Barbara Howe diary: The damp Northwest (October 10, 2005)

Friday: Scoring at the yard sale - Just when things were becoming normal again after returning from New York, it starts all over again. Friday's flight necessitated a before-the-crack-of-dawn start. Driving to the airport at 4:30am is great; there's no traffic in San Francisco or on the highway. Josh and I met Melodie at the airport and had an uneventful flight to Portland.

We found our host house with only minor confusion and met Brent and Simon (Josh's Rock Lobster team-mates). After some serious napping and eating we got ourselves together enough to get to the venue. After an extended tour of Portland's bridges in search of I-5's on-ramp, our little caravan arrived at the Alpenrose Dairy for some mudding. Our arrival was perfectly timed with the start of the rain. Every race I've done here has been a tenebrous mud massacre starting with '03 Nationals. This year promised to be no different. While doing some race prep on the roads near the venue, I saw several signs advertising a "hot sale". Curiosity peaked, Mel, Simon and myself follow the signs and did indeed come across a hot sale. I scored several towels/rags for $0.25 each, a few paperback books and a mini beer stein. Josh found a very choice Ranier Light beer poster, which he purchased for a quarter. But Mel was the true winner of the weekend, as she went home with a functioning waffle iron for only $4 as well as a flour sifter for a buck.

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