~~~
Day’s Verse:
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
~~~

I’m sure you’re all dying to hear how the STP went, now that I’ve been silent since I flew off to Seattle. For those of you with the short attention spans, here’s the quick-and-dirty report:

The TSA check + rough handling cost me $45 in repairs to Davey when I got to Seattle, but that got him in good working condition. Dad and I rode the STP and had a really good time—met lots of nice people, saw tons of other bikes (duh!), ate lots of bananas and sports nutrition bars, and rode for a total of just over 12 hours between both days. The temperature started cool (low 50s—cold to me!) and got warmer, into the mid- to high 80s, with low humidity. I found it lovely cycling weather, although other riders, Dad included, suffered some because of the relatively hot temperatures. We slept Saturday night in Chehalis and finished Sunday around 2:00 in Portland. All in all it was a great ride, a nice break from work, and a pretty decent trip. I haven’t been to Seattle in the summer for a few years now, and this visit reminded me how gloriously beautiful the area can be. Here you can see pictures of me riding the STP. (Notice my fine Landry’s shorts — yes, they say Landry’s all over, but they also cost half as much as they otherwise would and they’re wicked comfy. What more can I ask for?)

For LOTS more details, click here.

Thursday
4:15 am – Get up, eat breakfast, leave for airport
5:45 am – Check bag and pay $50 to take Davey on the plane
5:55 am – Nervously observe TSA guy check Davey, untie carefully-wrapped ties, generally ruin my agonizingly careful packing job, and then re-close the box without significantly tightening ties again.
6:30 am – Eat food I brought along, sip water, and read Snow Falling on Cedars
6:45 am – Stretch, then get into a conversation with the old lady sitting nearby about stretching, followed by where she’s going (to Alaska with her husband, a retired dentist, via an 8-day “dental cruise” that leaves from Seattle. Dental cruise? Sounds like tons of fun). Chat with old people.
7:30 am – Board airplane.
8:00 am to 2:00 pm (11:00 am PST) – Fly to Seattle. Kill time by dozing, reading Snow Falling on Cedars, drinking water and nibbling food, and chatting with old people going to (where else?) Alaska for their 50th anniversary. The old people were really into square dancing—you don’t here about people doing that anymore!—and the old guy was a precision tool-maker before he retired. Another job you don’t hear about much anymore.
11:20 am PST – Obtain bags and agonize about Davey’s condition; randomly encounter Amy Gabriel, an old acquaintance from high school, who worked at SeaTac.
11:30 am – Meet Mom at the curb, load bags into the car, and take off for Kirkland.
Afternoon – Unpack bags, chat with Mom, play with Carmel, put Davey together. Discover problems with Davey—rear derailleur and front disc bent; headset not going together right—and go to Bothell Ski & Bike for repairs. Pay $45 in repairs and learn that there’s a 12-28 SRAM 10-speed road bike cassette I could use to get better gearing. Bike shop guy tries hard to sell me on the $95 cassette, but I resist and leave after purchasing a new bike computer to replace the one whose cable I accidentally snapped while packing Davey up. When I hook it up, it seems to not be registering the speed correctly; I decide to wait and go for a ride tomorrow to see if that’s true.
4:00 pm – Go for ride to Redmond Town Center with Mom
Evening – Eat leftover pasta, shower, and fall asleep by 7:00 pm.

