Day 5's uniform shirt has "Keep Calm and Roll On" printed on the front, a fitting slogan for one of our major sponsors 'The Here and Now Project.' This is my good friend Kenny Salvini's organization which helps create connections between members of the Spinal Cord Injury community. Today was a calm and efficient day of rolling South through the great state of Washington with new friends. We met up with Matt Marks near the SeaTac Airport before beginning our journey. I have been good friends with Matt since the day we met at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz back in the Fall Semester of 2004. We would also be joined throughout the day by friends and fellow face drivers Kenny Salvini and Jesse Collins.
We picked up where we left off yesterday and took the Duwamish Trail to the Green River Trail and the Interurban Trail. Today was a chill day. We had long stretches of uncomplicated and safe routes. At times we could see the straight paved trail for miles without a single bend. For much of the time we did not have to deal with the stress of cars and drive ways and drive thrus and red lights and the general hustle and bustle of city life. But while we were avoiding the hustle our support system was hustling to get us what we needed. Within less than a 3 mile stretch we received a new and improved umbrella, a bicycle helmet and uniform shirt, gave an in person interview for radio, and met up with the Tukwila Mayor for a quick goodbye.
Around mile 8 of Wednesday's journey we had the pleasure of meeting Anne and Fred, who were on a stroll on the Green River trail. Anne was in a power chair! She's the first fellow chair wheeler we saw that wasn't already associated with my ride. That was a major highlight of the day! Keep rollin', Anne!
About halfway through our day we met up with my friend Kenny and had delicious Jimmy Johns Sandwiches delivered by my mom. For the next 10 miles we moved through cornfields, skate parks, baseball fields, basketball courts, bridges, rivers, bald eagles, green herons, families, lovers, runners, aerosol art, and all types of workers taking a well deserved break. This is what multi-use pathways are all about.
We met up with my good friend Jesse in Altona and finished our ride with 3 face drivers, 4 bicyclists, a runner, and a few paparazzi. The last few miles of our day were not as protected from traffic, which meant negotiating freeway on and off ramps, getting comfortable moving in the thin slivers between moving cars and immovable barriers, and placing our faith in the humans behind the wheels of each car. This last section was made easier by the ever present majestic beauty of Mt. Ranier in the distance.
We ended the evening at the PowerHouse Brewery in Puyallup, where my personal favorite beer was the Strawberry Shake IPA (and I usually don't care for fruity beers). We are once again spending the evening at Kenny's house and we are looking forward to a good night's sleep and an exciting tomorrow.