Hawkes Bay NZ Water trail

Monday, August 31, 2015

Rainy Monday in Fremont

It's a grey day and it feels like fall. Tomorrow I leave for 18 days of bike touring to Eugene, so I took it easy today. Ran some errands on Tongling the Red and thought with fondness, of arriving in Tongling, a year ago today. How things have changed in many unwelcome and unexpected ways.
To the past I must say thank you. To the future I say yes.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Tongling the Red in Sunset Hill

Today marks the first ride I've done on my Chinese folding bike since I came back from China in late January. I'd damaged the drive train during the transport home. As well, I have been in a period of unwanted change, so it's not been a priority. Still, the little red bike seems to handle OK. It's strange to think back to the last time I rode her, in winter in a fumey curious south eastern city. Life has been very different from what I imagined this time 12 months ago, when I left to teach in China.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

From Golden Gardens Tuesday evening

The fires in Eastern Washington have given us exceptional sunsets. I came to the shore to eat a picnic dinner and enjoy the view of the snow free peaks of Olympic National Park, a couple of paddlers and the bitter sweetness of late summer.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Summer's bounty at the Pike Market

I took my touring bike for a practice ride today, to remind myself how loaded touring works. My goal was the famous market which is a riot of flowers, fish, fruit and summer vegetables. So pretty.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Saturday night Happy Hour Ponti's Fremont

I took myself out for waterfront dining on a Saturday night. A lovely Ship Canal patio, a diverting parade of boats, the clang clang of the Fremont Bridge opening to allow a high masted sailboat to pass through. It reminds me of Seattle's charm and how wonderful the ship canal bike path can be. It's been a "taste of fall" cloudy/humid/chilly mid-August day, so this is an antidote to tinges of sadness that threaten my fragile acceptance of radically changed circumstances. Some days are very hard for me as I feel such loneliness, regret, and, so surprising for me, fear, anxiety. I am mourning a very complicated grief. It is a strange unsettling place to be. I would never choose to do this. I wish I could wake up and realize it was a nightmare. But it's reality. Life hasn't been particularly kind to me for the past 6 months. But hard as it is, I know so many other people are in worse straits. My empathy is intact. I want to attract joy back into my life.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Beautiful sulphur shelf

A lovely thing to find on the trail. It's a sign that summer is passing into fall. A little sad. Nothing stays the same. Beauty passes. But thankfully so does grief. I look forward to it's passing.

Surprise Lake on the PCT

I took a break from the bike today and hiked to a beautiful Alpine Lakes Wilderness spot. It was steep at the top but I made it. It's comforting to find a new destination in an area I thought I knew like the back of my hand. It rained last night which had a beneficial effect on the bugs. As in, drowned them for a day.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Mt Stuart, Little Annapurna, Enchantment Peak ane even Prussik Peak

There's a storm brewing up there but these are my favorite mountains in washington.

Enchantment Peak and Little Annapurna, if you look closely

The fabulous view from the south side of I-90 and Taneum road. I discovered this route last year. I wasn't knocked off my bike by the wind this time, and the Enchantments are snow free. It's been a hot summer. I might try to snag a walk in hiking permit during the last week of my vacation. I finish classes last days of August and I don't have to return to teaching until Sept 28. I've decided I need company for my precious time off, so I've signed on to ride from Bellingham to Eugene, OR with Adventure Cyclist. Got a great last minute price plus one of the trip leaders is a guy that I did AC guide training with in March 2014. I want to get involved with people who truly like to ride. I'm done with people I once trusted who criticised my choices and made me feel apologetic. I will always be true to who I am. I'm alone now. So be it.

Yakima River on my Cle a Elum Taneum Ridge loop

It's a hot one today. This is the mon scene when I rode by at 12:15pm

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Lopez Island blackberries

If they don't turn to jam on the drive home, I'll have a taste of "The Rock" tomorrow.

Miss the ferry so over to Lopez Island Vineyard

Looks like I misread the ferry schedule so no 3pm ferry to Anacortes. Instead I have to wait til 6:15. So I chained my backpack to a post at the dock, In response to being told that WSF can't be responsible for my bag. For heaven's sake this is Lopez Island, where people are generally real. Then I rode back to town, to have a cheese and fruit plate and a glass of excellent white. Perfect to read my Anne Mustoe. That remarkable woman is my idol, a solo over 50 year old woman who rode around the world at least twice and appreciated good food and drink. I've been studying g her "how to" book for ideas about my unexpected radical change in my future. She was a widow. I too have lost my life partner and at a crossroads. I hope I find inspiration with this brave retired British headmistress.

Fisherman's Bay Lopez Island Sunday August 2

I feel my spirits lift each time I ride this windy causeway. However, today hasn't been as joyous as I'd hoped. I am in mourning and I am battling extreme loneliness. I wish it were different. But it's not. I take these self portraits to remind myself that there is hope. I just need to get through the rough parts. Right now it's rough.
But I'm glad I made the effort to come to the San Juan's, despite the hard memories that dog me.
To the past I say thank you. To the future I must say, yes.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

From Doe Bay Resort

I've not been here since 2009. How quickly time has passed. But the restaurant is still expensive but good organic produce, and the view is eternal. One day I must try to stay here.

7am Lopez to Orcas

It takes a lot of flexibility to plan which ferry to take to which Island. My goal today is ride to Deer Harbor, catch the 10:45am San Juan transit bus (fingers crossed they will have a spot on their bike rack) and go to the end of the line. It's now Cascade Lake near Moran State park, not Doe Bay. So, I will ride out and back to Doe Bay then back through Eastsound and along Crow Valley Road. I love riding on Orcas Island, but it's steep and I know I can't ride it from the dock to Doe and back in a day, as I'd done in 1993, which was another lifetime ago. But at least I'll give it a go.