Bike riding 1,000 miles gave me more time for posting...

...than everything I'm attempting now. That would be: teaching K-2 music 5 days a week at a private school, teaching public middle school choir 5 days a week, feeding horses and mucking their field and stalls twice a day--7 days a week, working out every morning, feeding too many cats and dogs and working on two different major writing projects. Plus, of course, still riding my bike, trouncing Steve at games of Pitch and going to see "Mama Mia" with lovely friends. See the "Mama Mia" pose below:

Also, I've been tagged for the first time. Thanks Jolie. I'm resisting. Not gonna do it. Really. It's too... I won't... Aw heck, of course I will.

1. What are your nicknames?

None. None that I like anyway.

2. What was the first movie you bought in VHS or DVD?

"Ever After." The first Cinderella-type movie I really liked.

3. What is your favorite scent?

Rose, lavender, lily-of-the-valley and dark chocolate.

4. What one place have you visited that you can't forget and want to go back to?

Avebury and the area around it. I swear I had a religious experience at the foot of nearby Silbury Hill involving nature, a sense of real history and the finest chocolates I've ever eaten in my life.

5. Do you trust easily?

Yup. One might say too easily. Sometimes.

6. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think?

Some from column A and some from column B.

7. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?

No snappy, fun answer here. A continued pain of loss felt by family, friends and myself.

8. Do you have a good body image?

I think so.

9. What is your favorite fruit?

Gravenstein apples! That you can get only for about a 2 week period each year. And I just got Steve to help me shake down 2 grocery bags full from an ancient little tree in a secret spot. Yum!

10. What websites do you visit daily?

Several and I'm too lazy to list them.

11. What have you been seriously addicted to lately?

For the last 4 or 5 years--my daily workouts. Don't roll your eyes--it's a good addiction. That and the humongous breakfast I eat afterward.

12. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?

A lovely, energetic mom, writer, organizer with a wonderful laugh and smile and writing style I seriously admire.

13. What's the last song that got stuck in your head?

"Money, Money, Money" by ABBA. I know, I know. What can I say?

14. What's your favorite item of clothing?

This is way boring of an answer, but it's my simple black sweater. It's the only thing that I'll repair when it gets yet another hole from all the wear and tear.

15. Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy?

Not particularly.

17. What would you do if you saw $100 lying on the ground?

Chump that I am--I'd try to find it's owner. If they said, "I have more than enough, you keep it." (because that happens a lot, right?) I'd immediately go spend it on books.

18. What items could you not go without during the day?

Books. And my glasses so I can read said books.

19. What should you be doing right now?

Getting things ready for school tomorrow and going to bed.

Checks In the Mail

Two checks: one for $1,742 to the Julia Hypatia Orth Memorial Scholarship Fund and the other for $193.59 to the Nature Conservancy, went out in the mail today. Thank you to everyone who donated money and time to help us get on the road with the bikes and get this money out in Julia's memory. More money has been donated on top of this amount to both causes but I can't say exactly how much. I know several donations have been sent directly to the scholarship fund in honor of the bike ride, but the New College Foundation didn't keep track of those specifically. Something over $2,000 (including the check I just sent) has been added to the fund though. And, it looks like this may make a difference on the scholarship being given out for the 2008-2009 school year!
Mical leaves late tonight to fly back to school in Minnesota for her senior year at St. Scholastica. It was a very short summer! We're going to miss her a lot and look forward to seeing her in December and flying back to her graduation in May. Her horses and dog will particularly miss her. I take very good care of them when she's gone, but as far as they're concerned, I'm just not her.
Nick and I are planning to get back out on the bikes as soon as possible and ride around my school schedule. Today's weather was particularly nasty and he has a cold, so what time we were out in it was spent with Mical rather than riding. (Did I mention that I'm going to miss her?)

