Saturday, July 30, 2005
Not all travel is the same. My trips to
And my trips to
There’s something to be said for free WiFi in the hotel room, “high-speed WiFi,” no less. I don’t know a lot about computers, beyond emailing and, oh, shopping, but it does seem that the point of WiFi is ease—and having low-speed WiFi defeats that point. “We have WiFi. You can sit with your wireless-enabled laptop anywhere within our hotel and, in about 45 minutes, download some email. But you don’t need a cord!” Anyway, knowing I was going to have the fast, free WiFi right in my room, I didn’t prepare quite as well as I might have for this trip—you know, finding where to shop, where to eat, where to shop at Anthropologie, where to get afternoon coffee, where to have gelato and shop, when Nordstrom opens, how to get to the Rose Garden on the truly handy-dandy light rail, and what to buy while there, but it all worked out perfectly.
I have to say, if I weren’t planning to move out to the islands where I can have horses and boats and plenty of space around me, I would seriously consider moving to Portland (Editor’s note: Ms. Taylor would like to add the caveat that the weather be sunny and warm for half the year and then sunny and cold or snowy and cold for the other half; in other words, fairly unlike typical Portland weather). I’ve retained a bit of familiarity with the city from my years in college, when I couldn’t drive downtown without accidentally going over the
It’s also been fun to be with Mom for our biennial trip. I think in the past we’ve maybe stayed three nights, and I think that maybe would be a better idea than two—I’m so fired up about tax-free shopping by the time we get there that I’m hard-pressed to do anything more cultural . . . and so another day, in which to feed my soul as well as my closet, might be good in the future.
Things specifically about this trip:
- My friend L, from Lewis and Clark, who is a professional woman in
these days, was a charming dinner companion. I should clarify—this is always the case, not just this trip. She also has a new car, a fancy 2005 Jetta sedan, which she bought last Saturday. Marsh’s sister, K, also from Portland , is likewise a charming dinner companion. And they both dealt very well with Mom saying, as soon as we’d received our wine at the extraordinarily tasty Caffe Mingo, “Okay, L—now you tell K what you do for work, and then K, you tell L what you do.” Both knew better than to argue with a retired teacher. After exchanging work stories, I said “Okay, now how would you two feel about dating?” It just sounded like that was where Mom was going. Portland
- Mom snores, like her mother. This is different from the past. Grams (Mom Sr.), used to shake the house with her nocturnal growling. Not sure if this is a transient phase for Mom, or a new leaf. She was certainly surprised to be told about it, and I am reminded that the snorer who sleeps alone (in her case, so she claims, because Marsh snores) may not be aware of their snoring. Certainly, I feel that I never snore, but Ian says I occasionally do. And how would I know; I’m asleep.
- Mom brought a zucchini. We were intending to have lunch with some friends we met on another trip the two of us took (on the train, mistakenly from Vancouver, BC, north to Prince George instead of up Vancouver Island . . . as did this couple), but they—in their 80s—had double-booked, and so were going off to pick peaches instead (and he uses a walker!). Instead, at dinner with L and K, I picked a number between one and ten and had K and L guess what it was—they didn’t know they were fighting for a zucchini or they probably wouldn’t have put so much effort into it—and K won but didn’t want the zucchini, but L did want it, and was quite forceful in her declarations of love for all things vegetable (well, some things anyway, including zucchini) and so took it herself, but felt weird carrying it around and it wouldn’t fit in her purse so she gave it back to me to put in my bag, which I did, leaving it there until we returned to our hotel room, but fortunately we were staying within walking distance of L’s work and so just dropped it off with the receptionist the next morning (this is not exactly true. The receptionist looked at us and the zucchini askance, then nodded knowingly when we explained we were there dropping off a zucchini for L. Apparently, this was not an unusual occurrence. Then she called L to come get the zucchini directly, clearly not wanting it to muddle up her desk). It was a nice reasonable-sized zucchini, not one of the gargantuan ones Mom has been known to grow.
- Two other friends, M from Lewis and Clark and her husband, O, are also charming dinner companions and Mint a fantastic place to eat with amazing cocktails—which it’s known for (Fresh, mentioned in the above-linked review, was perfect on a hot evening)—and amazing food, which it’s less known for, presumably because the cocktails are so good that people are quickly in no position to judge food. M and O have recently purchased a beautiful little Tudor in
Northeast Portland, which looks inside exactly how all of us wish our 80-year-old northwest houses looked.
