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Jackson Quarry – 47 Miles

This country has a lot of weird shit in it. When I was a kid, I remember going into a rest stop in Missouri that had a severed head floating in formaldehyde, just sitting on the counter. Nobody famous. Just some guy. This head was supposed to make me want to buy more Gatorade or something, but they put it next to the picked eggs, which I remember just made me feel conflicted. And I love picked eggs. Now I’ve just read that a pawn shop in Texas has Pancho Villa’s trigger finger in their collection. Until today, I had always assumed that Pancho Villa was just another Cuban revolutionary who sold T-shirts with his picture on them to tourists who thought he somehow represented “sticking it to the man.” But it turns out that he was even more awesome than that that guy. Pancho Villa was the most feared Lucha Libre in Mexico. After years of saving money by posing for Polaroid instant photos with drunk Americans wearing sombreros, he invested the money into a patent for distributing low-quality tequila in plastic bottles. He then took all of the money he made with his plastic bottle patent and hid it in the mountains, having a map to the treasure tattooed on his fucking head. I know. Hard core. Unfortunately, he forgot to reverse the map for mirrored viewing, and spent the rest of his life digging in the wrong place, just like Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark. With Polaroid no longer making instant film and with his jar of pesos lost in the hills, his only source of income was gone, and he died broke and alone, buried in an unmarked grave clutching his beloved SX-70 camera with no pictures left.

I’m not done yet. Stay with me. I’ll get to the bike stuff soon.

pancho_cropped-pola_smallYears later, someone remembered Pancho’s map. The one on his head. So they dug up his body and they cut off his head. Now they’re out there somewhere, wandering around with a puckered map on a severed head, looking for a bag of pesos buried by a washed up wrestler. Amazing. I know.

What does this have to do with cycling? Well, it’s my lifelong dream of the week to create a route around Portland so amazing that someone will want to cut off my head to find it. Sure, they’ll be disappointed when they actually do cut off my head, and find only a stick-and-poke tattoo of Tweetie Bird dunking a basketball over Taz with the No Fear logo above them both. But it will be an honor to have had them cut my head off at all.

SO what is this amazing route? What makes a route so good that it’s worth chopping up a corpse? That’s easy. This is the list:

1. A turkey so docile that it can be pet like a dog.
2. Alcohol and/or tater tots.
3. Rednecks with guns.

Here are the basics. Up Saltzman. Down Skyline. Across Cornelius Pass and left. Right on Rock Creek. Ride towards the sound of popping. When you realize that the sound of popping is gunshots, ride away as quickly as possible. Left on Elliott. Left on Skyline. Left on Johnson. Right on Pederson. Left on Jackson Quarry. Left on Helvetia. Left on Phillips. Left on Old Cornelius Pass. Right on Skyline. I know. That’s a lot of direction. Feel free to mix up the lefts and rights at your leisure. I’m sure it won’t make much of a difference.

Now go home and have some pickled eggs.

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