Not Done Yet

Local scenery--the peace field in Port Townsend

We're still working away at biking the rest of the 1,000 miles. I just haven't gotten my camera out so keep not posting. But since we're going out from home it seemed appropriate to post a photo of a nice scene nearby.
We did a Quilcene and back trip two days ago and had big plans to ride to Seattle today and have Steve and Mical meet us there. Unfortunately, there was a major downpour so the biking was put on hold. More trips are coming up though and I'll keep you informed. The nearest one is likely to be the 50 or so miles to Port Angeles using the trail that starts by the S'Kallam tribal center, staying overnight and then back the next day.
Mical leaves to go back to school on Friday. Her dog is already sensing it I think. She was gone all day today and he begged to come inside and sat by her bedroom door for two hours before giving up and going back outside. I was gone for 3 weeks and I don't think he noticed.
Finishing the biking is my priority right now, but it's also getting time to be thinking about school starting again, and promoting the re-publishing of "Dream of the Circle of Women." Remember that it has a nice, shiny new cover and I tightened the writing up. Here's where you can order it: http://www.andborough.com/dream_circle.htm
and here's a photo of the nice, shiny new cover:


Sisterhood of the Bellingham Pants

Kathi, me and the glorious bell-bottoms

Kathi's $1 pair of bell-bottoms for someone with long legs (so she thought of me) that she got at a garage sale just because they were too wonderful to pass up. I left them in Bellingham and will have to wear them when I go back in 3 weeks.
We really did leave today. Got up at 6:00, ate more of Kathi's food for breakfast and biked to the train station. We had a nice ride to Edmonds, got our bikes out of baggage and got right on the ferry to Kingston. By that time the sun had come out and we had another beautiful ride from Kingston through Port Gamble, the Hood Canal Bridge, Paradise Bay, Port Ludlow, Oak Bay, Hadlock and into Port Townsend. We didn't even go to the house first. Right to Aldrich's to eat (I bought almost $20 worth of salad--both veggie and fruit) and Nick did some more work. Steve met us there and Mical stopped by. I got to talk to Anne Orth for a minute online and then biked home. I stopped to see the horses before going on up the hill to the house. 3 weeks since I'd been here. It seemed like a long time. My jungle of a garden has several flowers that weren't in bloom when I left.
It's good to be back, have my favorite breakfast for dinner tonight, and get into my regular routine tomorrow. Then we'll figure out routes to finish the last miles. I want to keep some of the spontaneity that made up most of our trip though. It was really nice not to be tied down completely to a schedule. I'll have to work on how to do that now that we're back.
And, I'll start getting ready to send the donated monies to the scholarship fund and the Nature Conservancy. Anyone who still wants to donate--there's a little bit of time still to do that. You can always send it directly to the scholarship fund too. Anyone who wants to know about how to do that can e-mail me.
Back in my own bed now. 52 miles today. Can't stay awake much longer.

Still Here and So I Give You...

...Cuteness in Kathi's FRONT Yard.

That's right, we just find it impossible to leave Bellingham. A couple of extra crises at Nick's Portland work headquarters have made it more imperative that he get somewhere quickly to do emergency work than to get to Portland. So, we've now decided to take the train tomorrow morning (couldn't get our bikes on one today) to Edmonds, hop the ferry to Kingston and ride back to Port Townsend. Bad weather and Nick's need to work kept us here instead of biking to Seattle. We're at nearly 600 miles so now we'll work around his hours and finish our last 400 miles pedaling around the Olympic Peninsula. Just because I live there doesn't mean it isn't a beautiful place for a trip.
I've gotten to do a lot of thinking on this trip (a good thing--really!), get a little writing done and spend time with neat people. And eat. Oh my, how I've eaten. We've been on the road for 3 weeks now and even the very few terrifying moments have been so worth it. Three years ago I wouldn't have thought bicycling at all would be much fun, let alone a huge trip with a bike loaded with gear. It definitely is a fun thing to do though. I've already decided to do the big Seattle to Portland 2-day ride next summer. That'll be one of my projects anyway.
I'm looking forward to being home, seeing Steve, Mical, the dogs, horses and even the cats. And getting to walk with the group and getting back to the gym. And riding the Peninsula. And eating my favorite breakfast. It's the only thing I've missed food-wise so far.
So, this is the end of a big phase of the 1,000 mile trip, but not the end of the trip. I'll keep posting.

Last Day in Bellingham and Now On To...

Cuteness in Kathi's backyard.

