A day late but it’s here- our third week on the road. This was typed at a small cafe in Seaside, Oregon on an iPhone so I apologize in advance for any incorrect autocorrections and missed mistakes. Enjoy 🙂
DAY 15: Monday – June 20th, 2016
Buffalo, NY to Seattle, WA
We woke up and met a guy named Nate, who took us to the airport. It’s funny because we had never met Nate.
This awesome guy named Ryan had come up behind us on a bike trail a few days earlier and messaged us on Instagram saying how he was stoked to follow our journey. The day before our flight out of NY, we didn’t have a ride there. We told Ryan and he connected us with his friend Nate who commutes to Buffalo during the week. Nate agreed to pick us up and take us to the airport. We made great conversation on the way there. Nate was working on his second year of his PhD in social work at the University of Buffalo.
We flew into Seattle and were greeted by Jordan’s lovely Aunt Alexandra.
DAY 16-18: Tuesday-Thursday – June 21-23, 2016
Enjoying Seattle, WA
We spent some time exploring the city including areas like Ballard, Bellevue, and Pike’s Market. It’s crazy how bike-friendly the city is and how easy it is to navigate your way around the town.
One day was spent cycling on Bainbridge Island. We joined Jordan’s friend Haley for lunch at a local teriyaki joint. After, we visited a state park and sat at the beach taking in the beautiful views, including the view of Mount Reiner. It’s beauty stunned us. It appears as a “mountain of gods” of some sort, peaking high above the cloud line. We found a local brewery and enjoyed delicious nachos and local ales to end the day. On the ferry back, we had quite the laughable moment.
The cyclists exit first on the ferry so naturally we were up in the front with about 20 others. The ferry was approaching the dock. Jordan and I took this moment to try and “fit in as locals” by clipping in one foot. The ferry was a little too far left and I braced myself. Jordan, however, did not anticipate the bumps.
The ferry knocked into the left side, sending a wave of energy throughout the ferry. Jordan wasn’t ready and stumbled a little but grabbed onto me to regain balance. Not anticipating Jordan needing to grab onto me, he fell into me and pushed me to the ground before I could react. I crashed with my 40 pounds of panniers and fell on the ground. Jordan burst out laughing and all I could do was smile thinking, “welp, there goes any shot of us ‘blending in’ as Seattlites.” A few people around laughed and suggested I stay far from Jordan before he “bully” me anymore. It was quite a hysterical moment for the both of us.
Jordan’s family treated us so well from giving us a room to sleep in to delicious home-cooked meals in the evenings to homemade granola in the morning. It was a wonderful few days in Seattle and we couldn’t have had a better place to stay.
DAY 19: Friday – June 24th, 2016
Seattle, WA to Lakewood, WA – 54 miles
It was time to move on with our trip. After sometime, we made it to our Warmshowers host, Steven. He had basically a second house in his basement that we had all to ourselves. At dinner, we chatted with him and his wife about current issues in the world and the politics involving them. It was quite the conversation and definitely made Friday night a fun one.
DAY 20: Saturday – June 25th, 2016
Lakewood, WA to Chehalis, WA – 69 miles
That morning, Steven kept his promise and had breakfast ready at 6:30am so that he could ride with us for part of the day.
He joined us and took us on a slight detour so that we had flat, paved bike paths and a scenic ride through the city of Lakewood. Steven biked with us for 37 miles and wished everyone a wonderful day that we passed. For a man at the age of 75, it was most admirable. Let him serve as a role model to never let age be an excuse to health and fitness in the future.
That day, we biked our most miles to date- 69. Luckily, we had a wonderful host that night too- Sophie, a friend of mine from college, parents house. Richard, her father, was the only one in town that weekend, but still gave us an unforgettable experience.
Her brought us to dinner at the local Mexican restaurant that everyone raves about- it was absolutely delicious (almost as good as Guadalajara in Tucson!). Over dinner, Jordan and Richard chatted endlessly about politics being that he serves in the Washington state legislature. Even though I didn’t previously have much interest in politics, their conversation gave me more insight in the functions of the system and the possibilities to make a difference within the state.
After dinner, he gave us a tour of Chehalis and took us downtown where a car drag show was happening. After, he took us to the oldest bar in the town to taste craft ales.
It’s the experiences like these ones that give us genuine insight into the Americana culture in other parts of our country. It’s these ones that we look forward to most.
The evening ended well with soft beds and a roof over our heads.
DAY 21: Sunday – June 26th, 2016
Chehalis, WA to Raymond, WA – 49 miles
We slept in as a reward to ourselves for biking so far the day before. Richard had breakfast with us and then invited us to go out on his boat on the Puget Sound. We thought, “Why not? All we have is time.”
It was a beautiful day to be on a 30-foot boat on clear, crisp water of the Puget Sound. We relaxed and enjoyed the water. Afterwards, we hopped on our bikes at 2pm and still managed to bike 49 miles before calling it a day around 7pm. However, our luck didn’t end there.
With nowhere to sleep, we ventured down a neighborhood nearby the end of our ride. The first house we saw had a Hilary 2016 sign and an SUV out front. “Hmm… Why not?” We thought. Jordan warmed up the usual spiel and asked if we could pitch our tents in her back lawn.
“Of course you can. Go right ahead” replied the woman who answered the door.
The kindness in strangers we encounter each day continues. We feel profound gratitude to all the people we have met thus far and look forward to those we have yet to meet.
Written by Joe Previte