Today was about as good as it gets, although I didn't get enough work done. I'll have to tell about it in two portions or it will be too long.
So here's the morning.
I decided to take a bike ride, and my sister thought that was a good idea.
That's my bike, and my sister walking toward it. Behind her, my mother is heading for the cabin where we are congregating for meals, and heading out the right side of the photograph is my niece, who is on her way to the coffee shop with her computer.
My bike has a Brooks (leather) saddle on it that I'm breaking in. I finally gave up on other saddles, which were uncomfortable and likely to be that way forever, and got a leather saddle, which is said to be uncomfortable for the first several hundred miles and then to be a delight, except by the few people who never get them broken in. I've decided that even UNbroken-in, it is not appreciably less comfortable than the other saddles I've tried. I'm willing to give it a good trial run (and the test period with full refund is quite long).
The saddle arrived a couple of days before I left—long enough that I could treat the leather (especially important during break-in), install it on the bike, and test it a few times. I repositioned until I thought it was in the right adjustment range, and ascertained that it would be okay to hit the road with this as my only saddle. I also borrowed bike shorts from a friend, who suggested that even if I didn't wear them later I'd appreciate them during break-in (the question being debatable as to which was being broken in, the leather or my butt).
That's my bike on the left, and my sister's on the right. They're relatively similar bikes (of different brands) but are set up entirely differently: seats, grips (I'll be changing mine, but haven't yet), and positions of handlebars, seats, and so on. We swapped bikes for a while, each appreciated the other's, and happily went back to our own.
Here's my sister, with the bay behind her.
The sign below says, "When in Honolulu, take home pineapples. When in Oysterville, take home oysters." The rest of the crew got oysters the other day, but what does a vegetarian take home from Oysterville?
CRANNIES! Last year, I bought a one-pound (450g) bag and we had to ration them severely. This year I figured price-per-pound and went straight for the industrial-size seven-pound (3.2kg) bag. Salads, muffins, eating 'em plain (the way they all got eaten last year). . . . I'm thinking they might last until we can come back, if we're judicious in our use of them.
It's a little challenging to stay off the highway when biking in this part of Washington State, because in some places there just aren't other roads. The shoulders on the highway are smooth but very narrow: probably 12 inches [30cm]). Not much margin for traffic error. We managed to pretty much stay off the main route on this ride. There's a lot more interesting stuff to see off the beaten path, like this gate my sister noticed as we pedaled past:
The adjacent fence was constructed of similar materials, in a less complex configuration.
And I snapped a photo of this house, which I spotted through the shrubbery (Colorado's a little short of shrubbery with this much enthusiasm), for Lynn H at Colorjoy!:
On the way back into town, we stopped at the coffee house and discovered the place was full of people we knew. Five of the seven customers in this photo are part of our crew.
My sister and I sat at the table in the foreground, drank excellent chai, and caught each other up on what's been happening in our respective parts of the family.
Below is one of the coffee house's browsing shelves. There's a bookstore in the other half of the space: small but superb selection. One could read well for quite a while in this small town (population 1500).
And that was just the morning. The afternoon was equally fine, but I'll have to relate those events later.