The voyage of 1000 selfies, starts with a single shot

Gin shots, anyone?

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We celebrated my PhD completion. I don’t remember a whole lot.

The story of my travels, told mostly in pictures and selfies. I’ll probably write a Moab race report, because that’s more fun. I was reunited with college buddies in Portland, took the train(!) up to Seattle with some awesome Canadians, stayed in a super awesome hostel (my favorite way to travel, by far), then stopped over in Salt Lake City for some adventuring and adventure racing. And a puppy party.

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A trip to Portland would be incomplete without a stop at Voodoo doughnuts. Some of us made it back again (hint, it wasn’t me). They have donuts the size of your face! With funny names and no so funny delicious 2 SLICES OF BACON on the maple bacon one I got. I can now die happy.

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We stayed in a funky hotel with a big spiderman panel on the wall. Then got all dressed up fancy style, then proceeded to drink a lot. Yay weddings! The entire thing was at a resort/winery/distillery about 25 min from downtown Portland… and it was gorgeous. Plus, hanging out with the old college crew was pretty fabulous. And Caroline was there, so we were able to catch up and avoid the awkward stares of people we don’t know!

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My gorgeous college roommbuddy (lived together all 4 years!) tied the knot. So excited for them 🙂 My only disappointment was that they didn’t bring the puppy up from El Paso with them. There was a photobooth, which we were seated directly next to. This means there are lots of (terrible) photos of me. Oops.

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I stayed an extra night in Portland for convenience. My room for the night was a quirky eclectic little room through AirBnb. I took the bus up from our hotel and quickly found the place… with old doors hodge-podged together to form a yard and a bunch of funny statues displayed everywhere, it was very Portland(ia). It was also Easter… and the host (who was actually a person house-sitting for the host) was having a potluck! After a little recovery nap, I joined in on the fun downstairs and chatted with people while eating all their food.I’m pretty sure that’s the best way to potluck.

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From Portland, I took the train up to Seattle. I was seated with 3 Canadians who had just traveled down for shopping over the holiday weekend, and knew I was in good company when they busted out the ‘soda’ around 11AM. There were lots of snarky remarks and cheating at card games to fill the ~4 hour trip.

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SEATTLE!! I stayed at a hostel literally across the street from the famous pike place market. It. Was. Awesome.

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How does one find an apartment that is (somewhat) reasonably priced in a totally new city in 2.5 days? By making lists upon lists upon lists! I think I saw about 10 different places, but finally found one that will be manageable with my budget (hopefully), has a little outdoor space, and is a few blocks from a park. Oh, and did I mention, it’s a 1.75 mile downhill cruise into work? It’s perfect! (I’m more than happy to slog back up after a long day… it’s nice to be able to show up at work in basically the same state you left the house).

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With that business settled (ok, so really in the middle of that madness, because I obsess over things and need some time for a mental break), I went for a run! And then cruised through the market. It’s like Soulard market, except super touristy and expensive. A worthwhile stop… particularly when I don’t have an empty fridge tempting me 🙂

KIMG1236 KIMG1240(The space needle is really there. Also, it’s hard to tell, but those are monstrous lobster tails. The ones on the left are larger than ‘regular’ ones – although I definitely don’t eat enough lobster to be a good judge of that.)

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To get around the city in Seattle, I got to try out their new bikeshare system. It was pretty great. Different than in Boston (you picked your bike and had to type in the number to the kiosk, instead of the other way around) but it’s the same concept. I became very close with bike #0326 after taking it on many rides together… then someone had the nerve to check her out before I could return. Ce’st la vie, I’ve moved on as well (*sniff*).

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Washington, or at least Seattle, requires helmets by law. The bikeshare solution to this is a tub of cleaned, sealed helmets at every station. Pick up a new helmet on the left side (the plastic cover also works great as a seat cover if it’s been raining… just sayin’), then when you return the bike you drop your sweaty helmet to the bin on the right! I was amazed at how well it worked, and only ran into empty bin problems once or twice (they say to just stop at the next station you see, but I was never traveling far enough for that to be legit).

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Final Seattle selfies. On the right is the street I’ll be living on… it’s pretty neat.

From Seattle, I hopped on a plane to Denver, then a plane to Salt Lake City! Don’t ask why, I hate transfers. But somehow I found the cheapest option to require a change in Denver. It’s not the worst airport, I suppose. But I was so happy to be picked up by Justin and Dune (ok, really excited to see Dune, his golden/pit mix) at the airport. We dropped off stuff then immediately walked over to beers and had a great time catching up.

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We partied (ok, so we went to bed early like the old people we are) and then headed out to Moab for the AXS 12 hr AR. Race report coming, because this is already quite long. Suffice it to say, my first trip to Moab proper (not counting one 7th grade trip to Arches) was beyond awesome.

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I met some French tourists as we were yo-yo-ing back and forth on the trail during my Sunday recovery religious experience ride. The fast dude was kind enough to take a picture of me with my totally cheating rocky mountain element 970 (Gears. Suspension. Front AND Rear. Floats. Like. A. Boat. Link is to trailhead bikes in st louis, a new shop which happens to be a rocky mountain dealer… check them out!). Good thing Justin has good taste in bikes, and even better that we’re exactly the same size. Moral of the story – I have one photo that’s not a selfie!

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We returned after the race to SLC to the puppy party. Dune, Jake, and Watson gave us a great welcome home, then I skeedaddled on out of town back to St. Louis.

Yay for friends in awesome places, doing fun things. And also for nice people along the way.

PS, if you’re in St. Louis, I’m selling all my stuff. I have a small car, and don’t plan to take anything I don’t absolutely need up to Seattle. I’ve made a webpage (because how else would I do it?): movingsalestl.weebly.com. Buy my stuff!

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