Tuesday, November 23, 2010
A Bike, a Train, a Truck and an Elevator
To long has it been since I could wake up early in the morning and ride a bike with the freedom of not knowing exactly where I might sleep that night. Pack the essentials, make a reasonable plan, put a smile on your face and see what happens. With a forecast of heavy snow I set off at 6 am from Greenwood and caught the Amtrak at King Street. Hours of West Coast visual bliss landed me in Bellingham and 4 inches of snow. Looking particularly screwed on my two wheels, a local guy Mark offered an unsolicited ride. Not too proud to recognize my predicament, I accepted. Dropped off at Grossme Outlet, I rode-pushed (rushed) a grueling three blocks to my old climbing buddy Alan's house in the York Neighborhood. A hot tea and a ride in the Toyota down Chuckanut Drive to Blanchard delivered Alan and me 30 miles of pedaling snow-free 28 degree pavement. Living the dream.
Beers and booze at the bus, George's welcome home party, wood fired hot tub under a sea of stars, spoon with Mikey, 6 am alarm, spin to Mount Vernon, rails to Seattle, beer at the Dray, dinner with Jen, a warm bed.
It felt nice to just let things unfold this weekend. It may be crazy to suggest, but what if more of us simply got on a bike and rode somewhere cool next weekend? What if you figured out a way to visit an old friend without using your car? Maybe you would meet some folks along the way that restore some of your faith in humanity? Maybe you would realize that faster isn't always better? Maybe you would discover that everything you need really is just out your front door?
Hard to say not knowing?
End of the easy part, snow in B-Ham.
In the event of Nuclear Holocaust or Rapture, edible food item will be found here for approximately 1000 years.
Two wheels, small brain. Perfect combination.
Destination reached! Alan, our fearless leader's house.
Alan Kearney fits the definition of a climber. Alan has lived the life a guide/photographer while putting up first ascents in Alaska, Patagonia, and Washington for over 35 years. If I have learned anything about climbing in the past 10 years, I can count Alan as one of my mentors.
Alan suited up at a moments' notice for the 30 degree ride. We didn't see many other folks out riding that day.
Andy is a little fatter than the last time we hung out, but it's winter and all and he still seems pretty content with life. Much can be learned by observing cats.
Another magic bus ride with the usual suspects.
Good things happen in Mt. Vernon, Wa.
The Alaskan to Pike Elevator saves folks like me a hill climb....
..and gets me closer to the celebration beer at The Dray.
This fine morsel of health food was purchased at the Calico Cupboard in Mt. Vernon. My wife is a very discerning critic of the fine American Tradition we call the Cinnamon Roll....