Friday
1:30 am – Wake up. Be way too awake for that hour of the night. Read Snow Falling on Cedars for an hour.
2:30 am – Fall asleep again, then wake up occasionally until 4:30 am.
4:30 am – Get up, let Carmel out of her crate, fitz around in the kitchen, eat breakfast, call Ian at work for a chat.
6:00 am – Ride with Dad to his work, then loop around via Sammamish River Trail back home. Morning feels cold to me, since I’m used to 60-degree “cool” mornings and 90-degree afternoons. Puzzlingly, new bike computer displays twice the speed I’m actually going; Dad confirms that we’re riding 17 mph, not 35 mph. Sad.
10:00 am – Call Redmond REI and reserve a Garmin Edge 605 GPS bike computer after discussion with Ian.
10:30 am ish – Do errands with Mom. Pick out delicious food for dinner.
11:00 am to 12:30 am – Ken and Kallie come over for lunch. Eat lunch, then play with Kallie and chat with Ken. Kallie has always grown up so much every time I see her!
2:00 – 3:30 pm – Go over to Jane’s new house way out by the Maltby Café for a snack and a very nice chat.
Afternoon – Play with Carmel, load backpacking pack up with STP clothes and necessities (fitting that sleeping bag in the pocket is a heck of a thing, but I prevailed eventually), pick up Garmin Edge 605 from REI ($433 – yikes). Take off the Bothell Ski & Bike computer, call them to see if I can return it (no), call the manufacturer to see if they know anything (no), then notice while I’m taking the sensor off that—duh—I have two magnets on my wheel. I just left the one from my old computer on there, but put the new one on. Ta-da! Double the speed! I had to laugh, it was so dumb and obvious. But now I have the Garmin Edge 605, I’m happy to use that instead anyway.

Touch up Davey’s paint job with fingernail polish* and take care of the chain with Tri-Flow lube, which I think I’ll switch to. It’s really nice lube. Try to charge Garmin up, but find it won’t charge with either the plug-in or USB chargers. Play with it some. Plug it in and leave it, hoping it will work; put number on helmet and bike (note: NOT on jersey yet); put packed backpack into car.

* Fingernail polish story: Over time, various parts of Davey’s paint job wore away, thanks to the rubbing of cables and the bike rack. I showed Mom these spots and told her I intended to get red fingernail polish to touch the paint up before I left. While I trekked to REI, Mom took Davey to a fingernail-doing-place and told them she needed to match the paint exactly. She said they had an entire wall of reds; the lady there looked at the bike and pulled out 10 reds she thought would match. Then she put a piece of Scotch tape on her arm, painted a stripe of each red on the tape, and let it dry. When the paints had dried, she compared them to Davey’s color and gave Mom the closest match—a bottle of polish that cost $9. Is that normal? Nine bucks seems like an awful lot to pay for nail polish. The color is fairly close to Davey, and it does seal off the raw metal that was showing. The extra polish was just begging to be used, so Mom painted my finger- and toenails red, with a white stripe on the thumbs and big toes to match Davey’s white stripe. I then spent forever sitting around waiting for the polish to dry. I’m sure the fine fingernail polish help
ed me go much faster on the STP (you can actually see my thumbnail paint in some of the professional photos online). It’s chipping off now.

Evening – Chat with family, play with Carmel, eat pasta dinner, take a shower, go to bed early again.
Night – Wake up several times realizing I’d forgotten toothpaste, a comb, a pillow, and pants.

Saturday
4:30 am – Add above items to my backpack, which I dragged out of the car again.
4:45 am – Prepare and eat “Irish oatmeal,” which seemed just like regular oatmeal to me. Make it too runny, but eat it anyway.
5:00 am – Mom drives me and Dad to Montlake parking lot at the UW. I realize I’ve forgotten my jersey bib number, panic, then calm down and realize we’ll figure something out since I have two of the three required numbers. We unload our bags first, taking them to the truck that’s driving to Chehalis. I find out that I can write my own bib number, since I have the helmet number and bike number.
5:15 am – Dad and I say goodbye to Mom, get in line for the bathroom (the first of many, many bathroom lines), I make a new bib number, and we set out!
Morning – They’re letting cyclists leave in waves, so we end up leaving with a couple hundred other people—a very manageable number, compared to leaving with all 9,000 other riders. I’m cold to start with, even wearing a vest and my arm warmers. We get a bit of a scenic tour of Seattle, finally leaving by riding through Seward Park and along the water. We can see the sun rising and the Cascade Mountains and Mt. Rainier towering in the distance; the light is golden, the water and sky dazzling blue, and the morning feels glorious as we ride out with a huge pack of other cyclists. We agree that this is the kind of morning that makes you remember why you live in the Northwest—too beautiful for words.

