otherwise.

We pulled into Portland at 9:55pm, ate our first McDonalds of our entire journey (we didn't want to, but nothing else was open and we were in a hurry) and found our way to the basement show at Portland State University. The show had just started and we could hear "One Red Thread" as we walked down the stairs. We got our first taste of being on the guest list for a band and walked in to listen to the set. This was our first time hearing the entire ensemble live as the three shows we attended on the Coast in May were played by the biking quartet of Isreal, Ryan, Kati and Luke. After the show, we returned to Ryan's gallery and apartment in the Pearl District and we learned that there were two more shows that weekend. Maybe we'll rest next week.

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