Good morning at 5:45 a.m. while my riding companions are sleeping, I am updating this with enthusiasm. I checked my email and got an update from Lou below. I'll update this again tonight.
Mike, I am comfortable in a magnificent home with my cousin on the west shore of Lake Washington in Seattle. I tried to alert Jerry to the fact that I was stopping at the rest area for a fast bathroom break, but the turnoff came too quickly. I made a really quick pit stop and tried to catch up with Jerry, but I arrived in Lake William and never saw him. I filled up at the first gas station and waited for a while. Then I went inside to adjust for the warmer weather and when I came out, waited some more. I had no signal on my cellphone and a nearly dead battery and we had not planned a method to find each other when lost. We had agreed to stop as soon as we discovered the trailing party was not there and then backtrack if more than a few minutes passed. I did not wish to spend the night by myself less than a days ride from family, so I took off for Seattle. I did not say it was a wise choice. It got dark fast, and the drive from Lake Williams is all mountains and tunnels. In fact Jerry did not make it to Seattle the next day because one of the tunnels was closed due to a traffic fatality.
I drove slowly,blasted my music.and stopped often. When I stopped I worried about all of the treats I had in the bike attracting unwelcome guests. It was very windy and drizzled a little bit. There was very little traffic and each closed gas station confirmed that most of the wiser riders had found a place to stop before dark. A dead moose carcass on the side of the road slowed my progress even more. I finally found an open gas stations, at least the pumps were on, but the attendant told me his boss only allowed him to open the store for emergency personnel, like police and EMT. He broke the rules and allowed me to buy a sandwich and a hot coffee, and I sat outside on the ground and enjoyed my meal. I was about 45 minutes from Vancouver, and the mountain drive was over. I went about an hour on this road and found a Walmart shopping cent, and took about a 15 minute nap. I drove a few more miles and saw the exit sign for the US border, and it said open 9-5, It was around 6am. I drove to the border, it was open and I had no problem getting back in the US. It was my sixth and last border crossing of the trip. I drove until I got on I5 and stopped at the first rest area. A sign at the entrance said free coffee. I drank hot coffee and ate cookies and talked with some wonderful volunteers.
When I had enough charge on my phone I called Sally and discovered that Jerry had telephoned her. I also discovered my cousin had plans for the whole day, but that if I made haste, I might see them before they left. I was about 15 minutes late, but said hello and goodbye and took advantage of their hospitality by cleaning all my clothes in their laundry. It was a beautiful Sunday and the view of all the folks enjoying their Sunday on the lake was just incredible. It's a seaplane port, so I watched the take off and landing, and saw hot air balloons and just about every boating combination imaginable. When my cousins returned we drove around Lake Washington to the eastern shore to have dinner at their favorite restaurant to celebrate my cousin's upcoming birthday. We sat outside and our server brought us blankets, and as I enjoyed the best salmon dinner I've ever had, and some really good wine, we were treated with an unbelievable sunset. Today I assisted with some computer and Internet issues, and it took me about 3 hours to wash all of the trip off the bike.
I sent an email to the closest Honda dealer that I would be dropping the bike off for an oil change tomorrow, and to make sure none of the rough roads had damaged the bike. My cousin and I are planning on some sea kayaking while the Honda dealer services the bike. As I wrote this email, the moon rose over the eastern shore. What a view. After I get my bike back, I plan on making a beeline back to Atlanta. My route will take me through Logan, but I'm not sure when, I will send you daily ride reports until I am home. I have to comment that I have been warm and dry and comfortable the entire trip. I've seen a low of about 36 and a high over 90. I was very pleased with the one piece suit. I will replace the layers of thermal clothing with heated gear next time I drive in the cold to reduce the bulkiness. The bed is comfortable, it's time to sleep. Lou
HEADING TO LOGAN, UTAH for a great mini-run by SKI-HI
We are now at Leithridge, Alberta instead of staying at Red Deer because the weather was so nice. The temperatures were in the high 60s most of the day. Today, we covered 625 miles!
It was so relaxing to see yellow canola fields gliding past, with content cattle lifting up their heads in unison to greet us as we passed. Alberta's highways were smooth as silk and we enjoyed covering the miles.
When we entered Red Deer, I pulled off to Days Inn to cancel that reservation and make new ones in Leithridge, Alberta. Robb pulled off with me but David missed us!
We left word at Days Inn Red Deer to tell David where we were going and he showed up just 20 minutes after we arrived!
On another note, I've been emailing Chuck Claybaugh to try to find out his situation to see if his family has arrived yet. If anyone has any news on him, please let us know as we are concerned for him.
Tomorrow it is off to Butte, Montana so we can rest up before we arrive in Logan, Utah for their mini-run.