The first stop, about 15 miles in, is in Kent. REI volunteers set it up, and it’s amazing—tons of free fruit, bagels with cream cheese, Odwalla drinks, Clif Bars, bike mechanics fixing stuff, music, and a zillion cyclists laying their bikes everywhere. They claimed it was “The best rest stop in Kent,” but after the ride Dad and I agreed it was the best stop in the whole 200 miles. All zillion of the cyclists seemed to have gotten in the bathroom line, which took forever. Volunteers brought bananas, orange slices, and bagels with cream cheese along the bathroom lines. When Dad and I finally extricated ourselves, we had cooled down too much and felt quite cold starting out again. By the next stop, in Puyallup, we’d warmed up and you could feel the day starting to heat up too. The Puyallup Rotary Club hosted this stop. Once again we waited in long lines to use the Port-a-Potties. Almost immediately after that stop, we climbed “The Hill” at mile 40-ish everybody talked about. It really wasn’t that bad; Dad and I zoomed (relatively speaking) by lots of other people struggling up the hill. Certainly it wasn’t killer steep, and although it felt somewhat long, it didn’t feel all that killer long, either. I’ve ridden up harder hills in Massachusetts, and that’s saying something! On that hill we passed a gal with a stuffed animal affixed to her bike bag; inquiry revealed that he was Darwin the Evolutionary Banana Slug. You can read his blog here.

We rode almost due south on the first day, going through Fort Lewis around mile 60, where I had to pull over and take Ibuprofen for my aching knees. It started getting hot by then, and I made sure to drink lots of water as we rode along. Many cyclists passed us, few of them calling “On your left” beforehand. This discourtesy almost caused Dad to get into an accident. We were passing a couple of slower riders; I’d gone ahead, and as Dad pulled out to follow me, a guy came up beside him to pass Dad. The guy didn’t say anything, so Dad didn’t know he was there, and they had such a close brush that Dad’s front wheel touched the guy’s front wheel. The guy said nothing and zipped by. Dad recovered without falling and caught up with me, very indignant at the rudeness exhibited by the faster cyclists. We made a point of always calling “On your left” when passing. Also in the Fort Lewis area I saw a guy, not in the STP, on the side of the road with his pickup truck, sitting in a lawn chair. Parked next to the truck and lawn chair was a bicycle covered entirely in brown fur with antlers mounted on the front. Wow.

The painted road markers took us through towns I’d never heard of. For instance, we rode for probably 8 or 10 miles near Tenino on a nice shady bike path. Who’s heard of Tenino? Or Roy? Anyway, there weren’t many other users aside from STP riders, so we could pick up the pace nicely and really enjoy ourselves. It was a very pleasant interlude.

Not long after that, we rode over 10 or 15 miserable miles of freshly-paved road. The town paying for the paving must have cheaped out, because instead of paving normally, they just used the gravel-and-tar method, which gave us a horrific jarring ride for all those hot, shadeless miles. At one point Dad said, “I hate this road,” and I had to agree. It was awful, but it did make us really appreciate the normal, smoothly paved roads we spent most of our time one. Just after we got off that nasty road, our path paralleled a rail line, on which a very slow freight train was traveling. Dad pointed out that we were “faster than a speeding locomotive,” which I guess was kind of true, except for the “speeding” part.

Afternoon – We reached Centralia, the official midway point, in the early afternoon. They had the road cleared for bikes, and enterprising people along the route stood outside with their hoses, spraying cyclists to cool them off. Some people had even set up a misting station, which I rode through. The cool water felt delightfully refreshing. As we crossed onto the Centralia Community College campus, we discovered to our joy that the City Council was handing out creamiscles, which tasted better than any ice cream I’ve had in years. Dad and I ate two each, sat for a while in the shade, and psyched ourselves for the last 10 miles to Chehalis.

