Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bike America Day 7: My Butt Gets a Rest

I woke up to a fully lit sky at 4:30AM. It was the longest day of the year and we were a mere 30 miles from Canada. I fell back asleep for another few hours and then spent some time curled up in my sleeping bag, not feeling the need to rush into my padded shorts and out of my tent. It would be our first day off the bikes and we had some business to do. My dad, who is the upcoming board chair of our church, had a plane to catch in Spokane, WA, two hours south of us. He was headed to Phoenix for the five day UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) annual conference. While we were sad to lose him for the weekend, I was also excited for the arrival of my boyfriend Joshua.

The drive to Spokane was pretty but uneventful. When we got to the airport, my dad waited just long enough to welcome Josh and then head for his plane, which he nearly missed. It was weird to see Josh after only a week away. He'd been home, living our normal life and I'd been completely disconnected from the world, living on the road and out of touch. It made it feel like we'd gone months apart.

The last piece of business to attend to in Spokane was at the Toyota dealership. While the Bike America support vehicle was fixed up with new energy-efficient tires and oil, my mom sat at the dealership and worked while Josh and I walked around the Riverfront park and got lunch in downtown Spokane. We ate at a french cafe called Madeleine's and I had a turkey, apple, mesclun and pesto sandwich.

It was a cute city and a beautiful day but i found that it felt weird to walk so much for the first time in a week. My legs have been spinning like crazy and my thighs have burned daily but my walking muscles have been more dormant than normal. So that was an interesting realization.

Back at the campsite, Josh and I went for a mini hike to the lake where he took some really great photos. Afterward, the three of us made one of the best dinners yet. It was grilled chicken, fresh tomatoes, and corn on the cob roasted in the fire. Dessert were dough boys, around the campfire. Dough boys are a classic campfire treat from Josh's childhood: pillsbury biscuits wrapped around a stick, cooked over the fire, spread with butter, and coated in brown sugar. DEEE-LICIOUS!

It was approaching ten by the time we got in our tents, which was 1am Josh's time. As he and I sat at the picnic table earlier in the night, looking out at the sky and the tree line of the pine forest, he said to me, "where am I?!" I had gotten used to this vagabond wilderness lifestyle but it was quite an adjustment for him. It is farther north and west than he's ever been and possibly the most mountainous terrain he's seen at this time of year. I'm glad that he's enjoying the change and am so happy to have him here sharing in a part of this wonderful adventure my parents and I are on. At one point yesterday he hugged me and said, "this is a crazy thing you're doing." He's right, it is a crazy thing but it's the best kind of crazy. And I'm lucky to have other crazy people in my life like my parents and Josh who are willing and excited to share in all or a part of this crazy experience with me. It will be especially nice when my dad is back and Josh is still here and the four of us can be in it together for a while.

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