Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 22 - Picture Imperfect

Two days off to recover was just what the doctor ordered.  We were both itching to get on the road and it felt good to be back on our bikes, despite the incessant, wet, gray, weather.  We had overheard some locals saying that this is the coldest and wettest summer that they have had in ages, but I’m pretty sure that was what they were saying when we were in the area last summer. 

It was Sunday and the fleet of buses was not running at full force so we were able to ride along in the bus lane, like the widest, smoothest bike lane in the world.  We were following the bay, but could only catch glimpses of dark water between the car washes and abandoned shipyards and factories. 

Espresso shops had begun to outnumber gas stations and bars, even in the small towns, more and more as we rolled across Washington.  The industrial side of Seattle had invented a new gimmick, the bikini coffee shop.  Theses little shacks were done up so that they looked like novelty shops or tiny strip joints, but in fact, were coffee drive ups with a barista scantily clad in a bikini to serve you your morning cup of joe.      

We ate at a Mexican drive-through called Memo’s and had big sloppy burritos filled with chicken that had to be made of some soy alternative, and had the consistency of scallops.  We forced down what we could and fed the rest to the dogs.

Our short ride took us into Tacoma and to the RV graveyard where we had intended to camp.  Brenton took one look and said that he preferred not to get shot, and we rode on into town where we stopped at a bike shop to tighten Brenton’s hub and to ask if they knew of any other camping.

The folks at the bike shop was more than accommodating.  They were refreshingly friendly and eager to help us out, and told us that we would have a hard time finding camping in the area, and anywhere on the route that we were taking and suggested an alternate route that would be a better option.  We were grateful for the advice and reluctantly booked another hotel room for the evening.

After backtracking a little ways, we went up a steep little hill, that was nothing to spectacular, and right at the top I heard a loud clatter and my chain had broken for a third time.  We decided to fix it at the hotel so I coasted as far as possible and then walked the short way to the hotel. 

We ordered Cambodian delivery to our room and gorged ourselves as fast as we could using chopsticks.  There was too much to finish and we set it aside for lunch the next day.  We realized that Brenton, so uncharacteristically, hadn't taken a single picture that day, and we went to bed without our nightly ritual of looking through the days photos.    

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