The last push to Chehalis actually didn’t feel as bad as the ten miles before Centralia. We pulled into the Chehalis Recreation Park, paid $5 each to corral our bikes in a monitored, fenced-off area, and retrieved our bags. They had the bags laid out in rows by bib number. I was number 2043, yet I found my bag, not in the 2001 to 3000 row, but in the 1000 to 2000 row. Somebody got confused, I guess. Only 14 other people had turned their bikes in at the corral, but lots more than 15 tents clustered in the relatively small patches of shade under trees throughout the park. We surmised that family members of riders had come early and picked out good spots ahead of time. Even so, Dad and I snagged ourselves a nice shady spot by a big tree, set up our tent, and headed off to clean off. Showers cost $3 and were the public kind in a nearby swimming pool complex. It felt like heaven as the sweat, dirt, and oily sunblock came off. Once clean, Dad and I sat around chatting with our neighbors, watching a young couple attempt to set up a tent for what was clearly the first time ever. We offered to help, but the guy (of course) wanted to figure it out on his own. Eventually one of the other people camping nearby helped them.

4:15 pm – Pay $7 each for an all-you-can eat pasta dinner. This included a ton of spaghetti, iceberg lettuce salad, and a slice of cake. I ate one serving of everything, but definitely didn’t get my $7 worth.

Evening – We sat around in the shade some more, nibbling food we’d brought along, chatting. I saw a 6-week-old Golden Retriever puppy—too cute for words. It was going to be trained as a service dog, so it had green spray paint on one ear marking that it had been tattooed. It was very playful and cute, and a great conversation starter. If I ever wan
t to pick up chicks, I’ll get me a puppy and sit around in a park playing with it. Read Time Bomb, a cheap paperback I brought from Mom and Dad’s house. It wasn’t compelling, and I ended up dozing off quite a bit. Finally I just admitted I was going to fall asleep, so I brushed my teeth, put in ear plugs, and went to bed.

Sunday
4:15 am – I slept amazingly well Saturday night—better than any night in the previous three or four days. We woke up, ate a darn good breakfast at Grannie’s across the street (forgoing the $5 each all-you-can eat breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and sausage for a $15 total breakfast of two fruit-and-yogurt parfaits, plus a quiche for Dad and a cinnamon roll for me), packed up our tent, loaded our bags onto the truck for Portland, and retrieved our bikes from the corral. As we did all this, cyclists from Centralia came by, shouting “Rise and shine!” and making comments about lazy people sleeping in. I would’ve liked to leave a bit earlier, but Dad worried about not having a headlight on his bike.

5:15 or 5:30 am – We finally set out, but not before I took a couple Ibuprofen to keep the knees bending. The sun had just started rising enough to light the sky, but everything remained very cool, a little dim, and misty on the ground. Fog lingered in the little valleys and along the wide fields as we started our day. Considering we’d ridden 105 miles the day before, I felt really good. My butt wasn’t sore at all, and although my knees ached some, they’ve felt worse (in fact, they did feel worse later in the day). As we left, I noticed that the small holes in my right glove that I’d seen Saturday morning had expanded alarmingly. Over the course of Sunday’s ride, the glove slowly ripped up the side—not along a seam, but just parting from the base of my hand all the way along the side up towards my pinky. At one stop I tried to use electrical tape to hold it together, but that didn’t really work at all. I just prayed the glove wouldn’t completely come apart before we finished our ride, and I guess there is a God, because after a certain point, it stopped ripping.

Morning – We rode south. Although we’d left whenever we felt like it, we continued to see lots of people, both us passing them and them passing us. The discourtesy of Saturday continued as faster cyclists almost never called “On your left” before passing; Dad and I made a special point to consistently make a point of calling “On your left,” since we knew how unpleasant it was otherwise. There weren’t as many free food stops on the second day, but all the stops had free water, which was about all we needed. I’d brought four or five Luna bars in my back pockets, and those sustained me pretty much the whole way until the free food stop in Oregon. We crossed the Longview Bridge about midmorning, and that proved one of the more unpleasant sections of the second day’s ride.

