I made it over the mountain, from lush green trees to dry hot desert. I've experienced all kinds of weather from gloomy rain showers for four days straight walking all the way up the mountain to government camp, then blue skies and sun but still very cold. It was awesome to finally see the mountain for the first time. It was so cold that every time I took a breath, it felt like the air just seemed to freeze my lungs. The way down the other side of the mountain was a lot faster then going up. Four days to get up and one day to go down with the sun shinning the whole way.
I estimate that I have walked 260 miles from the Space Needle to my current location, its hard to calculate every single mile. Leaving Gresham I ran into a friends' fiance on the side of the road. We made plans to meet up in Sandy that evening for dinner. It was really good to talk with Taylor again after a couple of years since I last saw him. We chatted about school, theology, church.... it was nice to fellowship. He invited me to stay at his house for the night and after a long day of walking I just crashed on his floor.
The next morning I woke up to an incredible rain storm! We hit the road and soon after stopped for some breakfast and a cup of coffee to warm me up. Not to far from there was a barber shop and I decided to get myself cleaned up a bit. I posted LeeRoy out front and went in for a haircut and a shave. While I was getting my hair cut, people were stopping in asking who's goat it was out front, taking pictures and asking if I was on the news or in the paper. I told them I wasn't here locally and before I knew it they were making phone calls to the local paper, leaving a message for the field reporter to come out and talk to me. I finished up at the shop and headed on my way. After half a days walk, the reporter found me in the pouring rain and we did an interview in her car for at least an hour. She was really excited about my story and asked a lot of really good questions.
After the interview, I got back on the road and later did another interview but over the phone with a radio show. It was the first time I had to walk off the road and sit under a tree, soaking wet, cold and hungry while doing a phone interview. I have to admit it was hard to stay excited or upbeat in those conditions. I was getting to the point that I was just done for the day, tired and ready to post up. I thought I saw a campground on a map in the area a few days before but when I got there it was actually a skateboard training camp (not recreational camping) which would have got me really excited a few years back. I stopped by a gas station to ask if anyone knew of a campground close by and got to talking with a guy that worked there. I told him what I was doing and he said that he had some property a few miles down that I could camp on if I wanted. I actually ended up staying in a shop on his property where LeeRoy and I could finally get out of the rain and try to dry off for the night. To be totally honest...It was kind of scary staying in the shop. It was old and dusty... had no power or lights but it was dry so I couldn't complain.
At some point between Sandy and Brightwood I met a Police Officer who was waiting for me at an intersection off the freeway. The first thing he said to me as I walked up was that he's been getting phone calls about me for the past few days. People telling him that there's a guy walking with a deer on the freeway. As we were chatting, he told me that he road a unicycle from Seaside, OR to Verona Beach, Florida to raise money for the Shriners Hospital back in 1996. Crazy right! I got a lot of advice from him and he informed me of a few laws that will help me on my trip if I ever get hussled by the Police. I was very grateful to him for all his help. Later on down the road, he stopped again and gave me his cell number incase I needed anything and even offered to charge my cell phone as he patrolled all day and would later find me to bring it back.
I am continually amazed at the generosity of the numerous people I have come across since day one of this journey. Grateful beyond words....