Federal Way, WA

We were hoping to make it to Bellingham tonight; instead, we’re just south of Seattle. That’s OK. There’s wireless access in our hotel rooms — yippie! — which makes it possible for me to type out an entry on my laptop with my fingers, as opposed to on my hiptop with my thumbs. I’ll take the opportunity to play a little bit of catch-up.

Some people have asked me where Paul fit into our plans. He was coincidentally riding up to the Seattle area this weekend; his wife (our friend Carla) and their daughter flew up yesterday. Since he and I both wanted to take I-5 yesterday, and Steph and Tony wanted to take 101, we split into two groups and all met up last night in Grant’s Pass, OR. Paul rode with us as far as Portland today, when he split off to spend the night at his sister’s.

So far, the trip’s been really fun, which bodes well since these are the two most boring days (well, the last two will also be, since we’ll take the same road back home). I don’t even really consider the trip started until we get to Canada; yesterday and today have just been droning on up I-5, getting closer to the border.

We’re all working pretty well as a team so far. I don’t think anyone’s been particularly unhappy with any choices, and we’re all getting our individual basic needs met (Diet Coke for Steph, beer for me, and…well, I’m not sure what’s making Tony happy, per se, but he seems content…. πŸ˜‰ )

Tonight was the roughest time of things so far: it started raining about 5 minutes after crossing into Washington, and really picked up just south of Olympia. It was pouring by the time we got to Tacoma, and a couple of wrong turns meant that we were happy to finally get our soaking-wet selves to a hotel. It ended up working out really well though — wireless in the rooms, a bowling alley with a diner and cocktail bar right next door, cheap rooms, continental breakfast in the mornings….no complaints here!

The rain seems to have stopped; it was only drizzling when we just walked back from the bowling alley. Maybe we’ll luck out and it’ll be dry tomorrow….*checks weather.com*…..eh, no such luck. Light rain all day tomorrow. Ah well. In general, the weather looks decent. Looks like it’ll be in the mid-70s in Fairbanks; not much different from home! πŸ˜‰

The weather makes a good segue into a quick summary on how the gear and bike are holding up. The Kilimanjaro jacket gets a huge thumbs-up so far; not a drop of rain got through to me. Installing the handguards made a huge difference; normally my gloves are soaking wet after a rainstorm, but instead they were just a little damp. Good enough for me!

The bike’s doing well. I think the tires wish I weren’t on I-5. The battery was dead when I went to start it this morning; I think I accidentally left the heated grips on overnight. Woops. Paul and Tony push-started it, and showed me how to do the same, so that I can do it myself next time. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it starts up OK tomorrow, since it’ll be Sunday, and it’d be hard to track down a new battery. Hrmph. I made sure everything was off tonight, though, so hopefully it was just a fluke. Whee!

Mmmm. I just massaged what felt like half a bottle of Tiger Balm into my neck and shoulders. There is, indeed, a heaven.

I’m off to go stretch and try to get the Tiger Balm on my lower back. Mmmmmm.

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