So we've had a great time in Bellingham just like we did in the San Juans and Mukilteo. The ride itself is wonderful but so are the friends we've spent time with (and mooched off--and they let us!). Now we're off tomorrow morning to Portland. Yes. You read that right. Portland. This is apparently one of those trips where you don't really know where you're going until you get there. Nick discovered he needs to make a personal connection with his Portland based job so instead of aborting any part of the trip we're just heading there instead. After all, a 1,000 miles is a 1,000 miles. And we still have friends we can drop in on on the way. Canada will just be another trip another time.
The program last night turned out to be a radio program that was being taped. Sherman Alexi was very good and there were musicians too. Nick, Kathi and I got some delicious paninis and ate them on the lawn while waiting for the show to start. Then Kathi took the bus home while Nick and I rode our bikes back. Tonight we're having another great dinner at Kathi's. She and Nick made their ice cream and Kathi's son Gabe is coming. It'll be a lovely evening to end our stay here. The nice thing for me is that I get to come back for a weekend just a couple of weeks after our trip is over. We have a women's group that meets 2 or 3 times a year at Kathi's. She and I went to see Mama Mia this afternoon. I had thought I wouldn't like it but it was very fun and we've decided we need a weekend something like that for our group. She brought out an amazing pair of bell-bottoms for me to wear when we do. I'll have to scare up an ABBA cd somewhere and we'll all cavort and sing and generally bond. We won't need to do the wedding part though.
Hi to everyone who's e-mailed me. I have to get back to help with dinner right now or I would e-mail each of you. I'll do that as soon as I can. But keep the e-mails coming. It's nice to hear from you. Larissa--have fun at music camp! Gretchen, Kate, Carol, Julie and Kitty--I miss you guys and look forward to walking and eating with you when I get home.
We're going to be in Seattle probably Tuesday so we're hoping Steve and Mical can at least meet us there for dinner. I miss them a bunch. Plans now are to get to Portland, finish the miles on the trail around the city and take the train back up before Mical leaves for school.
I'll post again when we're at another wireless place. I'm not sure if that will happen before we get to Seattle.

The Annual Thimbleberry Pie Is Important Wherever You Are

Thimbleberry pie! No more words necessary. Except the blackberry was good too.

Our bikes at the end of a trail around Whatcom Lake.

We're so hardcore--very hot weather and we still keep riding. Yesterday was a lovely trip to the end of the road around Whatcom Lake. We discovered another road there that led to a 6 mile (in and back out) hiking trail through the woods along the edge of the lake. Parts of it really needed a full mountain bike but we managed with ours anyway and it was worth it. Very, very pretty. The regular road around the lake (Northshore Road) was another one without much in the way of shoulders but the farther out we got the lighter the traffic. We were passed 3 times by a truck pulling a boat that made us a bit nervous--it was kind of all over the road and we'd had an incident on Highway 20 that made us both wary of boats on trailers. (We passed an accident just as the police were putting out flares where a boat had flown off its trailer and smashed on the side of the road. Our side of the road.) Other than that, though, drivers went way around us.
We got back around 8:00 and had another great dinner, this time with Kathi and it ended with the incredible pies I'd made. That's not bragging--thimbleberry pie, particularly, can't help but be incredible. Kathi bought an ice cream maker yesterday so Nick is teaching her how to use it tonight and they're going to make raspberry ice cream with some of her raspberries. What a good berry season this is.
We did a ride around Bellingham today and on the waterfront. Once again, a city that I already know (and really like) turns out to be even better than I thought. I'm getting better about city biking too. I have to admit, though, that I feel easier about it being able to bike with someone who has the experience with it.
We're contemplating another major change in our itinerary. I'll post when we've made final decisions. This trip certainly has been an exercise in being flexible and being able to change our minds quickly whenever necessary.
Our plans tonight include taking Kathi to dinner and going to an outdoor event to hear Sherman Alexi speak. I really like his writing but I had very mixed feelings the one other time I heard him speak. I'm looking forward to hearing him again and seeing what reaction Nick has to it.
I'm off for a walk now. I've certainly been exercising my legs a lot but not getting nearly enough walking in. Definitely different muscles used!

Bellingham and All the Goodness Around It

Camping on Lopez--when it's called a 3-man tent it means 1 mom and all the gear. Nick slept out under the stars.

One of my favorite places--Whatcom Falls.

