Around mile 400 of this journey, I was cruising the Centennial Trail with good friends, taking in wavy Sitka spruce and draping western red cedar branch patterns, observing different types of houses and what people are doing with their yards, weaving from more forested areas to more developed areas in this wild land-urban interface while just enjoying the sights and sounds of western Washington. The group had grown to include another cyclist (Diane Trepanier) and three people in power wheelchairs: Denise Smith-Irwin (who graciously hosted us all at her house last night), Joe Meyer and Tyler Schrenk, all from our big and wonderful Here and Now Project family. In the peace and quiet of the Centennial Trail, we all got to mingle and converse as we made our way southward toward Snohomish.
Right around this point, Jimmy passed his overall running goal for the trip of 120 miles. Tyler cruised with us for a few miles, Denise and Diane stayed with us until we got to the southern end of the Centennial Trail, and Joe kept going with us when we had to leave the quietude of the trail and continue on along roads. We had a quick lunch pit stop at the Rotary Park in Everett. I couldn’t let the crew rest for very long, as we still had a long way to go, and some meeting logistics had us running a little behind schedule. So I used my powerful lips to crack my whip and we were off again.
Travel for the remainder of the day was challenging as we dealt with increasing traffic and urban congestion. Not long after lunch, Joe’s wheelchair just suddenly quit while we were heading up a steep hill, and the crew had to disengage his drivetrain, back him up onto a sidewalk, then push him into our van so that my mom could get him to where he needed to be. We rode the Interurban trail for a while, which mostly runs along roads, but occasionally has pure trail sections.
Trusty Ben returned the U-Haul today. It served us very well, it’s hard to imagine how we would have pulled off this trip without that vehicle.
The day was highlighted by our first view of the briny waters of the Puget Sound. That is when we could viscerally feel just how far we’ve come on this journey, just how close we now are to our final destination. We were elated when we arrived at the Edmonds ferry station, and we were able to go right up to the water. Natalie from BodyPoint and Leo from Norco met us there, and we ate, drank and were merry at Rory’s, a restaurant just a block from the beach.
Soon thereafter, we boarded a ferry and were bound for Kingston. Most fittingly, the name of the ferry was Spokane, the endpoint of our very first day, which seems like a long time ago now.
We are now back on the Olympic Peninsula, and only have 2 more legs to finish this journey.