Well, I know that I was supposed have signed off for good, but I had recount the last few days before Lizzy hit the coast. We had made some very last minute plans to stay with some of my extended family about 50 miles from Rivendell. This was a good thing, not only because we had the opportunity to visit Paige and Adam, but also because we were completely disgusting. I’m talking over a week’s riding without showers or clean laundry. Fortunately, Paige and Adam are fantastic folks and didn’t mind having us even though we both resembled Pig Pen from the Peanuts. We had some time to kill at a St. Arbucks before Paige got out of school and we were able to squeeze in one last interview before heading home. Paige put her culinary skills to the test and whipped up some stuffed peppers for dinner, and then entertained us with stories from school, and an interesting revelation concerning her dad’s past mullet. Paige is on my extremely long list of favorite people. She’s spunky, good at math, plays cello and viola, and is generous. I really enjoyed our time with them (As always).
We had planned to pop in at Rivendell the following morning to visit with the folks that made my bicycle. Little did I know, but my mom had called all the Riv folks and insisted that she buy all of us lunch! She had initially planned to keep that on the DL, but she ended up and telling us so that we would plan on getting there during lunch. I was shocked to hear this! At first, maybe even a little embarrassed, but I soon got over that.
We got up fairly early the next morning to eat oatmeal and walk Paige to orchestra class (more so to embarrass her in front of all her cool friends but it didn’t really work). We had fifty miles to ride and four hours with a headwind before lunch, but we made it! It was perhaps a little awkward at first. The Rivs thought we were coming the next Wednesday, and well, let’s face it–Lizzy and I aren’t really social butterflies, but as always with Rivendell, it all worked out. Everyone was grateful for our delicious lunch and said mom was awesome. I agree. We had a genuine blast. There are few companies that I believe in as fully as Rivendell; they make a quality a product, that’s for sure, but they do much more than that. Grant Peterson, founder of RBW, is a great author and an all ’round good guy. He took the time to chat with us–and I mean hours–and give us an assignment to word associate with each state. He even rode my bike around the block, and didn’t bat an eye at the arrival of more of my family (two aunts and two pesky cousins) who had come to pick us up from Rivendell. Overall, it was another good experience at Riv. I was going to write more about them, but I think I’ll leave it that as I wouldn’t want this to become a shameless plug. But, if your looking for the last bike you will ever buy, check out their website www.rivbike.com
We left Walnut Creek in a real live automobile and watched the ‘hoods and city streets streak away, with it my last official tour miles. We took harbor at my family’s house (the Kenyon’s) and had a relaxing evening complete with Napolie’s pizza and a rare appearance from my cousin Will who is finishing his schooling at Cal Maritime. Since he’s always off working on calculations, running tugboats, or driving ships to Singapore–it is always a treat when he is able to carve out some time for his smelly bicycle cousin.
It was good to be there. The next day I woke up early and went with my cousin Lilly to the barns to meet her newly tamed mustang Dexter. I should mention here that Lillian is 13 and spent the summer with my mom where she participated in the Oregon Teens and Mustangs program in which teenagers train wild mustangs. She and Dexter took 5th place out of the whole shebang! Needless to say we are all quite proud. I headed back home and began to make plans to go to San Fransisco for out lunch date with Watsi. We also made a traditional run to the Value Center with Aunt Becky to pick up some great bargains. Lizzy was in the market for a pirate ensemble. You know, for Halloween.
It was so good to be back home, or at least with my family which I consider to be home. I did notice though that I kept getting nauseous. I think that it was mostly because I wasn’t used to being in cars, but it also had something to do with being inside. Strange. I remembered one of our touring friends from Bufflo who said that when she came home from her last long tour she couldn’t sleep inside and had to set up camp in her back yard for a good two weeks before she could. Fortunatly I’m not that bad, but it is interesting to think about. The little things are the biggest changes; like having clean clothes to wear every day, or having a constant supply of water and electricity so that we didn’t have to be concerned about plugging phones in at every store we went to or stop at every gas station to make sure our bottles were filled. The most strange to me, however, was that it didn’t seem strange. Even now that I am at home, I don’t feel like I have been gone longer than a week, and at the Kenyon’s and Aunt Becky’s I felt the same way. I tried to keep mental notes of these things.
I think Lizzy is going to pick up from here.