Trekking from Seattle, to Everette, to Mukilteo, to Whidbey Island
After an excellent final day in Seattle visiting with Bethany Douglas (a good, long-lost friend from Adrian) at her home in Burien, we decided it was time to ramble on North to see the Free family on Whidbey Island. To get to Whidbey, we took a mini Amtrak ride from Seattle to Everette (a 50-minute ride that involved shoving our panniers into some ripped up kitchen-size garbage bags to meet the two-bag limit [which was, by the way, again — a total pain in the ass]), then from Everette we rode to Mukilteo where we took a ferry to Whidbey Island and spent the day riding north to meet Dustin’s sister and her husband in Coupville.
Some highlights from Seattle day four +Everette/Mukilteo/Couupville/Whidbey:
- Seeing Bethany in Burien and and eating Maple Walnut ice cream, a felafel hamburger and coffee brewed three ways.
- This amazing Britney Spears-esque drag queen:
- Actually riding our bikes! W00t!
- Lots of “rolling hills” which have served as a bit of a wake-up call. The rolling hills weren’t impossible, or even miserable, but they were notable and many of my gears were utilized. These hills were a wake-up call because they are very very small in comparison to the “hills” (re: mountains) we are going to be climbing over the next weeks from Anacortes, WA to Sandpoint, ID.
- The Everett train station (which I recommend using only to get out of Everett)
- I went to a grocery store in Coupville and bought two apples; both of which I dropped on the ground at the register; one of which rolled under the world’s oldest most dusty liquor shelving unit. (Said apple was deemed un-edible by me. It stayed in Coupville.)
From Coupville we were magically whisked away to Oak Harbor where the Free’s live with their hot tub and their excellent canines (including one very tiny, seven-week old boston terrier with human eyes, a piglet snort and lots and lots of wrinkles. He is highly recommended.) After a long day of riding it was really excellent (so excellent!!) to be able to spend the evening with family. Lauren made dinner and I spent the evening re-planning the next few day’s rides taking into consideration my new-found knowledge of how much it sucks to climb up a Washington “hill” with 40 pounds of schtuff attached to your bike.
It was really hard to leave.
And I considered staying longer….. (I really, really considered it).
But then it became clear that it was time to push myself out of the nest and get on with my new life as a travelling bicycle gypsy.
Getting ready to embark on our first true East-bound trek, I am thinking about May 2006 when I graduated from college (this is a short metaphor/story, I promise). Stoked about all I accomplished, after graduation I dove right into summer vacation where I spent three cushy, comfy months basking in summer until September rolled around, summer ended, and it was time get on with it. (It, in this case, being my life — my career — not living in my mom’s basement.) — Ok, here’s how this all ties together — I feel like this last year building up to this epic adventure has been like my four years working on my BA; lots of work, mixed with some fun, culminating and leading up to a planned next-step-esque end. This time exploring Seattlle, Burien and Whidbey Island from the safety and comfort of my dear friend’s and family’s couches has been a lot like summer vacation. SO AWESOME. And comfortable. And well deserved! But….alas. You can’t stay in summer vacation forever (unless you’re Sury Cruise or Milley Cyrus; then you can do whatever you want.) So I had to push myself out of the neest and (again!) take that one step out the door toward the goal I want to accomplish.
The next 4,200 miles seem daunting and scary. Living in a tent and being hungry all the time sounds trying. Dealing with mechanical errors and asking strangers if I can sleep in their front yards sound intense. But. It’s time. We’re doing it!
I’m writing this blog post from a picinic table in Bay View, WA, in a campsite at the end of our first day of riding. Let’s just say day one moving Eastward was intense.
I’ll cover all of that in a second blog post since I know your attention span is tapping out right about…..now.
To keep you entertained, here are some photo highlights from the last two days: