Anacortes Oyster Run 2008

I've been hearing about this Oyster Run for months. It's interesting, I see really no purpose for the whole thing except to "be there".

Rick has been doing this ride with his friends or family, at least once in his car, before he bought his Harley, since 2004 as far as I can tell. I've seen pictures so I had an idea of what to expect.

But it's like the Grand Canyon - pictures just can't capture it, they can't do it justice. Rick said in the past a fire ladder was set up at one end of the road to allow a person to climb and get an aerial view. The impressive thing was the shear number of bikes/bikers and the line of them coming into town that stretched as far as the eye could see. I just checked online to see if there was an estimate of the number - 30,000. This was expected to be the biggest event yet because of the gas prices prompting motorcycles sales to skyrocket. And here in the northwest - if you have a bike you MUST do the Oyster Run!

A month ago or so I questioned the plan and day of the event since I'd already attended the Spring Opener to Toppenish and had an idea of what to expect. The ride either to or from the event was planned and ridden together as a group, then the opposite direction was loose, everyone by themselves or a couple bikes riding together, etc. What he'd experienced in the past was the ride up was done early AM individually, straight up I-5 to get into town by 9 or 10. After milling around and having lunch, and visiting the vendors,etc, the group would leave together and take a relaxing ride back, taking ferries and enjoying the scenery. And the event is on Sunday. So I suggested that we go up on Saturday and spend the night, lessening the amount of time we had to spend on the road on one day.

A couple weeks ago Rick found out that his group was going to Reno for another event. They're Boeing workers and are currently on strike so I guess they figured they'd take advantage of the "free" vacation time. So we were on our own.

I don't know when he forgot about the idea of staying overnight. It was on my mind indelibly because the previous rides have been a bit excruciating, the seat I was riding on was really just a pad, 7" wide. He had a better, wider, softer seat I could use but it was thicker and put me a whole head above him. Well, Rick shelled out the big bucks and bought a new seat, a one piece that was both seats. It sat him higher as well so I still sat mostly behind him. He didn't care for the new seat when he first used it but it's just different, he just has to get used to it. The difference for me was gargantuan! I can ride anywhere now in comfort. The only pain I got was a cramp in my hip on the way back. The new seat is 14" wide and actually supports even my upper thighs, not just my bum.

Anyway, Friday I reminded him of the idea of staying overnight and eventually he decided that it would be a good idea so he found a deal on a room and booked it.

We putsed around Saturday AM and finally hit the road noonish. We went pretty much straight there, stopping only once at a rest area. We checked in at the motel and while he was parking the bike I went up to the room. It had been a smoking room that was freshly painted so the door was propped open. I glanced in and yelled down to Rick "You didn't pay an arm and a leg, did you?" This place was awesome! It had a kitchenette, 2 baths and the bedroom was upstairs (2 tv's too).

After settling in we decided to go find some food. I've discovered that taverns have pretty good and inexpensive food so I suggested we find one. It took a while but eventually we ended up in old downtown Mt Vernon. They were having a craft sale street fair thing so we had to park and walk to find a place but we did and the food was excellent, Rick couldn't even finish his.

After eating we went back to the room - now what? Rick had mentioned Chuckanut drive in the past, that we should check it out on this ride if we had a chance. Besides, it was about 6PM and we were in a strange town, what else could we find to do? So after googling it we hit the road again. We found it without a hitch and it was indeed a beautiful ride. But Rick was just whizzing down the road and I was attempting to get some shots from the back of a moving motorcycle - not an easy thing to do. The hardest thing about it is that the helmet gets in the way and you can't easily look through the viewfinder. So we rode the whole thing and the sun was getting lower and lower. We ended up in Bellingham via the back door. We didn't know if the road dead-ended or what. We turned around and this time we stopped for some awesome shots. It turned out to be a perfect day for sunset shots of the San Juan Islands in the Strait of Juan De Fuca. The sunset lit up the whole sky and lasted for probably at least an hour.

We got up at 6:30 Sunday AM showered and hit the free breakfast most motels seem obligated to offer now. Not too bad, I had yogurt, half a chocolate muffin and biscuits and gravy. For once we got up and ready early enough to enjoy the full "menu".
Then we packed up and headed for the big event.

Being as early as we were we didn't really have an issue with traffic. It was pretty much what I imagined, based on the pictures I'd seen. We were parked in one of the diagonal rows that were set up in the middle of the main street. We wandered the streets looking at bikes, visited the vendors, looking for the "right" shirt to prove we'd been there. There was a marina nearby and I prodded Rick into walking down there and getting pics of boats, fish and a seagull in her nest. We were gonna have "taco in a bag" for lunch but opted for the wraps they offered instead. Then we watched a couple motorcycle "drill teams" of sorts, the first one looked like cops and rode quiet Hondas. The next one were noisy, old Harleys, 1930's and 40's and they did quite a nice job of stunt riding. Known as the Seattle Cossacks, they wore Russian-looking maroon and white uniforms.