- I have realized once and for all I have blood-sugar issues. Friends may have noticed this already—an impatience of attitude, say, when I need food. I recommend that they not bring it to my attention, however, even if I’m currently sated. I mean, why poke a sleeping bear. I am also embarrassed to say that my bad attitude manifested itself in childish selfishness and huffy words to my mother, who is generosity personified (and never ever, no never, has blood-sugar issues herself). The fact that I had spent a fruitless hour or more in the much-despised Nordstrom Rack prior to getting any food did not help matters. The thing about Nordstrom Rack is this—it’s full of clothes that people didn’t want. Often, people didn’t want them because they were weird sizes. I’m not a particularly weird size, so I find it depressing, then maddening to look for anything there. If a shopper has a specific purpose—say, a fancy cotton cardigan as a gift for a loved one, or a formal gown for a recital, it can be perfect—but I’ve learned my lesson. Get in, get it done, and get out. Then have a snack.
Even in the
Sunday, July 24, 2005
I realized this afternoon that—for the purposes of this blog, even—there’s more to travel than merely the trip itself. Any time one leaves home, heads out into the world, or the country, or even just across the state—any time one leaves the cocoon of day-to-day, the mundanity of schedule, planning is involved. While the amount and flavor of trip planning varies widely from traveler to traveler and trip to trip, the bare minimum—have I locked the door?—almost always applies.
Ian and I are currently planning a trip to
That’s not why I’m writing, though. This morning, excited about the prospect of African travel, we started reading the Lonely Planet on-line guide. Within each country, there’s a link to “postcards,” which consist of unverified (by Lonely Planet) information emailed or sent to them by readers on vacation. Two in particular, from the Scams and Warnings section for
First, the innocent, a Tina Hall (home unknown), who took a cheap shuttle into Nairobi and was dropped off in a sketchy part of town—where the shuttle (matatu) stand is—writes “some kid tried to grab a gold necklace and run off (luckily he didn’t get it).” Duh. If you want to keep your gold jewelry, LEAVE IT AT HOME.
Second, the Lord of the World, one Kelly Buja (naturally from the USA), tells about a trip to the Maasai Mara, a large game reserve that shares wildlife, an ecosystem and a border with the Serengeti in Tanzania. Kelly and friend camped outside the reserve, thus keeping money from an organization struggling to save dwindling wildlife populations and catch poachers. Each of two days, their guide drove them onto reserve grounds the back way, thus protecting them from park fees yet again. But get this—the guide charged them each $30, on top of what they paid him for the trip from
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Two Last Things
1) How do you tell when a horse is too fat? They don’t get cellulite or complexes, so it’s not the easiest thing in the world. It’s obvious when one is too skinny, of course. And, for sure, these horses aren’t. Oh well—at least they’ve all been ridden about 10 times (except Shadow, who’s up there around 15), and they’re obviously in better shape than when I came—not breathing so hard after gallops, more interested in sustained trotting or cantering, less sweaty at the end of rides. I will miss them!
2) Finally, last night, the dogs and I worked out a sleeping arrangement that pleased us all, instead of mostly just Spackle. For several nights now, Kit will start out on the bed (with much coaxing from me, because it doesn’t seem fair that my brown interloper should have the major comfyness while the actual dog of the house makes do with the throw rug at the foot of the bed), and then get off in the middle of the night, presumably because I’ve rolled over and nudged him, and, huffily, he decides he’s had enough. Night before last, I eventually got him up, but he laid down right where I wanted to be (it’s a king-sized bed, and the dogs take up literally ¾ of it, and Kit was encroaching into my ¼ sliver, putting me at risk of sleeping on the throw rug), so I pushed him over. He jumped up, looked at me reproachfully, then hopped off onto the floor.
Well, last night I got into bed, claiming my sliver, then invited him up (Spackle, whose knee issue keeps him from jumping, had already been lifted to his favorite position). This cleverness on my part allowed the three of us to each stake a reasonable claim, and we all slept soundly throughout the night, and, since no one was here staying with us, woke up after 7:00am. When guests are in the Garagemahal and leave their abode early, Spackle hears intruders in the yard and WOOFS his elk-and-freaky-digestion-scaring woof, which is, as you might imagine, a rude awakening.
Anyway, we all woke leisurely at about , and then these adorable dogs proceeded to roll around, legs completely intertwined, groaning and sighing with the pleasures of the morning stretch. And then they even let me get up and leave the room to get the camera, and they both stayed exactly as they were when I asked them too, and didn’t move until I’d taken several pictures and said “All done.” Such great dogs!
