Despite starting a bit late, I’ve successfully managed to complete all twelve errands of my errandonnee!
(What’s an errandonnee? Here’s what the hell I’m talking about.)
I combined a lot of errands on one trip, because I got started so late.
#1 & #2: St. John’s Jaunt (8 miles total)
I biked out to St. Johns on a sunny afternoon in order to look for some camping supplies and stop at the grocery store. I hit up Ace Hardware and the nearby Gross Out (Grocery Outlet), although I was pretty thoroughly shut down at both locations.
What I learned: it’s too early in the season for Ace Hardware to have many camping supplies, and the Gross Out apparently only sells half and half in quarts (I wanted a pint). I bought a discounted bag of Tillamook shredded mozzarella cheese and headed back.
The photo is of this ravine that cuts across the peninsula. There’s a little park and bike path that goes along the east side of the ravine, and it’s quite lovely.
#3: Gettin’ out of the house (7 miles)
I totally forgot to take a picture of this errand, which I categorized under “Personal Care.” Rob and I had had a rough week, both of us staring at computers working until ungodly hours of the night, and both of us feeling crazed and behind on life.
In the midst of that frustration and anxiety, I convinced us to get out of the house and go for a bike ride.
What I learned: bike rides are the best for relaxing.
#4: Freelance writer’s meetup (5 miles)
Obviously, working from home can be taxing on my brain at times. That’s why I’ve been going to this freelance writer’s meetup group, which is filled with fun people, strong drinks, and only the occasional chat about writing.
I didn’t take any pictures of this, either, because I suck at remembering I own a camera.
Part of this trip was in the dark. MG asked us to say what lighting we used, but my headlight went dead on me a few minutes after we left the bar, so I basically used a little blinky in front, and my big flashy taillight in back.
What I learned: if you head the back way through the neighborhoods (as opposed to dropping down to the river and climbing back out into Southeast), you can avoid a lot of elevation loss/gain. Not that the elevation gain in this city is all that noticeable….
#5, #6 & #7: Books, and more books (5 miles total)
One problem with this errandonnee is that although I can think of lots of errands to do that involve buying things, I’m trying to avoid that at the moment. In trying to brainstorm an errand that didn’t involve me spending money, I remembered that I had a bunch of stuff to take to Goodwill.
Lots and lots of my old college books, among other things.
Normally I would have just left them for a car trip (we have 3 big chairs to take back, too), but I was inspired to try to carry it all on la Konita.
I packed up this pannier, as well as my Po Campo Loop pannier, and then bungeed another 10 pounds of books to my rack. I teetered the 1.5 miles to Goodwill pretty easily, then, my load lightened, I headed to Posie’s Bakery and Cafe in Kenton.
Once there, I realized that I still had two stowaways in my Po Campo pannier: a copy of Virgil’s Aeneid, and one of Dostoevsky’s Brother’s Karamazov. I passed those books off to the baristas, and sat down to enjoy a cup of tea and a delicious almond croissant.
After getting some work done, I slipped down the street to the library to finally get my library card.
(I know we’ve been in town less than 3 months, but for me that’s a long time to be without a local library card.)
What I learned: I can carry more than I thought I could; Posie’s almond croissants are amazing; and the library is busy with kids during the week days.
#8, #9 & #10: Working away from the office (4 miles total)
With the sun shining outside my window, I was beginning to feel cooped up in my little home office. I decided to head out to that cute little area around Vancouver/Williams/Shaver to find a coffee shop. (You know, with HUB and all the little shops? Does that area have a cute Portlandy name?)
First I hit up Livingscape, which I’ve ridden by a dozen times and always wanted to check out. I thought it was just a nursery, but they also sell a random assortment of kitchen stuff and camping/outdoors gear.
Rob and I just dropped a ton of money on plants for my birthday, so I’m on a plant purchasing freeze at the moment. I’ll be back, Livingscape!
I took a left and turned up Williams, where I spotted Poa Cafe. It looked inviting, so I hopped in for a cup of coffee. I was missing the accessory of the hour, however – a small child.
Apparently Poa is where the neighborhood moms get together to day drink. There were about 10 women and between 15-50 kids (so hard to count when they’re swarming). There’s a great big play area and chalkboard wall, and although it wasn’t the least-distracting environment I’ve ever written in, it was still way less annoying than working in an office. So there you go. The food looked delicious, the coffee was good, and Lacey, we’re definitely coming here next time you bring down the kidlets.
After I got my fill of screaming children and my computer battery was kaput, I swung by the New Seasons to pick up some soap, then wandered back home.
What I learned: Livingscape is a cool store; Poa Cafe is not the place to go if you want to get work done; New Seasons sells the soap from that little store (Camamu) that used to be next to my old roommate’s old Portland apartment before the store moved to Sellwood and she moved to Seattle just in time for me to move to Portland. I’m sure you remember the one.
#11: Date night (8 miles)
The only photos I got of this were blurry, so I’m sparing you the pain.
Did you know that St. Johns Theater & Pub has a beer, burger and movie deal on Tuesday nights, where you get all 3 of these things for $12.75? Apparently no one knows about this, because Rob and I went this last Tuesday, and there was only one other couple in the theater.
The burgers are tasty, the movies are second-run, and the beer is, well, made by McMenamin’s.
Ah, McMenamin’s! I love your little nooks and crannies, your fantastic reclaimed spaces, your quirky decor! I just wish your beer was a bit more delicious.
We saw Jack Ryan: Ghost Reboot. It was fairly straightforward (this bad guy wants this, that good guy wants that), and after our binge marathon of House of Cards, simplistic motivations are less than interesting. There were the requisite number of car chases, gunfights, and explosions.
Also, St. Johns Theater has a fantastic little patio out back, with secluded bike parking so your rig isn’t sitting out on the street corner while you enjoy the movie. Super cool spot.
What I learned: I’m over watching movies that star New Kirk as lead. Nothing good can come of them.
#12: Overlook Park (3 miles)
I had plans for a more exciting ride today, but I spent the day feeling absolutely exhausted. I still needed to get out of the house, though, so I took a quick ride to Overlook Park to explore our new neighborhood.
Overall, that’s what this Errandonnee has been about for me. I’ve forced myself out of my usual traffic patterns, and gotten a chance to see more of our new neighborhood than I had in the prior months.
The Errandonnee may be over, but I’m inspired to keep up my explorations. I’m promising myself that I’ll ride my bike to one new spot every week – even if it’s just a new coffee shop where I can work for a few hours.
What I learned: There are so many nooks and crannies! I can’t wait to explore them all.
Did you errandonnee? How did you do?