I thought they’d have a lane of traffic closed off so we could ride there, but instead they just had all the cyclists ride in the shoulder. That’s fine, but the shoulder was only one bike wide, with fat rectangular road turtles dividing the shoulder from the traffic lane. It felt like cars kept constantly passing, so when Dad and I caught up with the people riding in front of us, we got trapped behind them. Finally, after riding at an agonizing 5-mph pace for a while, a break in traffic let us zip out, over the nerve-wracking road turtles, into the driving lane, and past the cyclists. Turns out a fat guy on a recumbent was holding up the whole show. We got by him and back into the shoulder, only to catch up with the next group of cyclists not long after. When traffic cleared enough for us to go by them, we saw two fat guys on a tandem recumbent at the front of that line!

The last section to Portland from the Longview Bridge wasn’t very fun at all. We followed US 30 the entire way, and it was mostly a shadeless, four-lane highway the whole way. Two lanes of traffic went each way, plus a turn-lane in the middle. At least we had plenty of room on the shoulder, and mostly the road paving wasn’t too bad. But we sweated copiously under the sun and got burned despite applying sunblock a couple times. On the bright side, the St. Helens food stop, the only free food stop on the whole ride, was glorious: Watermelon, grapes, bananas, orange slices, cold water, wraps of various sorts, tons of other food and drinks, and plenty of Port-a-Potties. REI also put that one on. Clearly they know what they’re doing for food stops. We stayed there for quite a while, recovering and getting ready for the last 25 miles to Portland.

Afternoon – The last 25 miles felt as long and difficult as the previous 75. I made sure to eat and drink enough, but US 30 felt endless. Even as Portland hove into view, it felt like we rode forever, and when we finally entered Portland itself, again it felt like we rode forever through shadeless, hot industrial areas before finally going into the downtown area. However, by the time we reached the finish line, I’d gotten a second wind and could probably have kept riding for a ways longer. Thankfully, I didn’t have to. Instead, I rode down a chute lined with clapping spectators, received my STP Finisher patch and a bottle of cool water, and was done!

Actually, Dad and I ended up spending a couple hours getting everything sorted out after we finished the ride. First we walked around, eyeballing all the things we could do. They had food booths set up where we could buy really expensive food; an ice cream booth; a massage tent ($1 per minute—yikes); and lots of tents set up by STP sponsoring companies. I showed my fallen-apart glove to the people at the Pearl Izumi tent, and they were horrified. They told me all PI products have a lifetime warranty, and that I could get my gloves replaced for free since they’d just fallen apart on me. Cool!

Dad and I also got lots of free nibbly food from the Whole Foods tent, plus a fairly nice green Whole Foods grocery bag. They also gave us a sample beverage called Embodi. It looked weird: How can we have a citrus drink made entirely out of non-citrus fruits? It also had an amusing graph on the back of the bottle, which showed Antioxidant Power per Calorie. How do they measure “antioxidant power”? In µmoleTE/cal, of course. What “TE” is, nobody in my family could figure out.

Eventually we found a spot in the shade, parked our bikes there, and ate. I had a $7 burrito, washed down with lots of free Group Health water. I’d just about finished eating by the time Dad arrived with his noodles, so we agreed that I’d go find the showers and our baggage while Dad ate and watched our bikes. The baggage was laid out in huge rows in the Double Tree Hotel lobby. When I say “huge rows,” I mean it: They followed the same system as at the Chehalis Recreation Park, only each row had 1,000 bags or so in it. I walked up and down the 2000 row, seeing an inordinate number of red backpacking backpacks before I finally found mine. Having a pillow sticking out the top helped enormously in locating it. As I left, they checked my jersey bib number against the luggage number, and that actually made me feel more secure. Not just anybody could walk in and take a bag, thank goodness. I returned to Dad, who was watching our bikes, dug out my shower stuff, and headed back to the showers, which were right in front of the Double Tree Hotel.