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Home Again, Home Again
This will be my last post from this trip, and as such will be probably way too long and definitely way too disjointed. Ah well, thus is the life of the traveler—it’s hard to fit everything in, and hard to organize your thoughts about all the things you do manage to do. Ergo:
First off, a thought about the utility of travel. For me at least, being away from home gives me the opportunity—the psychological space, say—to evaluate my day-to-day life and figure out what, if anything, needs changing. On past trips, I have had some valuable insights into my everyday life, and this trip was no exception. I look forward to implementing my new ideas when I return home.
Second, a brief exposition of my ride. I managed to stay on the entire time, much to my relief. I was on Sikem, who, I’ve just discovered, spells his name with an e and not a u. I always use a saddle when I ride Sikem (except, of course, when crossing the creek in the pasture), because he has a relatively pronounced backbone. It doesn’t look like much, but it would certainly be felt very quickly. After my ride today, I realized that, backbone aside, I wouldn’t ride Sikem bareback unless someone else were riding with me. The reason is this—the mares, both of whom have been around the block a few times, know that most of the things they encounter in the wilds are not going to hurt them. Sure, the occasional flying deer is startling, but not every last hunk of wood rotting on the side of the trail. Sikem hasn’t lived long enough to know that wood is benign though, so to him, everything is a potential threat. It’s an attitude that makes cantering all the more exciting. He’s calmer when one of the mares is along; they’ve got staid down pat.
During the three hours we were out, I cemented yet more knowledge of the area. I now know for certain at least one route to a very steep, uncomfortable descent leading to the Gold Bug Mine. I chose not to take that descent today. Instead, having found it, we turned around and went the other way, straight into a current clear-cut (it being Saturday, we were not threatened by any large machinery. That is to say, I knew we weren’t, and Sikem thought we were but he was wrong). I have mixed feelings about the clear-cut. First of all, it looked horrible, a wasteland. Sounded like one, too—the woods are a-twitter with bird song this time of year, and it was a bit eerie to be in a place where there wasn’t any. Then I noticed deer prints in the dirt road and I thought “Oh, deer.” Then I thought “Oh. Those deer probably lived here.” Then I thought probably not all the deer that lived there escaped. Then I went on to focusing on the smell, which was gorgeous—sap and wood and balsam. And here’s the thing—I can have these transcendent riding experiences because of this logging company. I can get to the top of a rise and see wooded hills and meadows for miles around me because the place I’m looking over was clear-cut at one point. And this is not old-growth forest; it’s farmed. And at least two deer survived.
Sikem must have lost about 50 pounds, though. Not just from the exercise; he also pooped eight times and piddled twice. He’s the only horse I’ve ever been on while it was piddling (I piddled once, off the horse).
A note about riding solo. None of the horses particularly likes to go off and leave the others. They are all extremely glue-footed for fifteen minutes or so. They eventually perk up, though, and the girls rev up to their normal speed and are just fine. Shadow does have a bad habit of speeding up when she approaches an intersection, particularly if one leg leads more quickly to home. When she gets to the trail she wants, she swerves sharply into it and one has to be vigilant to not tumble off into the brush. Toby pricks her ears a bit more when she’s alone, and doesn’t stumble over her own feet quite as much as when she’s following Shadow, who looks out for good footing for everyone. Sikem, however, frequently reverts to a young horse needing lots of reassurance. While the girls seem to think only that the others are having fun without them, Sikem seems to think if he goes too far, he’s never going to see them again. So he stops. On the way home, of course, the opposite is true, and all horses have to be held tighter to keep them from breaking into a trot. Running of any sort is strictly prohibited within a certain radius of home.
I never did see a bear this entire trip, for which grace I am greatly relieved. I even stopped worrying about them eventually, when I realized that the low-pitched, distant growling I was hearing was coming from Shadow’s gut (regular readers will here recognize a striking similarity between myself and the dogs. But I say, if dogs find digestion terrifying, why shouldn’t I?)
So tomorrow I go home. Barring some unforeseen catastrophe, I will take my final ride around , on The Sofa, up the Long Gallop and around the loop that I found on the 4th, in the hopes that I’ll actually remember where it ran.
Time for bed; I have a busy day ahead of me tomorrow, trying to do most of the things I brought to do, which have been lying fallow for 20 days. Happy Trails.
Tune in again at the end of July when Mama Liz and Calin take their biennial trip to
You Know You’re Far From Civilization When . . .
