Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summits of Bothell

I was determined to do this ride today, to pedal uphill and finally see more of Bothell, the area I have worked in for six years now but hardly know at all, even though last night found me at 8:58 PM waiting outside a darkened bus station in Yakima, Washington with not a Greyhound nor other passenger in sight.

Jen, Mimi, and I had driven to Tieton—about twenty five miles away—for the town’s community day event and to visit our friend Lori and her family on their little place up there and had had a fine afternoon of horse-dancing, stump-tossing, and eating killer dip. We even fit in a tour of the Mighty Tieton lofts.

And now my wife and daughter were waiting in the car as I walked around the building trying to resolve myself to what seemed painfully clear: no bus, no ride.

But at the stroke of 9:00, out of nowhere, a Greyhound arrives, sign reading “Spokane.” Doors open, driver emerges, and I inquire: “Supposed to be a bus to Seattle at 9:00?”

“That’s me.”

So I make it to Seattle by midnight, a relatively easy ride in spite of being prohibited from buying beer by the cashier at the gas station in Ellensburg, and am asleep in bed in time to be up for my ride out to the starting line at the UW Bothell just after sunrise.

Totally worth it.

The S.O.B. course traced a painstakingly marked route up and down eight of the biggest hills around Bothell, each of which had its own distinct character, like Westhill, so lovely it could have been heavenly parody, or Finn and Norway hills—like travelogues for their namesake Scandinavias—or Brickyard Road Hill, which made me laugh out loud at its endlessness.

And once I’d survived the seemingly-vertical ascent of 240th St. on the ride’s second hill, Bloomberg, it was like being welcomed into the landscape; I knew I would make it, struggle or not.


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