They only had one shower trailer—eight Men’s and eight Women’s stalls—for the entire event. This seemed jarring to me because the MS ride I did in June had like three trailers, with one entire trailer devoted to women. Just as I walked up to the Women’s side of the shower trailer here, the people in charge switched it to a Men’s shower and let eight men in. Apparently no more women were using the shower, and the guy’s line was so long they decided to double up. This made sense, really; with 65% men on this ri
de, there was a WAY longer line for the Men’s shower than for the Women’s. So I ended up first in line as we waited for the eight guys to finish showering. As I waited, a remarkably long line of women formed behind me, making me devoutly grateful I’d arrived when I did. Sheer lucky timing got me into the showers first, after the last of the eight guys emerged clean, pink, and ruffle-haired.

Dad and I then traded places; I stayed with our bikes, reading Time Bomb laid out in the shade while Dad waited in the long line for a shower. I didn’t doze off this time, mainly because we’d picked a spot close to the extremely loud live music. We didn’t talk; we bellowed. Eventually Dad returned clean and we found a spot fairly clear of traffic and other cyclists where we waited for Mom and Colleen to meet us.

Evening – Mom and Colleen had both come down to Portland, but picking us up from the STP finish was really secondary to them; they actually wanted an excuse to visit Powell’s Books. They ended up with 13 books each, many used. They finally found us on Holladay Street, we loaded everything into the car, and began what turned out to be a four-hour-long trek back to Seattle.

I remember now that driving into Seattle on a Sunday evening is a horrible idea. We crawled along at a snail’s pace—I could easily have ridden faster—creeping our way into Seattle. At one point, Dad, Colleen, and I all fell asleep. We talked about what to name a family bike team, but we were too tired for any really good ideas.

7:30 pm – We got to stop at the Kidd Valley in downtown Kirkland for dinner. Ironically, there was a huge line, even that late in the day. Their credit card reader was broken, and Mom reported the staff in the kitchen all seemed new and fairly inept. Dad and I sat outside in the breeze, looking at Lake Washington, while we waited for our food. I’d dreamed of Kidd Valley milk shakes back in Massachusetts, and the pineapple shake I finally got on Sunday afternoon was everything I might’ve hoped for. Dad and I also inhaled a chicken sandwich each. When we got home, we left everything in the car, took the bikes off the back, and went to bed. Carmel didn’t even get her dinner or put in her crate.

Despite having ridden 100 miles, I didn’t fall asleep until after 10:00. This is a frustrating effect I’ve felt after every long ride: it’s harder to sleep, rather than easier, as you’d expect. Eventually I fell asleep, and that brought me to…

Monday
4:30 or 5:00 am – I got up, ate some breakfast, played with Carmel, and started a load of laundry. The STP used up all the clean clothes I’d brought with me. Lay out ground cloth, Thermarest pad, and sleeping bag I’d carried for the STP.
6:30 to 7:30 am – Dad and Colleen went off to work; I put the laundry in the dryer and crawled back into bed to read Time Bomb. Instead I dozed.
8:00 am – Mom left to take care of babies at VBS. I got up and took a long soaky bath in which I ended up dozing off.
9:00 am – Deborah calls while I’m in the bath. We agree they’ll come over at 10:00, so I wake myself up, wash off, and start doing stuff.
9:30 am to 10:00 am – I start packing my things up, folding clothes and putting them into my backpack. I also started taking Davey apart again.
10:00 am to 12:30 pm – Gary and Deborah arrive. We go to St. Edward’s State Park, walk down to Lake Washington, and come back to my parents’ house for water and chatting. We had a nice time. I like Ian’s family. It’ll be nice when we get back to Seattle and can spend more casual time with them.
1:00 pm – Eat a lunch of (what else?) leftover pasta out in the yard. Carmel is very attentive.
1:30 pm – Drive to REI and return Garmin Edge 605 for a full refund. It refused to charge correctly.
1:40 pm – Hear NPR segment on bike commuting. Want to call in, but don’t have a phone with me. (Also talking on cell phones without a headset is now illegal in Washington.)
2:00 pm – Return home and finish packing. Get Davey all in his box, after a brief distraction of looking at the neighbor’s titanium bike. The darn thing was twice the size of Davey but probably only 2/3 Davey’s weight.
2:30 pm to 4:00 pm – Sit outside in the yard nibbling snacks, chatting with cute neighbor kids and their parents, and play with Carmel. Mom comes home from a doctor’s appointment—we just missed each other when I left for REI.
Evening – Load Davey into Mom’s Prius, eat dinner, chat with family, and enjoy last taste of Seattle weather. Take a shower and go to bed at 9:00.