Your stomach rumbles, albeit a weird, distant-sounding, high-pitched EEEeeeeeeaaaaaaaaahhh, and the dogs leap up barking ferociously and race outside to clear the dangerous predators from the yard.
And then, five minutes later, it all happens again.
Friday, July 08, 2005
The Dismount, Accelerated
I rode today with N, taking her on four different loops that she was only somewhat familiar with—she’s lived here for a few years and I haven’t, but basically all I do here is ride, think about riding, and this year, look at the satellite picture to see where I want to ride next, so it’s not surprising that I have a better internal map of the trails. She, after all, is spending the bulk of her time eking a rich existence out of steep, wooded hillsides (which is a romantic way to say she spends her days splitting wood and hauling water). Midway through the ride, she asked how I felt about three weeks as the length of my stay here. Was it too long, not long enough?
It’s a good question, and I really didn’t know how to answer it. The more time I spend here, the more I know, I know, I can’t bear to live in a city the rest of my life. The noise—visual, aural, psychological—I can’t tune it out when I’m in the thick of it. And so my life accelerates to a fever pitch—all my hours, virtually all my minutes, are filled with input. Even when I’m washing the dishes or doing the laundry or driving 10 minutes to run errands, I’m listening to books on tape. Not a moment lost, not a second wasted. It was from the height of that—a story to hand in, a book on tape to finish and return to the library, the house to clean for the cousin who is living with us this summer (much to my joy so I don’t have to worry about home when Ian and I are off dilettanting), Pilates, rock climbing, parties to host . . . oh, I know—it’s not a bad life. But I’m in the habit of filling it too much—and the 24-hour-a-day go-go-go atmosphere of the city not only encourages that behavior; it expects it, requires it even. So in one sense, NO! Of course three weeks isn’t enough! I need a lifetime here! For many reasons I am loath to return home.
On the other hand, I fell off Shadow today, and Sikum yesterday, so maybe three weeks is just a little too long.
First of all, Sikum. Mom and I were collecting our horses from the long grass (they like it again, and eschew the yard . . . okay . . . ), which is a rather complicated process because the long grass is on the other side of the creek (remember to pronounce it “crick”). What I typically do, therefore, is take a halter with me and collect one horse, whichever I can grab (most usually Toby), fashion makeshift reins from the halter rope (I hook the hook on one sidepiece of the halter and tie the loose end on the other sidepiece), then jump on and, using leg aids and the horse’s good nature, ride across the creek to the gate. Well, yesterday I grabbed Sikum. He looked confused when I made my reins, slightly more confused when I led him over to a rise so I could have a better chance at jumping up, seriously alarmed when I did jump, and abjectly terrified when I did the little leg-pumping thing to work my way all the way up his side so I could swing my right leg over. I never got that far; certain that some evil wildcat was attacking him, Sikum bucked once, twice, dislodged me and tore the “reins” from my hand (I was trying to hold on even though I was ignominiously on the ground), and plunged across the pasture. Mom, who got to witness all this, happened to be standing by a gate that he would likely go through since the girls were through it. “Catch him if you can,” I called as I jumped up, fortunately unhurt. She caught the halter and held him there, feeding him baby carrots. I approached slowly, talking to him all the while (“it’s okay, Sikum. Good boy. You’re a good boy, it’s okay . . . ) and pulling more baby carrots out of my back pocket. When I caught up to him, I again grabbed my “reins”, and I slowly leaned against his side, my arms over his back (Mom still held his halter on the right side), always talking. After a few moments, when he seemed to be calmer (he really does recover quickly), I jumped up so I was lying cross-wise over his back. He started, but that was all. I slid back down, proffered a few more carrots, then leapt for real, and swung my leg over. He stood calmly. Mom let go of the halter, I reached down and fed him one last carrot while sitting on him, and off we went across the creek. This evening we tried again, to get Toby and him back into the yard. He didn’t even flinch when I leapt on. Such a good horse :).
As for Shadow, well, I was riding bareback, of course, The Sofa being still quite comfy, and cantering up a hill toward the west and the setting sun. A deer leapt across the trail up ahead, and Shadow, moving too quickly to see well, leapt aside to avoid what was most likely an evil predator. I flew off as she jumped for the brush, but landed not too hardly, and got back on without too much trouble. Still, I’ve never before dismounted quite so quickly or ungracefully from these horses . . . and I’ve never been here longer than two weeks.
