What I did on my summer vacation

As it turns out, almost all of the 85+F days we’ve gotten this summer were last week, which was also my vacation and my birthday! I hardly touched the computer; for the most part we alternated between bicycling and watching Harry Potter movies – or Star Trek: Voyager.

On my actual birthday, we biked downtown for coffee and a trip to the Farmers Market. ERN called while I was there and we chatted for a bit while I watched the bees in the garden at the market. We biked home by way of the fancy beer shop, where I picked up some ciders…and EAN called, and we wished each other mutual happy birthdays. 🙂 Did some laundry, talked to Kat, had some BLTs — which were awesome!

The tomato was a gift from a down the street neighbor. A couple of years ago, when we had a ginormous pile of wood chips in the front yard, a couple of little girls came over and asked if they could take some. They took a few wheelbarrow-loads, and we thought nothing more of it. Then one day (Labor Day weekend?) they came over with their dad with a box of tomatoes, some chard, a cucumber, and a little squash, as a thank you gift. So sweet! I gave them a jar of pickles, after we had talked about canning for a bit. The last of the tomatoes went on my birthday BLT.

Then, of course: ride to the river! (I biked to the river on every even-numbered day of my vacation, which I totally didn’t plan.) Set out a bit later than we would’ve liked, so we ended up riding in the hot part of the day. Happily, a great deal of the trail is shaded and there was a pleasant breeze. And of course the hot ride made the cold river even more delightful. As I said to some random person: “It’s fucking freezing, and then it’s awesome!” Dunked in the river a couple of times, had some snacks, basked in the sun. And then our friend L and her boyfriend showed up totally out of the blue! So that was lovely. We stayed late, until the sun passed through the trees and came out on the other side. (In this photo of the river, the stand of trees on the left side.) We all rode most of the way back together as the sun fell low in the sky, arriving home at dusk. The ride was glorious, perfectly pleasant temperature, and I just flew down the trail.

I ended my day with a trip to the Fred Meyer (yes, really), steak and fries, root beer float, cake, movies, and a Lego set. 🙂

It might end up having been my last summer ride to the river this year; today the heat wave broke, and I don’t know that we’ll see another stretch of heat. I’m happy that on our other rides last week we managed to push a little further before doubling back to relax on the river. I had my longest ride ever at just shy of 32 miles. Next year I’m hoping to bike all the way to the Quarry Park in Tenino to swim and camp. It feels doable now, which is something to keep me fired up through the winter to come.