No posts for a couple of days but lots of activity. We left Lopez on the 12:35 ferry on--um--I think Wednesday. Spent time in a wireless establishment in Anacortes for some time so Nick could work. At first it didn't look very promising other than the wireless--it had a sign saying "Mostly Donuts." But, it turned out to be a lovely place with lots more than donuts--a very nice deli with delicious panini and very friendly owners. I, of course, thought it was a particularly fine place when one of the owners exclaimed at Nick calling me Mom--"She can't be your mother! She looks so young!"
We left Anacortes at 4:30 thinking we'd find a campsite somewhere for the night and get into Bellingham fairly early the next day. But, as we pushed ourselves through a bit of wind and hilly windy roads on Chuckanut Drive we decided to go for it and try to get to Bellingham that night. It was a beautiful ride on Chuckanut. Not so beautiful on Highway 20--in fact rather terrifying--but, hopefully that will be the worst section of road on the whole trip.
We rode almost 60 miles--most of it after 4:30 and got to Bellingham just before dark at 8:45. Of course, it was another 6 miles to Kathi's and we took some wrong turns on the way, but there was lots of good bike lane and when we ran out of that we used the sidewalks. We finally got to Kathi's at 10:00, devoured the poor woman's entire supply of blueberries and most of her bread and pesto loaf, then fell happily exhausted into REAL beds. And slept in until 11:00!
Forgot to mention--it's a testament to how tired you can get from the good exercise of biking many miles--both nights on Lopez we slept on hard, lumpy ground with no padding but the bottom of our sleeping bags beneath us but we both slept 10 hours each night.
So, yesterday we found our way to a wireless place again (Kathi has everything you could ever want at her lovely house, except wireless). I did some walking around instead of staying still while Nick worked (though I did get a little more writing done later). Then we took off to ride all the trails I know and love here and a couple more to make 35 miles. I got to take Nick to Whatcom Falls--a place I love and he was suitably impressed. I had wanted to show it to both him and Julia the one time we were all in Bellingham together but we didn't have time.
Kathi and our mutual friend Adelina had gone to the county fair and a Chicago concert but made a delicious soup and salad she left for us to eat when we got back to her house. They came back just after we finished and we got to talk to them for a bit.
This morning I got up early to go pick thimbleberries and blackberries and Nick went to get some work done. Then I made a thimbleberry pie!!! and a blackberry pie which we'll get to eat tonight after taking Kathi to dinner. Food is certainly a highlight of this trip.
Off to bike some more momentarily.

Whimsy & Dessert on Lopez Island

The whimsy... a wood sculpture at the end of someone's driveway.

And the dessert...

We're in the LoveDog Cafe--a wonderful place with incredible food and wireless. This will be a very quick entry because they're about to close. We're still on Lopez camping--we decided to get more bike miles in here and head toward Bellingham tomorrow. Sunny and gorgeous yesterday, not so sunny (in fact a little rainy) but still gorgeous today. At the end of our dinner Nick ordered the wonderful looking dessert in the photo and I asked if there was maybe just some raspberries I could have since I can't eat sugar. The waitress brought me the beautiful little bowl of fruit with a nasturtiam. And they don't care how long we hang out online. Except, of course, when it's time to close.
More later.

Performance On a Waldron Stage

Waldron's annual "Cabaret" night.

So the photo isn't actually our performance, but I forgot to give Camilla my camera for that. She did get a shot with Julie's camera so when I can get that sent to me I'll post it. The cabaret is always a fundraiser for something so they have hugely piled tables of amazing looking desserts for sale and silent and not silent auction items. There were many more people there than it shows in the photo. A definite home-grown affair, which is what you would expect from the Waldron community. I came across a couple I recognized from Port Townsend who I didn't know have a place on Waldron. Julie's songs and our renditions of them were, of course, spectacular. Really. Ms. Chedoen, if you're reading this--I have copies of all 3 songs and permission to use them. You'll like them a lot. And I told Julie she'll have to come to Port Townsend to perform them with us.
It's sad to leave Waldron--it's been a lovely time here and the Loyds have been wonderful. They haven't complained that we took up space and ate them out of house and home. In fact, they invited us to stay longer. But, I've now apparently exhausted the island's supply of thimbleberries (I only picked 14 of them today) and so it's time to move on. Plus, there's more pedaling to be done elsewhere and I would like to get home to see Mical before she leaves for college.
So, tomorrow is the official leave-taking. Very early too, I might add. We'll get dropped off in Friday Harbor (one last time), take the ferry to Lopez Island where we'll bike and hopefully find a camping spot. We may not have internet access so I'm not sure when I'll post next. We'll head out the next day toward Bellingham. I must go pack up now and try to get a little sleep in.