Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tacoma, Not Just a Truck

Great Book
     From Olympia was the ride to Tacoma.  Not a whole lot stood out to me.  It was a pretty easy ride with the wind at my back most of the time.  There was not much a view of anything as I rode through some smaller cities on the way to Tacoma.  I arrived around six with somewhat of a clue as to how I would be getting to my next host's house.  It turned out that I was way off and after I was able to get directions, mess those up, then get more directions I finally rolled up to my stop.  Even though the house was in a residential district it was nestled within an amazing flowered lawn.  It felt like I was walking through Narnia to get to the front door.  The door was opened by the master gardener that attended to this wonderful land named Connie.  Her husband Mat was working that evening so I didn't meet him for an hour or so later but in the meantime I was treated to another delicious meal.  Something of a vegetarian thai dinner mixed with some pork tenderloin.  It was amazing.  I was also introduced to her daughter Holly and her kids that had just returned from their vacation to San Francisco and Yosemite.  A short time later Mat came home and quickly I felt like I was a part of their family.  I learned a lot about these people as we spent the night sharing stories of each of our travels.  Connie and Mat, who met during a bike tour, both have extensive touring experience.  I wasn't joking also when I said that she is a "master gardener."  It's an actual title to someone who completes a training program and afterward can assist with garden lectures, exhibits, demonstrations and is equipped to answer pretty much any gardening question.  Mat is a social worker that tries to get first offender kids back on the right track.  They gave me a clean bed to sleep in and around 11 I passed out.

    The next day Connie and Mat and I all had coffee together at a pretty decent coffee shop called Valhalla Coffee Company.  I liked the tribute to the masculine slavic lore but the coffee wasn't spectacular.  The barista making the milk drinks did a good job but the drip coffee wasn't handled with enough care to make it worth the price.  Afterwards we went to see Holly's home which was within this beautiful place called the "Narrows."  It's in this inlet where the Puget Sound comes and meets Tacoma which puts these homes right on the water.  They're all built on stilts and the level at which they are above the water is dependent on how high or low the tide is.  The views from these places are absolutely astounding.  When we were finished there we went back to Connie and Mat's place where we would await the arrival of two touring cyclists from Canada.  That night there was another amazing meal of
salmon and ratatouille.  The Canadians were just as hungry as I was and we all at an amazing amount of food.  There's nothing like the dynamic between five cyclists.  As we were talking it felt like we had shared all of our experiences together.  We all at and talked late into the night and after some Klondike bars and some home made cookies we went to bed.  Leaving from a campsite in the morning is easy.  Most times I just want to get out of there.  Leaving from a such a warm and hospitable place is really hard.  The short time it takes to get to know these people is enough to form a strong bond that is hard to pull away from.  Connie and Mat wished me goodbye on a sunny morning as my wheels were pointed in one direction... Seattle.

1 comment:

  1. We enjoyed hosting you, Beau. The reward is ours when we are able to share what we have. Thanks for choosing us! :)
    Glad to hear you have found a new home in Seattle, your extended family just keeps growing!
    May the wind be at your back as you head for home!
    Connie & Mat