Wednesday May 11, 2016
For me, today is all about the people.
But first things first...
Yesterday, a little more than a mile from our motel, Vickie noticed that her front tire was "squishy". She chanced that it was a slow enough leak to simply pump and go, and deal with changing the tube later. Her luck held, and we got home fine. This morning...
|Before heading out for our ride it was tube changing time|
Having used her spare tube, Vickie wanted to buy a couple of spares just in case she ran into (or over) any more of those goat head thorns. So we rode to the nearest bike shop...
|We got here at 10ish, but by 10:05 we gave up waiting for them to open|
There is another bike shop about a mile away so we took off for there. What a good decision, and better choice. TC's Bike Shop is about a third of the size of Greenie's, and as often is the case, a much friendlier place.
|Tim (the T, and owner) lubed my chain with the he lube I bought from him. Cody (the C and I think son of T) helped Vickie with tubes and other items.|
Cody took a lot of time with Vickie to point out where to ride once we were at the end of the trail, and they both were as helpful as could possibly be. This was a very different experience from our time in Greenie's.
|Old bike Tim had found leaning against a barn in Walla Walla|
Geared up with new tubes and a lubed chain, we were now ready to ride! Our route was to ride to the Richland end of the trail, thus covering the entire trail.
|Richland way off to the right|
We had actually biked the whole loop shown on the map yesterday. There is more trail that is not shown here that travels through some of Richland, and we would wander the streets at the end of the trail.
Today's ride was quite different from yesterday. The trail did not go along the river quite as much, and instead brought us through parks, neighborhoods and some business districts. At one of our turns, we came upon Naomi's. There is no way to take a photo that could show the extent of this woman's work. The photos show bits and pieces of the vast display.
|Naomi and her mom, Ellen|
Naomi welcomed us to browse around, take photos and stay as long as we wanted. Ellen lives in Spokane and Naomi fetches her every Mother's Day to bring her here to help with the spring planting (they had tons of flats of flowers waiting in the wings). She drives Ellen back to her home after planting then fetches her again in October to come help put everything to sleep! Ellen is 92 years old but you would never know it. She strolled with us around some of the grounds, and into the home garden and back yard areas for more views and told us stories of Naomi's hobby. There was never a hesitation to search for words, no hearing issues, and mobility was outstanding. This place, and the two women, were a true highlight for us on this trip.
Continued on, we skirted part of WSC (Washington State College) extension campus.
The route took us toward Hanford and the closed gate before we turned around and continued our ride though dry countryside and industrial areas. There were several large technical campuses in the area, and Vickie was running low on water with no apparent place to refill. She took us into a parking lot of ATI (we learned it to be Allegheny Technical Industries) to see if there may be a water fountain available. Once we found you needed a badge to get in, we started to leave when a handsome gentleman in running attire came out the door and offered for us to come in and water up! I am so sorry that I neglected to get his name and a photo as he was our road angel today. He is the manager of ATI who came here two years ago from Pennsylvania (hence the name of the place) and told us they make titanium at the plant and seems very proud of his work and of ATI.
Onward we cycled and came to the monument for USS Triton.
|USS Triton Sail Park|
The Mini Mart sign was a welcome site -- Gatorade for Vickie, and ice cream bar for me! It had not been unbearably hot, and in fact we were quite comfortable on our ride, but we were dry and I was in need of an ice cream.
We were now on side streets and off the trail, and with no help from the map, we found Canal Drive which was devoid of all traffic as it paralleled a main highway.
|Not a car to be had|
|Many light green trees that I do not know the name of.|
Soon it was early afternoon and we had not had lunch!! (Ice cream does not count). The coffee shop showed up in the nick of time.
As we sat, ate and chatted, the subject of age came into the conversation and this young man (eavesdropping I guess) looked at me and said -- no way do you look like 75! You look really good. AND he said I have beautiful blue eyes that he really likes!! Of course -- I needed his picture..
|Shay was just hanging out here at the coffee shop.|
Until that conversation, Shay didn't appear to be paying any attention to us and in no way was he intrusive. And I don't think he was high ;'-).
Our day's adventure finished with some meandering around some neighborhoods near our hotel, and we had to get on the trail to ride that one mile we had missed by starting from near the bike shop rather than our motel.
I got in my second evening of a dip in the pool and some time in the hot tub --- all to myself! Glorious!
So ends our mini adventure in eastern Washington. We head home tomorrow.
(Were you counting? Six wonderful people today ;'-)).