There were lots of interesting sights. People brought their dogs with goggles. I enjoyed seeing big, bad bikers with their tattoos and their little
foo-foo dogs. They were also enjoying the outdoor latte cafe, again, with their tattoos and leather. There were fantastic and expensive paint jobs, we found one bike decoupaged. There were antique bikes, old gnarley bikers in their worn out leather, fashion biker chicks in their color coordinated (other than black) leathers with lots of fringe. Helmets were personalized with hair and horns. But the best sight of all was on the freeway on the way home, after I'd put the camera away - darn! There was a bike that passed us with a small, pink pet carrier bungied to the back. I didn't get to see what was inside but we caught up with them and I made sure to check it out. It was a duck! Just laying peacefully in it's little box - AFLACK!! Too many pictures to put in this blog - go check out our smugmug site with the link ("my and rix pix") at the upper left section of this page. (You can also click on any of the pictures in my blogs to see larger versions)

It was 3 when we hit the road but Rick wanted to be sure to let me see Deception Pass, since we were so near and I had never seen it in all my 23 years living here. It was beautiful but I would sure have loved to have spent more time, walking down to the water and exploring a little. Some other time.

We weren't so fortunate in missing the traffic on the way home. We were in the thick of it. It was rather grueling. We just came straight home and Rick collapsed when he got inside, right on the floor. We got a little too much sun for his delicate nature. I was just cramped up a little and cold. I was shocked to see the temp signs saying 65º, I was COLD! Not freezing, just colder than I like and for longer than I like. But we made it back.

An interesting weekend to say the least. Very full. Maybe too much for a couple in their 50's, eh?

Sweet Accomplishment

This appears to be a week of accomplishment. Not that it's gone smoothly.

Yesterday was the worst. I really had only 2 goals - bake the zucchini I shredded a few nights ago into a chocolate cake and zucchini bread and go down to Denny's house and reformat his hard drive.
Before I was out of bed though, I received a call from my first customer requesting 4 copies of the DVD I created for her. Not a bad thing. So that became my first priority.

I burned the DVDs without a hitch. Then I went on to make the labels and ran out of color toner 2/5 through the first sheet (I only needed 2 sheets). OK, so I have to go to town to get toner. Walgreens advertises that it'll refill your cartridges for a discounted amount, so I've been wanting to give them a try.

While I was burning the DVDs I was gathering the ingredients to make the zucchini stuff and realized that I didn't have enough cocoa for the chocolate cake and no bread pans to make the bread. Another reason to go to town.

Since I had to go to town anyway I decided to hit the PO and mail the completed projects that I had for my folks and sister. I'd also get the new battery for the Montero that I need to sell.

So I pulled the old battery out of the car to take along, grabbed the stuff to mail, the old empty toner cartridges and headed for town.

I got gas first - no problem there. Next I hit Walgreens with my empties. They warned me that they don't always work, especially if they've been empty for a while. But I needed the color one the most and it just ran out. HP is the best for successful color refills so one should have success. I decided to go do my other stuff and come back.

So I headed for the PO to mail my stuff. Grabbed a box and packed up the stuff for the folks but had no tape. Got to the counter and was informed that I'd have to buy tape, they don't provide tape. I have tons at home so I paid for the box, mailed my other package and carried the folks' package back out to my car. On to Walmart.

I grabbed the old car battery and put it in a cart to avoid having to pay the core and to assure that I'd get the right replacement. Everything went well there. It was even a Walmart battery that I was replacing so I just looked for the same number. The first one I laid eyes on was a perfect match. I also found the cable end replacements without too much difficulty. The baking pans I chose to buy remind me of some either my mom or my granny had when I was little, very retro, I couldn't resist. I had to kill time so I looked at the toner cartridges. A new color one was only $4 more than the refill I was trying to get. So I called to see if they had success refilling mine. So far the black one worked and one color one failed and they were evacuating the second color one. So I gave them more time and called again - not done yet but they're sure it'll be fine. I was running out of things to look at so I decided to chance it and went to the checkout. I still had to pay my core charge and then go to the service desk for the refund, $9.

Back to Walgreens. Nope, the second color one failed too. All I got was a black refill which was the less important one. Their color cartridge was $3 more than Walmart's and they couldn't sell it to me at the Walmart price. Grrr.

From here everything turns around. I went home, printed up the labels, taped up the folks' box, and put that all in the car. Then I took the battery down to the Montero (it was parked in front of Denny's house), installed it and drove it home.

I headed down the hill to deliver my product and finally get that package in the mail. I managed to find my customer driving around the Safeway parking lot, looking for a parking spot so I delivered the DVDs right to her car. The PO was empty so I walked right up to a clerk and got my package mailed.

From there I proceeded to go to Rick's. We ran to his ex's to deliver a check for his daughter's cell phone bill, then to the library to pick up a couple movies, one being the "Bee Movie". We went back to his place, he cooked up this little marinated pork roast for dinner and we ate and watched the movie. It was a good movie and an excellent dinner. After being out of sorts all day Rick seemed to be in a pretty good mood by the time I left.

