Monday, August 18, 2008

Summer Break - Week 2

Week two of summer break I ventured off to three different lakes. The first lake, and the most familiar of the three to me, Lake Tapps, I already wrote about for Jimmy's bachelor party. The second lake, Lake Cavanaugh, I was invited over for a Saturday night get together to christen Renee's Dad's new lake house. The third lake, Beaver Lake, is located over on the Olympic Peninsula, and is the only of the three lakes I did not jump into, as the weather cooled off on Sunday.

Friday and Saturday were the hottest days of the year in Seattle, and I got to spend Friday in a pool and Saturday at a lake. Friday I spent with my friend Joe and his wife Kristen and their 1-yr old baby Jane. Jane is much more of a climber than she is a swimmer--as soon as her little feet hit the water she would start climbing whoever dare lower her into the water. Saturday I made the motorcycle ride up to Lake Cavanaugh around noon. The road was perfect--zig zags and two-lane highway once I got off I-5. Tyler, Renee and a few other friends I hadn't seen in a while were already at the house, and when I arrived we all walked down to the lake with a cooler of beer and two inflatable Mylee Cyrus dolls rafts.

We spent the majority of our time swimming in the lake and playing ping pong. Willy, Tyler, Mike and I must have played fifty games of ping pong on Saturday, it was a bit overwhelming. We were all so evenly matched that it made for very tight games--the tightest being a 28-26 victory by Mike and I over Willy and Tyler. That brought our mini series to a 2-2 tie, and Mike and I won the fifth.

Sunday involved a lot of motorcycle riding. I left Lake Cavanaugh at 10am and rode back to Seattle. I grabbed some lunch and some warmer clothes then made my way to the Edmonds-Kingston ferry. Riding motorcycles on the ferry is a great deal because not only is the fare cheaper, I also get to skip the two-hour line of cars and head straight to the front of the line! I rode west on 104, which takes you past a really neat little town called Port Gamble. There was a wedding going on at the church when I drove by, and it looked almost too good to be true. Highway 104 keeps going and it takes you along the Hood Canal floating bridge. Nothing too special about the bridge itself, but the view was holy. Rays of sunlight were shining down through the clouds from the southwest and directly to the west were the snow-capped and foreboding Olympic mountains. I felt like Frodo leaving the shire. For reals. Unfortunately, no stops on the bridge, so no photo from Frodo.

Highway 104 eventually meets up with 101, which took me past Sequim and Port Angeles, over to the bustling town of Beaver, WA (just outside of Forks). The ride on 101 along the south edge of Lake Crescent might be my new favorite stretch of highway. Ten miles of 30mph curves along a beautiful lake is motorcycle riding at its very best. It reminded me a lot of Tahoe.

I met one of my closest college friends in Beaver, Jenna. She is living with her boyfriend and his family on their property which covers a good five acres on Beaver Lake. Apparently Andy's grandfather used to work at the lumber mill and the mill's owner gave the land to his grandfather for a ridiculously cheap $9,000 in the 70s. The place is great, and when I arrived the whole family was outside playing volleyball in the backyard, celebrating Andy's dad's birthday. Jenna and I tossed the disc, then we all went inside for some delicious blackberry pie.

I'm not very familiar with living the rural life or having a big family, but they made me feel right at home. The most amazing part of the family get-together had to be Andy's aunt Cathy. She will be 58 in November and she has Down's Syndrome. The average life expectancy for people with Down's Syndrome is in the 30s. Cathy looked great, and she was my partner for a game of marbles after we all finished our pie, and we wiped the floor with Jenna and Andy (ok, we beat them by a single point). Cathy's situation seems to be perfect--she works at the grocery store less than a mile away, she has nearly her entire family living close by to help and support her, and the entire town embraces her whenever they go to the grocery store or come by the house to visit--no wonder she's lived so long.

Jenna decided to get a bit frisky and challenged Andy and I to a 2v1 match of horseshoes, and she got her ass handed to her. Well, OK, we only won by one, but if not for a lucky ringer by her late in the game, the score would not have been close. After horse shoes, Andy taught me a new game called "The Beaver Lake Game." You take two rocks, throw one up in the air over the lake, then try to hit the first airborne rock with the second. It is nearly impossible, and an impressively fun way to spend time by the lake, especially while looking for good skipping stones.

We decided to retire back to Andy's house and play some cards before calling it a night. I was gathering up my stuff from the grandparent's house when I realized I was missing my keys. Checked my pockets and my bag--nothing. Checked around the bike, inside the house where I set my stuff, then out on the lawn where I first greeted everyone--nothing. Jenna offered to help me search, which I took as a sign that she had probably pilfered the keys and wanted to poke fun at me, but that didn't turn out to be the case (after much prodding on my part). We looked for a good hour with no luck, so we headed to Andy's and had a fun project to look forward to in the morning... the three of us played some cards for an hour then hit the hay.

I woke up around 9am with a guard dog at my feet. Brock is part husky and part wolf, and had been rightly accused of mauling two kittens at a neighbor's house the evening I arrived. But does Brock really look like a killer?

2008-08-18- Lake Cavanaugh and Beaver 043

Stone cold, baby.

Andy was long gone for work, so Jenna and I had some breakfast and played cards before our second attempt at finding my keys. Lucky for us, the 30% chance of rain was not happening just yet, and within 30 minutes I miraculously spotted the keys in the grass right by where Jenna and I had tossed the frisbee the day before--which is a place we had combed over multiple times, but just didn't have the right angle to spot them. Huge sigh of relief on my part, and I must have stuck them in my sweatshirt pouch and had them flip out.

We drove to "Third Beach," not to be confused with First or Second beaches. It was super foggy on the ocean, which was not too much of a shocker. The fog made for a pretty cool view of the rocks stretching out into the ocean, and the seals were showing off for our crowd of two.

2008-08-18- Lake Cavanaugh and Beaver 042

We grabbed lunch at the place Jenna used to work and I downed a french dip and chocolate shake while we played a game of cribbage (which I held on to win! a first!). Playing all the card games with Jenna definitely made me miss playing cards with Andrew. We haven't been in the same town since 2000, and when we get together cards always get played.

I decided to wrap up my time in Beaver early at 2pm on Monday because it looked like the rain would be coming into town soon. Beaver is a fun little town, and if Jenna can keep busy I'm sure she'll have a great time. I got lucky on the ride back and missed nearly all of the rain except for a little drizzle while waiting for the ferry. It just POURED when I was in the warm, sheltered ferry, but by the time we docked in Edmonds the rain had stopped and I made the twenty minute ride home with ease.

Week 3 I originally planned to get another motorcycle ride in, but the weather looks crappy. I'll be recharging my batteries to full capacity during the week. I also got invited to play in a frisbee tournament up in Burlington on the weekend, so that should be a fun way to cap off summer break :)


Also on the trip to Beaver, the diner I ate lunch at with Jenna also doubles as a gas station. The gas station is so old, and oil prices have gone up so much, that the price the pump shows is actually half of what you have to pay. It says so right on the hand-written sign at each pump: "Payment is 2x the price shown."

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Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I decided to wrap up my time in Beaver early

Heh hehhe heeh he said Beaver.

8:11 AM  

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