My mother gave us a nice early wake up call at 6:30, which was actually a good thing since we wanted to be in the restaurant for 7:00. Not sure she calculated the now 3 hour difference, but I was already awake. After we chatted, Paul and I broke our stuff down and went into the restaurant.
We were the first or second one's in the place and were greeted by our server Flo, who no doubt had had her share of coffee that morning. Flo (like the tv show) was very intrigued by our now lengthy journey, and thought we were all the rage. Everyone, guest or worker, was notified when they came in all about us.
The banana pancakes were delicious of course, and I shared with them the story of how my apartment won an iron chef in college by making banana chocolate chip pancakes. I suggested they give it a try at some point.
When we were leaving, Flo insisted on filling up our water bottles herself with some ice. She also gave us some postcards that we could send for free, she only asked that we send one back to them when we reached our final destination. She also gave us some free gum, and reduced the check since the service was a little slow. Wow. As a top off, Flo requested a picture with us once we were all prepared to head out on the bikes. We posed with another co worker Jill and were on our way. Hopefully they're keeping up with the blog, because I promised them they would be on it as long as they were patient.
We set out to conquer Steven's pass, perhaps our last mountain pass of the trip, but almost certainly the last one until San Diego. The climb was fairly gradual, with some sections even dropping back down for much of it. It picked up a bit right at the end, but we were pros by now. Nothing was stopping us heading for the coast.
Once on top we relieved ourselves, and rolled right back down the other side. What goes up, must come down. It was a fun ride, as it always is down the other side. We noticed some cyclists along the way and of course cheered them on as we could empathize with the struggle of climbing.
After we descended and began to flatten out, we decided to stop in a town called Skykomish. There we ate at a deli, and noticed some of the cyclists who were just ascending the same side of the mountain. They had turned around. From that alone, I knew they must have been training for something, and I also noticed the aerodynamic handlebars, so I gathered they were training for an ironman. Sure enough, they were. I chatted with a few guys and a woman; the guys had down the mountain 3 times that day already. They were interested in our trip, and suggested stopping in Sedona Arizona praising how beautiful it is. Maybe we would work it in to the path.
Rested from the break, and eager to get try to get to Kyle's and Terra's (our hosts for the next two evenings) before 5:00 to catch them before the headed out for the evening, we got back on the road. We made it into Monroe (Paul's hometown) after another 30 miles or so, and stopped to call Kyle. Checking out distance and the timing, it was unlikely we would make it in time. Too bad. Oh well, we'd catch them on their way back from Kyle's mother's birthday they were celebrating at their church.
With that news, we decided to break in Monroe, since Paul missed it so, and got some watermelon from a grocer and McDonald's desserts. Good stuff. We relaxed for a while, since we were in no rush.
We got back on the road to finish out our last leg before our rest/touristy day in Seattle. Contrary to what we expected, as we approached the coast the terrain actually became much hillier. The rollercoaster ride into Lynnwood was nearly as tiring as climbing Steven's pass earlier that day. Man, we never finish easily.
When we were within a mile or so of their house, we stopped at a 7-11 and called Kyle again as he suggested so that he could direct us to some good local cuisine. We headed up to this busy area north of his house, and ended up eating at a Thai place that Kyle recommended. It was very good, although even the 2 out of 5 stars was a little too hot for me. We relaxed there content, as we still had some time before they would return home, and we had virtually finished a coast to coast southeast to northwest tour. We were proud.
Still a little hungry, and with extra time, we made a stop at a Walgreen's on our way to the Hutchison's house. Knowing how much milk we'd likely go through, we bought 2 gallons for the next two days, some Raisin Bran Crunch cereal, and also some chewy Chips Ahoy as a treat. The milk was only $2.69 a gallon! I couldn't believe how cheap it was.
We made our way down the Hutchison's street, and headed to their backyard to plop our stuff before they arrived home. I was working on the fence for a while to no avail. We were also quite aware of the large dog in the backyard that was barking it's head off that Kyle had never mentioned earlier. I decided to call Kyle one more time. Turns out we were at 827 not 821, the numbers just looked really similar. Oops, hope the cops aren't on their way.
We easily got in next door, and awaited their arrival. They showed up after a few minutes, meanwhile we had polished off all but one rack of chewies, and invited the two strangers in from the deck to their lovely house. They were certainly prepared to have us, and Kyle showed us to the downstairs where we would have our own bedroom and bathroom for the duration of our stay. Again we were uber spoiled. We said a quick hello to Terra, Kyle's wife, but she was a bit preoccupied with getting their two year old daughter Allison into bed. She was not making it easy for mom.
Kyle set us up getting our laundry going and had towels laid out, ready for us when we get there. We both showered up (it had been a few days)…separately… and were happy to be in a great, warn house. Kyle, a pretty avid biker himself, often doing 20 mile commutes to and from work, chatted for a bit with us about our trip and also our plans for Seattle in the morning. We planned on heading out via a bus that stopped about 1.5 miles from their house at 8:40. Kyle assured us he would make breakfast for us once before we left, but we did have the cereal that we bought for a quick wake up the next morning.
After I went back downstairs, I spent some time writing to get a blog up. I was really tired, and apparently had fallen asleep while doing some writing as Kyle was witness to when he came downstairs to shut out the lights.
Proud of ourselves, and ready to see Seattle, I must have been grinning as I dozed off.
Life was good.