I had earlier contacted Rach about going in my hot tub so I had to get back to set up the umbrella since it looked like it would start raining. I haven't gotten to use it yet but was excited to see how it would be to use it. I didn't extend it completely but kept it at an angle since it's so huge and my tub is so small. That way we could still have open overheadish and still see the sky off that direction where it was tilted up. It rained on and off the whole time but we were snug as a bug in a hot tub!

So, after all that, again, my blog is supposed to be about my accomplishments. OK, here's what I've accomplished this week thus far:

  • I sold my van! (to a very happy mother and son for $300)
  • I burned and delivered 4 extra DVDs to my first customer ($20)
  • I burned and delivered 17 extra DVDs to my second customer ($85)
  • I got my projects for my sister and parents completed and mailed
  • I installed the new battery in the Montero and moved it into the place that the van used to be
In writing that doesn't seem like so much but some of those things have been months in coming, and the van has been years! But I still have 2 more days this week. I'm still gonna get that computer wiped and that zucchini cooked, today.

Playing Ketchup

There I go again, not getting any blogging done. It's not because nothing has happened, just lazy I guess.

The week after I did Chester's memorial DVD I actually got another job! It turned into quite a nice job, over 100 pictures and netted $311. I'm not really sure though that this guy was even gone yet. I was dealing with the wife and she kept speaking of him in the present tense. He was 59 and dying of cancer, so it may have been imminent. They had just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in July, sad.

I'm so glad August is gone. It was one of the coolest, wettest Augusts in my memory. September has been just awesome. Temps back in the 70s and 80s. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be mid 80s, then a day in the 70s, then down into the 60s for the unforeseeable future - fall will hit this week. But I used all this beautiful weather getting work in my yard done that I haven't been able to do for a cuppla years. Lotsa pruning, weeding, thinning.

Last weekend Rick and I went to the fair. I haven't been to the fair for prolly 5 years. I wore a dress to keep from being expected to go on any "scream" rides. It worked, we walked around just looking at stuff like a couple of old people. But we didn't get to go look at any critters. I guess I'll have to go on a ride if I expect Rick to look at the animals. Maybe next year. One thing I've noticed that has caught on at these events is teeth whitening. I saw a booth at the Tall Ships in Tacoma, they were doing it for $40. I've been wanting to try it out, I should have done it then. The ones they had at the fair were $99. It was one of the more unusual sights to see. We also saw a drummer group that have been on TV called the Procrastinators. They used stools with pots and 5 gallon water bottles attached for their instruments. They ran around, jumped up and down, juggled their drumsticks and did a very good job percussing. Very entertaining.

Saturday AM was Joe's first day at teeny-weenie soccer. He was probably the youngest one on his team. At the beginning he had no idea what he was supposed to do. When the game started he and 2 of the opposing teammates just stood there looking over their shoulders at everyone else chasing the ball, it was hilarious! But by the end of the game he figured out how to chase the ball too. Shirley and I were his cheering squad - "Give me a "J"! . . . He finally got his chance to kick the ball and what did he do? He picked it up and held it like "MINE!" It was so cute. It was kinda unfair though because they had bigger kids playing who were kindergarten age and knew perfectly well what they were doing, so they dominated the game. But the little ones were still cute.

The big news this week was my hot tub. We finally got it going Saturday. I called my old hot tub guy and he came out (1 1/2 wks after I called, he's painting his house) and pulled out his electronic tester and discovered a soldered-on fuse was blown, which meant that he would have to replace the board ($300 + labor). He "unofficially" told me the problem and suggested I find someone who could solder a new one on. That just happens to be one of Rick's many talents. So we bought the fuse and a fuse holder ($6) that we soldered in place and now we can just change the fuse if it blows again - user friendly! We filled it as soon as the heater element and new seals were in (we knew those needed replacing before the hot tub guy came), did the soldering and reinstalled the board and turned it on - nothing! Woops, the reset button needed to be pushed. Then it worked, so we turned it on and headed for Denny's for dinner. We ate dogs with cream cheese and salsa (try it - it's yummy!) then played bowling on his Wii. By the end of dinner the hot tub was about 6º warmer. By Sunday morning it was up to temp. So last night we went in about 6, earlier than I would have gone in but Rick has to get up early. We sat in the tub and talked and watched the birds at my bird feeder for an hour or so, until we were pruney. I have a pair of quail that come to feed. They came by and we enjoyed watching them, they're so funny how they run away when they get spooked!

That's it, all caught up again. Today I'll go out and place some brochure holders around to drum up more business. I'll also work on my websites, check them out at the top of this blog page, there are 2 now. My first one for photography tips with my services being offered and now a new, free one (the 110mb is a free website server) devoted to the memory DVDs. I also harvested a monster zucchini that needs to be processed and baked into chocolate cake and zucchini bread, muffins, etc, one of those "autumn" things. We didn't get around to picking any blackberries so no cobbler. I love autumn, it's one of the seasons I missed out on growing up in So Cal and Hawaii. Especially the fog, the mist on the fields in the early AM, on the corn fields, on the geese "grazing" in the fields. I'll have to have Rick call me when it's one of those mornings so I can go out and catch some shots of those beautiful mornings.

About Me

My photo
After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.