news update links
January 16, 2008

Portland, Wa - Salem, Wa
By Laurie White

Another day full of adventure! Marcelo and I head downtown fairly early today because . . . It’s sunny!! Oh joy! We arrive at the Eco-Trust building about 930 hours and asked for some volunteers to help us get the solar car out of the building. Sydney helps us round up a at least 8 people, what an effort it was! I attempt to record their efforts on videotape for Marcelo.

Next, Marcelo drove the solar car across the street to a beautiful, new local park, called Jamison Park. It is in the Pearl District of Portland. We immediately set up the solar array to charge, we hope the sun holds out all day so we can completely charge the batteries for the trip to Mulino and Salem. We were getting some of the best charges he has seen in a long time, we do a happy dance! In just 2 hours, the batteries were already half-way charged. It is so nice we don’t mind spending a whole January day outside, soaking up some sun ourselves.

We have a wonderful man, Fred Tatch, help us out for the whole day. He helped move the car, set up the solar array, and even talked to people who came by to see the car. He also provided both Marcelo and I with frequent breaks so we could go to the local coffee shop or the rest room. Marcelo spent some time in the coffee shop on his laptop checking his emails as we don’t know when he will have the opportunity to do computer work anytime soon.

Marcelo was interviewed by Dieter Loibner, a representative of Solar Oregon. Dieter took some great pictures and is writing an article that will be posted online about the xof1 on Solar Oregon’s Web site. Great job, Dieter!

A local man, Ken took some excellent photos and also interviewed Marcelo. He is going to post the photos and interview on the local Pearl District Neighborhood news blog. He came by several times during the day and asked us to call him when we leave the park, he wants to photograph Marcelo driving the car away. We are welcomed very well by this terrific neighborhood, I received a very favorable opinion of it. Check out the Pearl District next time you are in Portland, you will be glad you did!

Early in the afternoon, we notice that the batteries are nearly full, woo hoo! We decide it is time to depart for a quick stop in Mulino, and then on to Salem for the night. Our helper for the day, Fred Tatch drives a motorcycle and offers to escort us out of town and most of the way there. We also ask a wonderful man named John Peton if he will join the support crew for the day and drive with us down to Mulino and Salem. John lives nearby and has been terrific with making all kinds of phone calls to everyone he can think of to drum up some publicity for the solar car. He has a dog named Jack who goes with him everywhere and Marcelo says, “Bring him along, he will be the first canine in the support crew!” John will help me with navigation and will take pictures while I drive. Fred will escort us and show us the best way to thread our way through downtown Portland. I am surprised to be leaving Portland so soon, but the weather has been great and when it is sunny, you are on the move with a solar car!

We depart from Jamison Park and the Pearl District about 1400 hours or 2 P.M. We have a little difficulty with traffic, but Fred soon gets us to 99E south and we are on the way out of town! Marcelo shows off a little that he has enough power to zoom ahead of Fred’s motorcycle. He soon falls back between Fred and the van for safety, but it was fun to see how much power that little solar car has, it really can go fast!

We say goodbye to Fred about 1500 hours, or 3 P.M., he manages to say some very encouraging words to me as he gives me a big hug, I will miss him! It is getting foggy and he warns us to stay in Mulino, if possible.

We reach Mulino and Sunstone at about 1545 hours or 3:45 P.M. The employees have made us a big welcome sign and almost all of them are standing outside the business waiting for us! They clapped and cheered as we enter their parking lot. In addition, they have a photographer taking photos as Marcelo enters, I am surprised and pleased for him! They treat us all very well and gave us nice gifts plus a personal tour of their circuit board business. We had so much fun there that it was hard to leave.

It is near 1700 hours (5 P.M.) and the fog is getting thicker and it is getting darker, we must depart for Salem. It is humid, too. Marcelo is feeling pressure to get on the road and go quickly now, it is much harder for him to drive the solar car in such conditions. He definitely looks like a UFO to me in the camera that we have mounted behind the trailer! I learn the meaning of “white knuckled” during this part of the trip. I do not know how I could have made it that night if it wasn’t for John, I am so grateful he volunteered for the day! Thanks so much John and Jack, you helped guide me through almost zero visibility tonight!

We arrive in to Salem about 1840 hours or 6:40 P.M. We have a little difficulty finding our new host, Bill Bishoprick’s house. We call him and he comes out to help us. We leave the solar car and the trailer at his house for the night and tell him that we will be back in the morning. John has told us that he won’t be joining us tomorrow, so Marcelo takes me back to Portland. He also takes John and Jack home and goes to an appointment with Tangerine.

We had skipped dinner tonight, so I have some wonderful chili and a very nice visit with the Haberman’s in Portland. I am exhausted! I am so relieved that we made it safely to Salem! I go to bed early and don’t even hear when Marcelo gets in, he must need a lot less sleep than I do. Another busy day in the life of a solar car driver and his crew!

by Marcelo;

I wasn't planning on writting any updates for today. At the end of the day in Salem I mentioned to Laurie that today was one of the most challenging and fun drive I had with the solar car to date. Upom our arrival in Salem, Laurie had to take a few minutes to unwide and get rid of the white knuckles :)

Laurie, John and Jack you were great!

A view of the solar car from the second floor of the Eco-Trust Building. Very cool looking
A great group of new volunteers helps us get the car outside of again. Thanks a lot
Fred Tatch helps watch the car as we charge the batteries in Jamison Park, of the Pearl district in Portland, OR.

Ken (Pearl Neighborhood Association) takes our picture in front of the solar car. You can view his great story and pictures here:
Laurie Flarity-White, Fred Tatch, Marcelo da Luz, and John Peton with Marcelo's first canine support crew member, Jack! Jack is a black mouthed cur breed of dog, the same as “Old Yeller.”
Ken takes a lot of wonderful pictures of the car, he is an excellent photographer
Laurie, Fred, Marcelo and John with Jack

Heading south from Portland to Mulino
Fred leads the way with his motorcycle, Marcelo’s first motorcycle escort of the tour
Marcelo shows Fred how fast he can zoom in his solar car. Go, Marcelo, go!

We stop to say good-bye to Fred. Thanks so much!

Fred says good-bye to Marcelo
By green man!

We arrive in Mulino to a warm reception at Sun Systems Circuits.

Sunstone have made us a big banner and are very friendly and welcoming.
Marcelo talking to our friends at Sunstone about the solar car.
I think the circuit boards look like works of art, what do you think?
We get a wonderful and interesting tour of the Sunstone plant.

The circuits are inspected multiple times for quality control. I counted at least 5 times!
Another amazing machine that is involved with the manufacturing of circuit boards. Thanks so much, Sunstone for the tour and gifts!

We hit the road to Salem and find a very dense fog and a darkening sky. Now we are in a big hurry!