In early spring of 2007 I decided to quit my job, sell my house along with nearly everything else that I owned, and to live out of my car while traveling the country. These are my stories (and pictures) of life on the road.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Thanks for Portland

I've left Portland for the next month or so and since I left Iowa it was the first time I'd spent any time in a big city. It took some getting used to but I found it to be a pretty cool place and I'm looking forward to going back in August for some more work. I need to thank a few people who helped make it a good stop and who were kind enough to give me a roof over my head, food in my belly, and dirt on my hands.

The first place I worked in Portland was at “'s Erickson's”. Believe it not they're Jeep specialists! One of their technicians, Jim Geres and his wife Karen, opened their home to me and I spent almost a week at their place. I was treated to some fantastic food (the seafood post from a week or so ago) and some good company. Karen is also a nurse so I had plenty of ice packs and care for my knee.

I enjoyed working at Jeepers and it felt good to do some work again; it's the first time I've really had to do anything since I left Iowa. It's a nice shop and everything ran smoothly. Jim, Ethan, and Adam were all gracious and helped me find my way around the shop. Bill Erickson, the owner, had to take off not long after I started working there but the little bit that I talked to him seemed like a great guy too. Unfortunately he left before I broke out the camera.

Besides Jeepers I also worked at Hawthorne Automotive owned my Jim and Liz Houser, whose house I also stayed in for a few days. The shop was in a really cool neighborhood and it gave me a good feel for the town. The shop itself was very impressive and I was surprised how many young techs they employed. For having a fairly large crew of techs, about 1/2 dozen, everyone seemed to get along great and everyone seemed happy to help everyone else. The front office was a great crew too and helped make the experience a pleasure. The majority of the vehicles they work on are imports so it was quite a change for me since we saw very few imports where I lived in Iowa, but I managed to struggle through it. I was happy when a couple GM's rolled in the last day that I was there.

Right now the plan is to be back in Portland sometime in August and I'm looking forward to doing some more work for Jim at Hawthorne. In the mean time I'll see what I can do to occupy my time up here in Washington.

I've started a Flickr set of the shops that I've been to along my travels. You can view all those pictures, along with better descriptions, here


Michael said...

Well, Alan, after working in all of these different shops, you are going to get a perspective on the industry that few have.

Edith Clarken said...

Bella looks like Buddy.

Alan said...

She acted a lot like Buddy too in many ways; except that she didn't like to bite little kids.

You've reached the end of the page but that's not the end of the stories. If you want to read more (and who wouldn't!?) then click on the archive links to the right hand side of the page. They're listed by month; the adventure starts in May.

The February archives aren't actually from this trip but are previous adventures I've had, which are worth reading as well.