I would be lying to say that I feel no effects from the days of riding I’ve subjected myself to. On the contrary, my 32-year-old legs and, more to the point, Sitz bones, are generally a little stiff by the time I make my way back to the yard and slide off. I’m pleased to report that removing the horse from under me takes away the bulk of the discomfort (which really doesn’t form until near the end of two hours, anyway). The deep-seated knowledge of my own discomfort, however, makes me all the more impressed with Mom.
For several years now, Mom has carried on conversations (or, more appropriately, monologues) with various of her body parts, to get them to do what she wants. If I happen to be around for a clothes-changing, I frequently hear “Up leg. Good leg,” as she’s putting on pants. Therefore, I was not surprised when this method of limb-encouragement was employed during the dismount. I had dismounted from Sikum, swinging my right leg over his rump so I was facing the saddle, pulling my left foot out of the left stirrup, then using my arms to lower myself to the ground. Mom and Toby were behind a tree, with only her left leg and Toby’s head and neck showing. “Up, leg,” I heard. The left leg remained where it was. “UP, leg,” a little more assertively. The left leg rocked a bit, and I started to turn away, as it appeared she was going to be successful. “UP LEG!” came again, then “Creeeeeak,” she said as she slowly lowered herself down.
And she rode the next day, too.
Mom did not want to come. Her reasoning is entirely understandable—she lives on several acres of land that, together with Marsh, she has turned into a thriving
I realized yesterday that Mom and I had never before spent exactly this kind of time together. Yes, we’ve traveled together (the
Here, though, is a bit like being at home, where we know the sights and flavors and they don’t intrude. We are both supremely comfortable here. Unlike home, however, our responsibilities are slight. So we were given the opportunity to let conversation flow as it might—about relatives and friends, hopes, fears, disappointments, successes, philosophies of life. These conversations took place on the sun porch, on horseback, on long walks (Marsh plugging along dutifully ten paces behind so as not to disturb the ladies).
As for the riding, it was definitely nice to continue our conversations, and I get intense pleasure from sharing the beauty of this experience with people who care about me and whom I care about . . . and so I was willing to not go faster than a quick walk for three days, although one of my joys is galloping up grassy inclines and along verdant lanes. Toby, who seems to be the perfect middle-aged lady’s horse, carried Mom faithfully and calmly, never running away from cows, never dragging her through bushes too fast. And evidence of Mom’s and my different perspectives of speed is the following comment she made to Marsh last night as we drove up to see the sunset:
“ . . . And she kept running with me!” said Mom. “And I stayed on!”
“The slow Western jog,” I asked. “Is that what you mean by running?”
Off they went this , supremely glad they came.
PS--I would like to add that Mom, before coming, made sure I understood that they expected me to feed them dinner the evening that they arrived. I had everything ready for a lovely tasty repast, of course. They show up with a huge cooler, and Mom pulls out leftovers. That she'd brought here, on vacation. The next morning, she got out her own coffee maker and coffee. I wonder sometimes, does she actually know me?
Those of you who know my mother will not be surprised to learn that, while she's been here, instead of writing or doing any of the other things I have been piddling around with for the last two-and-a-half weeks, I've been deep in conversation pretty much the entire time, including the daily rides because, like the former Peace Corps volunteer and farm owner she is, she has gamely gone on a ride every single day. The last time she rode before this trip was for about two minutes, one year ago when my brother and sister-in-law got married out here. The last time before that was probably in the mid-80s. Way to go, Mom!
She and Marsh leave today, though, so I should be able to get some "work" done.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Arriving now at least 30 minutes late (but still, possibly, when I am actually expecting them) will be my mother and her friend Marsh, and their dog, Loper. Marsh has declared his unequivocal non-desire to ride, any horse, for any amount of time, which I will honor, although I will never understand. Mom has kindly agreed to accompany me somewhere. As for Loper, who knows what will happen! He and Spackle love each other, and at his house he’s alpha, and at Spackle’s house Spackle is alpha. How will it be determined that Kit is alpha here? Or will Loper accept my alpha status? Or, perhaps, the horses’?
