September 4, Orcas Island


Okay, it was cold. It was a good thing we did have sleeping bags; the sheets/blanket they provided certainly were not warm enough by themselves!

We slept until about 7:40, then had breakfast back at the restaurant. Yum yum! We walked around the property for a while, down a few trails to a couple of overlooks, then went back to the cabin and packed up our stuff. We checked out around 9:30 and headed out on the bike towards Mount Constitution, reputed to have the "Best Marine View in Northern America".

The reputation is well deserved.

One side note: the people here define the term "rosy". And "healthy-looking". I can see that living in a place such as this would do that; it is so clean and so vibrant and certainly not completely tamed.

Anyway, I took another large number of pictures from Mount Constitution, and we headed back towards the ferry docks. We took a slightly different route south through Whidbey; after stopping at a fresh-fruit stand somewhere between Deception Pass and Big Rock (and eating a wonderful nectarine), we split off the 20 to the 525, and took that back around to Mikilteo.

OUCH! that was a long ride, about an hour and a half without a stop. On a sport bike. My butt was sore. However it was warmer this time around; we'd gotten out on the road much earlier than we had on the way up. We limped up the steps of the ferry and collapsed for the 18 minute ride, then limped back down and gingerly got back on the bike for the last leg down to Seattle.

We got back to Dan's place, where we cleaned up, and I got all my stuff together in preparation for leaving the next afternoon. I get my laundry started, and by the time the second load goes into the dryer it's time to head over to a dinner party that two of Dan's friends are throwing; one of them is making pizza, and could we bring some wine? I had mentioned that I'd recently been on the Napa Valley Wine Tasting Train, so Dan readily volunteered me to pick some out *grin*.

Another note: my knees! They'd been hurting a bit over the last couple of days (probably from the Yosemite hike). The cold and positioning from the ride hadn't helped; by the time we got to Doe Bey I could barely walk downhill because of the pain of putting weight on it. It wasn't so bad when it warmed up, but it got stiff quickly. I put a note in my head to get a brace for it; in the meantime, Advil is my friend.

Dinner Party! Ah, yes, that is the tame term for what followed. *bounce*. We arrived at Paul and Alex's, she was finishing getting stuff put together for the pizza, Paul hadn't quite gotten home yet. We were planning on going to the market just down the street from their house, so we had stopped there first to see if there was anything else we could get.

While we were there, Paul arrived, a bit distressed -- he'd gone over that day to the shop where their scooter was presumably getting fixed, after having called multiple times and receiving no answer from the mechanic. The shop had been unlocked, piles of mail had been on the floor, and the place was unattended. With their scooter in it! Not wanting to leave his scooter so easily stealable, Paul was rather unsure of the legality of just going over and getting it, especially considering that no work appeared to have been done on it. Quite a dilemma.

Alex and Dan and I walked over to the market while Paul called a couple friends, and got some bass (so Paul could make his infamous Banana Fish), bananas, salad fixin's, and 2 bottles of wine (one something beaujolais, one pinot noir). By the time we got back, Paul had invited Rich and Jayne over as well, and become a bit more firm on the idea that it was okay for him to retrieve his scooter. Rich and Jayne arrived not long after that, so the guys left to go find the scooter while the women finished up with dinner and started in on the first bottle of wine (Rich and Jayne had brought over a 3rd bottle as well).

That bottle was gone by the time the guys returned from their excursion, and the pizza came out of the oven not long after that. Paul started the banana fish while we went through the second and part of the third bottles of (red, mind you!) wine and the pizza (very yummy), and someone (I'm not sure who at this point) got sent out to get another couple bottles of the same stuff as was in the first bottle (the beaujolais). 5 bottles of wine later (6 people, count them!), fish and pizza gone, we were all lounging on the couches laughing hysterically to an Olivia Newton John LP which Rich was doing an excellent job of randomly slowing down and speeding up! I'm not convinced it wouldn't have been just as funny sober -- but well toasted it was downright able to send the women into hysterics!

Nice people, all of them. The party lasted until about 12:30am, so we took off, made it back to Dan's place...good thing it was only about a mile, it's really not a good idea to ride pillion for very long after imbibing quite so much wine. No incidents, though, but I knew I was in for a rough morning because I was falling asleep, and hadn't managed to drink much water at all that day, certainly none after we'd gotten into the 4th bottle...erf!