I’ve been writing mornings and evenings just for you my fears so now we are only 9 days behind on writing. So here we go! And by that I mean we are at another Quaker’s today who runs a traveling book store. You’ll hear more about her in the 12th post but she donated $20 to MCS to help us out! How freaking cool is that! Saint Rita’s traveling books and literary apothecary! Look her up.
We woke up today in an enchanted wonderland. From the top of our loft bed we could look out the window and see the valley stream 200 feet below us that had lulled us to sleep the night before. I got up a bit before Stephanie and just set outside after having started my coffee. The view from the deck was the rolling mountains on the other side of the river and the sun shining on it all. I sure felt lucky to be alive. The morning was mostly puttering (We're really good at puttering. -S). Coffee sip, contemplation, coffee sip, sigh of relief, coffee sip, look at the map, coffee sip, wave to Lila, coffee sip, start big post backlog, coffee sip, make more coffee. When Stephanie got up, we shared that similar experience, and got to really enjoy each other. We might have had some conversations, we might have shared in silence, or we might have laughed our heads off with fart jokes, whatever it was, it was good.
One of the best parts of the morning is that Stephanie offered to make breakfast while I kept on writing. Talk about being well cared for! I discovered that writing is really meditative for me during that time, which was a bit of a surprise. So as I wrote away, Stephanie made some killer oatmeal with peanut butter, chocolate, and currents. Once she came out with it, I called it a day for the writing and went on to spend some quality time with her chatting or looking at the mountains or both.
Lila and Jerry had told us that the Twisp parade would start at 11, so being the industrious couple that we are, Stephanie and I enjoyed the show that morning until about 10:15, at which point we kicked it into gear and got ourselves out by 10:45, with just minutes to spare, until of course we realize we forgot to take pictures of the place (see last post) and we had to turn around, do it, and bike into Twisp in record time.
It was such a fun ride going into town. It was virtually all downhill, and Stephanie pointed out a super cool metal bird sculpture in the river, look up Twisp River Road street view to confirm its existence. Hah! Now you have homework too!
Anyway, we got into town for the parade with a minute to spare before 11 and set our bikes up against an old barn looking building and took up some seats curb space right bring where a group of older men were standing and discussing life. They kindly let us sit there so long as we got them parade candy. It was a fair deal, and despite the joke like tone, Stephanie and I "yes and-ed" (improv reference. To "yes and" something is to take a suggestion and really really run with it S.) the hell out of it, pushing over small children to beat them to the candy, distracting older kids with stolen puppies while reaching into their bags, and even lifting back the candy we'd just given the poor suckers just to give it back to them! It was ruthlessly good fun.
And by that, I mean we very much enjoyed the parade hooting and hollering for the people in it and picking up spare hunks of hard candy as they came within arm's reach, except for that Reese's peanut butter cup that Stephanie pried out of the hands of an octogenarian. (Lies. It landed right in front of me. The chocolate fairies were definitely watching out for me. -S) Some parade hilights for me included seeing a girl standing on a horse, a unicycle rider giving candy to a 4 year old, a 95 year old woman who started the EMS services, and the fire trucks at the end spraying water for kids to run into. Stephanie's favorites were the Reese's peanut butter cup, all the puppies she got to pet after the parade was over (4!! real puppies!! 4!!! -S), the unicycle guy, a girl in a really pretty dress, the 95 year old woman who started EMS, and all the super cute fire fighters who were walking down the street.
After the parade was over, Stephanie got some sweet, sweet puppy love, one so cute it just rest it's sleepy head on her chest, and of course we got a picture of that, this trip has basically been cataloguing all the pup love Stephanie can get going from town to town. We then biked around trying to find Jerry and Lila, and not having found them, we proceed to the park as our last resort.
At the park we saw Sarah the aerialist, so we asked the ticket people if we could sneak in real quick to say hi. Stephanie and Sarah geeked out over the Lyra for a bit, trying to figure out which poses would work best together. The bat hang was not one of those, because despite how pretty an idea is in one's head, gravity and lever arms tend to win almost every time, so the answer was the koala hang. Stephanie gracefully mounted the Lyra and talked Sarah into the pose, and I was the to immortalize it. I think we can all agree who the real hero is here...
Sarah let us know she'd seen Jerry and Lila but we were unable to find then ourselves, but she did tell us she'd send along our farewells. Tangent, there was also a poi artist, here's her. Twisp was a very cool place.
We left Twisp in the noon ish range and stopped by Hanks to pick up peanut butter I want to say, and while I ran inside Stephanie met the man, the myth, the legend, Hank himself handling produce. (I'd only heard Hank's praises in Twisp. People said he kept grocery prices low in town, cut 100 cords of wood by himself only to give 60 away to the elderly in the community. Plus there he was stacking his own watermelon outside the store that bore his name. Awesome. -S) She thanked him for his good work because she's a delightful and conscientious person and we rode Eastward.
The ride today was fueled by some wonderfully positive energy, and of course puppy love. Without much trouble we made it past Loup Loup pass, which in French means wolf wolf pass, and we flew past Omak just to be stopped by this sweet statue that I had to make friends with!
How cool is that! Though he told me his story, I don't have the time to recount it yet, so it will have to wait until get back to Wisconsin.
We nearly made it out of Okanagan unscathed, but we got negative scathed by a delicious taco truck. Stephanie saw it and had to stop, and it was one of our best decisions for the day. Stephanie demonstrated her superior Spanish skills, impressing the locals and wowing the cook. It got us 3 delicious tacos and a mazipan style peanut treat for the same price as the locals got it! She shared the story of our trip and from my limited understanding of Spanish and the oohs and ahhs of excitement from the rapt audience, I can only assume she was talking about how great a cyclist I was and how brave and strong and wonderful I've been through the journey. Sometimes, not knowing the language sure has it's perks.
Regardless, the tacos were phenomenal! We ate the lime slices like we had the onset of scurvy, the cillantro and avocado complemented the juicy meat bits perfectly and we were very satisfied with the meal. After the meal a new crew of Spanish speakers were in, so Stephanie used that chance again to sing my praises in a foreign tongue. (. ;) -S)
We departed the taco truck feeling great with only another 10-15 miles until Riverside, and though it was a gorgeous route, it was hard hard hard! Thank the gods, especially the taco gods, that we had tacos in our system, because ugh... Heat and head wind or just being tired made that last part of the journey very difficult. When we finally made it to Riverside, we saw a cute general store with bikes as decor, and asked if we could camp in their lawn, and nearly got a yes, but the owner was out of town, so we got a no. We thought about camping in the town park after eating some tasty ice cream, a drum stick for Stephanie and a coconut bar for me, but the skeeters and the high visibility made us too chicken, so we went to the RV park that had showers and fewer skeeters. We showered and zonked out in pretty short order after paying our $10 each. It was money well spent. I even showered with my clothes so that they'd be clean and dry by the next day.