13 November 2009

Twelfth Anniversary Photo Celebration!

Stephen and I both just furrowed our brows and counted days on our fingers, coming to the conclusion that today is in fact only the twelfth day since we rode down my parent's driveway. It seems as though it could be twelve years. All the folks we've met already seem like old friends, I've already begun exaggerating our triumphs into near tall-tales, and we seem to catch ourselves daily reminiscing about the comforts of our old lives. I know it hasn't been very long, and we've only barely traveled the height of one state, (one we've traveled several times over behind car glass) but it feels as though we've been through different worlds. The Olympic Peninsula, seen from the seat of a bicycle, is the largest piece of earth I've ever attempted to understand. The rolling forest never cares about how tired you may be, it continues for portions of infinity between tiny logging towns I've never heard of, filled with the most interesting, kindhearted folks I've ever met.
Two nights ago we crossed that massive bridge into Astoria and out of Washington (Mike and Stephen wildly attempting to hold their breaths the distance(we were in a bus, thank God)). Already it seems we've crossed massive expanses of land and left a great deal behind.

Mike and I finally got a couple rolls of film developed. I now present this terrific mess of overdue photographs in as close to chronological order as I can manage:

This was our first real glimpse of Discovery Bay from Hwy 20 out of Port Townsend. We were here for half an hour tuning bikes, snapping photos and generally congratulating each other on how good our new lives were. This was only a few miles before we reached 101 and learned to blast our iPods to drown out the relentless roar of traffic.

The same place. The sun shining on Mikey at one of the first really serene stops on an unfathomably long road.

About ten miles out of Sequim on Hwy 101, we reach the top of miles of windy, climbing road ending us up on a bluff hundreds of feet above Discovery Bay. This was our first taste of treacherous road. It was also where we realized no hill was impossible to climb. We were ecstatic when we discovered our reward of two crazy miles of steep downhill landing us right at the base of Sequim Bay State Park.

Stephen conveniently had a flat tire just as we rolled past Mike's Bikes in Sequim. We spoke to a couple locals here who told us our plans were ridiculous considering the coming storm. They gave us new maps, new directions and new ideas. The ordeal had a strange aroma of divine intervention.

Mike and I wait out further bike troubles on the stoop of a family practice on a Sequim side street.

We stop for a stretch break on 101 on the cusp of Port Angeles.

This is on the far side of Port Angeles as were learning to live our lives in the rain. This was the first really cold day. You can see the snow line in the hills down the road.

Hwy 112 rattles high above the Elwha river, whose green basin is speckled with glowing deciduous trees, covered in smoke from hidden chimneys.

Mike and Stephen catch up on letters and journals as our laundry tumbles in the Joyce Laundromat. The rain still coming down outside, our plans for the night still tentative.

I couldn't sleep at our Salt Creek campsite (partly due to the raccoons ravaging our pots and pans all night) so I rose early to find nearly fifty surfers already in the water. They're the tiny black specks arcoss the bay. Maybe you can't see them. These guys are serious.

Our new friends Andy and Kris let us stay in the beautiful studio above their garage six miles west of Joyce. We all decided we could have lived there forever. We were deep in the woods, the Strait of Juan de Fuca just below our windowsill.

This, I think, is the favorite stretch of riding so far. The rooty, leafy hiking trail around Lake Crescent escaped the trees for a second as the sun busted through the clouds. We spent an hour here, where an arched wooden foot bridge carries the trail around a tiny cove.

The snow capped hills above Lake Crescent.

This was the only remainder of the railroad around the north shore of Lake Crescent.

Behind the Wal-Mart in Aberdeen homeless people fish for salmon in the bottle neck of Grey's Harbor.

We spent an entire day with our couch surfing host and new good friend, Stephen. He took the day off work to show us around Aberdeen, feed us, introduce us to his friends, and entertain us for hours with hysterical and often terrifying stories. We love this guy.

We spent another day transferring between countless county buses in attempt to catch up with the weather. The drivers tend to hate us because the bike racks only hold two bikes and we have to convince them of our method of tying the third bike between the others. We spent hours in the backs of buses ranting on and on about the nature of universal truth and the instinctual values of everything. Nothing was resolved.

This morning we left Seaside, where we kept ourselves warm watching the wind and hail from the windows of a fancy resort on the beach. Stephen's Dad and Stepmom invited us to spend a couple nights with them and we jumped at the chance. Yesterday was a very strange day. We spent hours lounging in the pool and hot tub, and taking leisurely rides down the beach. Mike and I even took a free wine tasting class. The whole time Patti was trying to fatten us up, feeding us fantastic portions of delicious food (steak, cookies, bacon and eggs, etc). We can hardly express how grateful we are for their hospitality.


  1. Nice pictures! So, have you traveled more miles by bus or bike at this point?

  2. What's with the film? Is it like a vinyl over digital thing?



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