I was invited by the Pioneers to come along on a family outing to the
I have finally realized that Kit doesn’t see me as Alpha Dog. The fact that it took me two weeks to come to this realization is all the more evidence that it's true. Oh, sure, he likes me fine as Beta—I give good treats and belly scratches, and I let him up on the bed—but I’m not the boss of him. It’s quite obvious, too, now that I’ve seen the light. The horses have been grazing in the yard the last two days—they’re allowed to, so that’s no problem, although I tried to usher them to the long grass and they wouldn’t go . . . who knows—and Kit finds them to be irritating when they get too close to the house. They are particularly irritating, and need to be shepherded, when they are trying to get rid of one of these awful, Jurassic-age (not really) flying monsters that land on their rumps, out of reach of the tails, and dig in a big syringe to deposit eggs. Since tail switching doesn’t dislodge the insectine skewers, bucking and galloping is sometimes necessary. This drives Kit wild, and he races after them, snarling and yapping and leaping at their noses. I yell ferociously at him (and I do have a ferocious yell, as many can attest), and he pauses, looks pointedly at me—you stay in your place and be quiet, Beta—and continues on his merry way. The only good thing about this situation is that the horses couldn’t care less about him. They ignore his leapings and snatchings completely, proving that, no matter how noisy and belligerent, he’s not the boss of them.
For a variety of reasons, this idyll has seemed slightly less than idyllic the last couple days. The reasons have nothing to do with spending a national holiday without my sweetie-pie; we’ve actually celebrated Independence Day independently 3 of our 5 times so far. Rather, one of the big reasons is the aforementioned growth on Shadow’s face. It’s safe to say by now, I believe, that this is one of the countless non-life-threatening ailments a horse may contract. But it stressed me out, and today, when I had to actually load her into the trailer and haul her into Potlatch to the vet, I was stressed all the more. Yes, the vet could’ve come here, but it would have cost a lot in time (for her, who could less well afford it) and money. And, besides, I intend to have horses someday, and I intend to haul them places, and I’m fairly confident in my driving skills, and, of all the horses I know or have ever known, Shadow is about the best one I can think of for a first-time haul. She’s happy to go into the trailer, and she’s steady on her feet so she’s unlikely to fall all over if I take a turn too fast (I, and I’m sure the cars lined up behind me, don’t think I did that). Anyway, it’s likely she just has some mondo sliver or something and it’ll get all soft and then be ready for lancing. I won’t get more graphic than that.
PS—I should note that even down days have their ups. Yesterday I very successfully found a new loop, and returned home in plenty of time to shower before the festivities. I felt quite proud.
Sunday, July 03, 2005
The Drawbacks of Housesitting Alone
- cleaning up after visiting animals
- Olivia’s stash of kills in the loft. Avian and rodentian. Writhing with new life.
- Dog diarrhea on a shag rug.
- sole responsibility for animal medical emergencies
- Shadow’s weird, lemon-sized, overnight growth on her right jaw-bone. Like Spackle, nothing seems to put her off her food. It doesn’t feel hot, it’s hard-ish but not rock solid, and yes, I called the emergency vet. If it doesn’t get worse, I’ll take her in on Tuesday (of course, Shadow, you would develop this ugly thing on a holiday weekend). I am very glad that:
- Mr. Host gave me a refresher course in towing a trailer including driving on the highway and
- there’s very little traffic.
One of the drawbacks is that I have to deal with these unpleasant things alone, of course, but the bigger drawback is that fact that no one is around to be impressed with my fortitude.
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Friday, July 01, 2005
I love the call I just got from Ian. He was on his way to the ferry in Anacortes, to meet up with some friends and camp for the weekend in the San Juans. He was running late--by only about ten minutes, and called me to commiserate. Rather heartlessly, I told him I was very glad that this was a lesson he was learning twice without me. The next boat was in almost three hours, his three friends were in line and going to sail without him. Ian's plan all along was to park his car in Anacortes for the weekend and load some goods into S's truck. He asked me, here in Jerome Creek, about the ferry schedule, and of course I had one. Why wouldn't one always carry an up-to-date schedule for the Washington State Ferries. We determined that he could either wait in Anacortes for three hours, or ride a different boat to Friday Harbor, wait there for about 45 minutes, then ride to Orcas. He thought this sounded a lot more fun, but worried about what to do with his stuff in Friday Harbor. "Well, there are lockers by the ferry dock," I said.
"Yes," he replied, "but can I fit trees in them?"
"You brought trees?"
"Well, to plant on Orcas. And my new cooler. And I decided to bring my bike as well," he said.
"!" I said.
He went on to explain that the trees were small, the cooler has wheels, and his bike he can push, probably with one hand, and his clothes are in a backpack, so he thought he could probably manage to tie everything together and get it onto a ferry. Full of holiday-makers and their cars, going to the islands for the long weekend.
While I'd like to see this weekend-trip hurdy-gurdy of supplies, I'm rather glad I'm not a part of it.
Free At Last