Tuesday
4:30 am – Get up, finish packing, make a generous lunch for the plane, and load bags into car.
5:00 am – Eat breakfast, chat with Dad, wait for Mom to wake up.
5:30 am – Leave for the airport.
6:30 am – Check in bags; hand off Davey, once again with deep trepidation, for TSA check. At least I don’t need Davey now. I can afford to wait and have him fixed if he’s badly broken on this leg of the trip.
6:45 am to 8:20 am – Go through long TSA security check line; have STP water bottle full of water from home confiscated and returned empty; find gate; read Time Bomb; stretch rather sore legs for 20 minutes. I wasn’t sore on Monday, but sometimes two days after is worse than the day after.
8:20 am PST to 4:40 pm EST – Fly to Massachusetts. It wasn’t such a good flight this time. Both ways I had the row before the emergency exit, which means no reclining, but somehow on the flight out I felt moderately comfortable. This time I couldn’t find a position that felt even somewhat tolerable. Then the guy next to me (I was on the aisle both times, too) turned out to be one of those hyperactive, twitchy, chatty people. I just didn’t want to chat. Plus he put up the armrest, leaving nothing between us, and that felt weird. And I ended up getting airsick (but not throwing up, thankfully) as we came into Boston, so I felt gross all evening. I hate flying. Thank goodness I don’t anticipate flying back to Seattle from Boston again.
5:20 pm – Get luggage after waiting a while. Go out and stand on the curb; wait 15 minutes as buses, an ambulance, and countless taxis go by.
5:35 pm – Ian pulls up, we load Davey and luggage into the car, and begin the slow drive back to Marlborough. There couldn’t really be a worse time to drive out of Boston besides rush hour in a workday.
6:40 pm – Get home at last.
7:00 pm – Call Landry’s about a Garmin Edge 605. They tell me it’ll cost $379, a good $50 less than in Seattle (I checked later: I paid $35 sales tax in Seattle on the Garmin); I pay for it right there on the phone, although it’ll take a week to arrive since they have to order it specially. They also tell me if I bring my ripped glove in, they’ll see about getting me a replacement set, which is nice. No mailing the gloves off to Pearl Izumi directly.
Evening – Unpack my stuff (it feels like all I’ve done is pack and unpack!), scrounge some dinner, go to bed by 9:00. I slept remarkably well and woke up at 5:45 on…

Wednesday
A couple years ago I got back from Christmas in Seattle and went to work the next day. It was the worst workday I’ve had just about ever, barring the days I spent at work with a sinus infection. I was tired and useless and miserable. Learning from that experience, I took today off work as a recovery-from-flying day. I got up with Ian at 6:00, to convince my body I’m getting back into my normal schedule after almost a week of total sleep wackiness. This morning I’ve puttered around doing chores, sorting stuff to give away and trying to force myself to part with clothes I’ve owned for a long time. How can I get rid of this old shirt I got in the 1998 Cross Country Districts race? How can I give up the T-shirt Ian brought back for me from Disney Land whe
n we were first dating? How can I give up the red Lobster shirt Mom bought me that has the chemical formula for lobster on it? …Etc. Which is why I have all these T-shirts that I never wear, many of which are too ragged for even giving away.

I’ve also spent a remarkable portion of today writing this enormous 5,700-word-long blog. Yep. This may well be my Longest Blog Ever, and if you’ve actually read the whole thing, you must be either a parent or an in-law.

The end.

KF quality

6 thoughts on “STP Ride Report – Yes, it is Long

  1. Nora, I was thinking of you when I wrote the quick synopsis! I assumed you never read more than 200 words of any post I write. :-O How wrong I was.

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