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January 15, 2008

Longview, Wa - Portland, Wa
Wow! What a day for us all! It was mostly very exciting with a part of absolutely terrifying thrown in to the mix.
We had a leisurely morning at the Bassett’s partly because there was no sun and we didn’t have to get up early to take the car somewhere else to charge the batteries. Ursula made us a terrific breakfast of eggs, bacon, cereal, toast and homemade jam, authentic German Stolen, grapefruit and juice. We all ate until we were very full. We waited and waited for the sun with no luck, it was very discouraging. Again, the forecast was wrong! We decide to go ahead and start out for Portland, chasing the sun again. We call the local Longview paper and the reporter arrives just as we are preparing to depart. My husband, Jim has suggested we send a photographer over the Lewis and Clark Bridge to set up for a photograph of Marcelo in the solar car as he is crossing the bridge and we decide to do this. The local photographer thinks this is a good idea, too and goes ahead of us. Then, he gets in the way of our photo, so we jockey around for position and only get a few photos of Marcelo crossing the bridge, unfortunately.
We cross over to Oregon, a new state for Marcelo! Yay! The weather is very foggy; we are growing concerned that we won’t find the sun. It is 1200 hours, so I call our hosts, Jim Haberman and learn that it is indeed very sunny in Portland, good news! We keep driving and driving while we are trying to reach the sun.
This is the first day I really get to see the high number of people who take pictures of Marcelo in his solar car. I lose count when at least a dozen different people drive ahead of us, then pull over to photograph him going by. I see one woman do this twice; she must really want a good picture! We get many “thumbs up” and honks and unfortunately Marcelo sees someone flip him a bird, how rude! Most everyone is very supportive, but I am absolutely astonished by the people who ignore the van and trailer with all of the written and visual cautions. These people just pull right in front of the van or in front of Marcelo and almost hit him!
At about 1300 hours, we finally see some glimpses of the sun! We are very near Cornelius Pass road, so Marcelo signals us to stop there. We pull off the road and Marcelo announces that we have enough time to go across Cornelius Pass into Hillsboro and pay a surprise visit to Solar World. So, off we go across the pass.
We arrive at Solar World in Hillsboro at about 1330 hours. We immediately set up the solar car to charge the batteries; it’s sunny in Hillsboro, joy! Marcelo talks to many of the employees and a few executives. He is kept very busy. We get a phone call from the Longview paper, they have gotten some good photos and the reporter wants to interview Marcelo for the story. He is just too busy to talk, so I offer to do the interview for him and Marcelo agrees. The reporter asks me some really great questions and talks to me for a long time. I hope I get all the details right, I guess I will find out tomorrow! I hope they will post this story online so we all can read it.
About 1600 hours, we pack up Marcelo in the car and depart for downtown Portland. He is scheduled to show the car in the lobby of the Eco-Trust building at 5 PM, I hope we make it! Duane is going to go back to Lacey tonight; he needs to catch the 6 P.M. train. Marcelo wants me to drive the van now as it will be my job from now on, so I do. It is a little scary, but it is good for me to start in Hillsboro, it is only 5 miles from where I used to live and it is very familiar to me.
We arrive downtown at the Eco-Trust building at almost exactly 1700 hours, right on time! There is a big crowd outside waiting, they all clap and are so excited! We get volunteers to help Marcelo tilt the solar car to get it into the building. He assigns me the job of videotaping the process, it is dark already! Right away he is interviewed by KOIN 6 TV station; I try to videotape some of that interview, too. Maybe he will be on the 11 o’clock news tonight? (He was!)
Marcelo is kept very busy by all the people who have come to see his fabulous car and his presentation tonight. I wonder how he maintains his stamina, he never seems to get a break! He has a presentation to do upstairs at 1800 hours and more than 150 people have signed up to attend it, so he escapes from the solar car downstairs a little before 6 P.M. to get set up for his talk. I go back outside to try to move the van and trailer to a spot that won’t prevent any car from getting in and out of the small parking lot. We find a volunteer to take Duane to the bus station, and say a very quick goodbye and thanks to him.
Marcelo gives a wonderful presentation at 1800 hours, it lasts for about an hour. It is attended by nearly 150 people. He does a terrific job and shows his great photos of the xof1 on tour in Canada, Alaska and the US. He also shows the famous UFO videotape that he recorded with his onboard the solar car camera, it is a huge hit!
After the presentation, Marcelo gets lots of terrific questions and talks to the attendees for almost another hour upstairs. Several have arrived late and ask him to show the car again. We go downstairs and he demonstrates how to open the car. Several people ask to get in the car and he lets them experience the xof1. I buy us some pizza at the restaurant in the building and we finally get to eat dinner at nearly 8:30 P.M.. We were very hungry from our busy day!
A nice man named Fred Tatch offers to help us get the car out of the building the next day and to help us out all the next day, too. We finally get to leave at almost 9 P.M..
We arrive at our host’s house a little after 9, we are staying with my friends, Jim and Liz Haberman. They make us some great herbal tea and Marcelo shows them the slides of the xof1 for almost an hour, I bet he is really tired tonight! Marcelo goes outside to try to find someone’s internet to connect to and I decide to write this log while I wait up for tonight’s news, just in case they have a story about the solar car. They do and even have a preview, so I am able to go get him so he can see himself on TV. It was a fabulous, busy day!

Marcelo, Duane Conger, Dale & Ursula Bassett. Ursula fixed us a wonderful breakfast
Ursula and Dale Bassett talk with a neighbor as we prepare to depart from Longview to Portland.

It is very foggy on the way to Portland. Where is the sun?

The solar car drives down Highway 30 in Oregon.

We are charging the batteries at Solar World in Hillsboro, OR.
Duane, Marcelo and Michael VanDerwater are contemplating the best way to get the car inside the Eco-Trust building for display.
There is a nice crowd gathered to see the solar car at the Eco-Trust building. Lots of interest!
Very carefully, the car is lifted and moved into the building
Yay! The car is safely inside

Marcelo is interviewed by Portland TV station KOIN 6 inside a building for once
say "cheese"!
A happy lady on the side of the road taking a photo of the solar car.
Michael VanDerwater from Solar Oregon introduces Marcelo at the beginning of his presentation. Thanks for all of your support, Michael!

There is a wonderful audience at the presentation, they ask some difficult and interesting questions

Laurie, having a very exciting time traveling with the solar car