The hubby and I played hooky and took a day ride across the pass to Leavenworth for lunch. This ride was as therapeutic as it was fun. We spent the whole day on the motorcycles and I was able to cross many "firsts" off my list. Such as, "highest speed", "longest ride", "first time on major highway", "first time over pass", "first time skipping work to ride", "first day long ride with hubster", ect. hehe This trip marked the first ride I've been on for pure pleasure. It's the first time I've really enjoyed being on the motorcycle for the ride and not for the "learning to ride" process. There were moments when I was scared nearly stiff...but at the end of the ride I was completely exhilarated. At the completion of this day on the bike, I could completely understand how people can pack up and vacation on a motorcycle! I'm not sure, but I think the hubby picked up on my changed attitude towards the motorcycles. I respect the machine as a thing that can take me down completely if I allow it; however, I understand it's also a thing I can enjoy and relax with. It's a respect thing. I did complain to him that the wind buffeting me at highway speeds was a bit painful and very much muscle fatiguing. In response, he's since installed a smallish windshield and after testing, it's very satisfactory! It was such a wonderful and beautiful day and one simple trip that I'll remember for a long time.
The next long ride we went on was with an online riding buddy of Don's. (His name is Jeff.) I've never been on I-5 ( a multi-lane highway) and that that time we didn't have the windshield on my motorcycle. We met at the Safeway in Smokey Point and because one of the routes north was closed for road construction we ended up on I-5.(Another first crossed off the list!) We let Jeff lead, as he's been this route before. (The day was HOT and beautiful and a perfect day for riding.) We went north on I-5 for two exits (not that far really) and then took the back roads up to the old Skagit Hwy, and then East out toward Darrington, then we crossed the Mountain Loop Highway ending up on our side of that pass.
Here is a shot of the three of our bikes together during one of our stretch breaks.
The beauty of this trip was that it was opening weekend for the Mountain Loop Highway. We live off this highway. This mountain pass closes yearly, when the snow is too deep for the roads to be cleared. (There is quite a portion of this pass that is dirt road and is absolutely beautiful!) A few years ago we had such severe weather in that pass area that it was unsure weather it would ever be opened again.
Some groups of people were pushing to have it turned into a wilderness/wildlife protection area. It was very iffy for a few years as to weather we'd get our road back. I have to say as a resident on "the Loop" that I really wanted that road to be re-opened. It's not open year round, but it is our only other route to "civilization" in a major disaster...God forbid. Most of the people who where promoting it to be a wildlife refuge don't live up here and don't live with the "what if" scenarios we do. Granted, that's the last route I want to have to take if there's a disaster, but I'm glad the road is there if I need it. So a huge celebration was planned for the cities on either side of the pass for opening weekend. I was excited to cross this pass, as it has been years since I've been across it and the husbeast crossed it on Friday and had the nerve to show me pictures of his day ride while I was at work. AARRGH! The tease!
We were concerned that I would have issues on the gravel portion of the road, but these were dispelled quickly. At the first turn off, which came too quickly for me, the hubster pulled off to see how I was doing and to take pics. At this point I expressed our need for dirt bikes. Jeff pointed out that dual sport bikes don't need to be towed to the destination and since that statement, I'm convinced that we need a pair of dual sport motorcycles. While I was concerned about my traction on the cruiser and while I was mindful of not "dropping" the bike, I had the urge the whole 20+ miles to goose it in corners! The dust! The gravel! The adrenaline! I'm afraid the hubsters gonna have to add onto the "garage" to make room for another pair of motorcycles in the near future. ;) And yes, here, I will admit that I made him promise to not collect the damn things! It was such a hoot though and really so much fun!
When we reached the pavement again, I had Don snap a picture of me to show how dusty and dirty I got being the last in line.
And he's not as bad having been the first in line. lol
Once we got home I gave the motorcycle a bath, including the bags and washed all my gear as well. It needed it! Here it is all cleaned up.
I'm trying to ride as much as possible. Sometimes the weather gets in the way as I won't ride in a downpour. However, I am more willing to ride with a "possiblity" of rain. I used to balk at riding if I saw a cloud in the sky, now I'm looking to see if I can out ride the rain clouds. I havn't heard any complaints from the hubby yet, so I must not be completely crazy yet. The strawberries are doing great this year! I've been trying to keep up the house and yard work. The weeding has taken a back seat to the veggie garden and house work. Also, I've hit a groove on washing the alpaca fleece from last year. This is completely ironic as I've determined that I can afford to pay for washing /drying of the alpaca since I am paying nothing for it. Oh well, I'll keep working at my current pace and if I'm lucky enough to get more and do not have time, I'll pay for washing. Currently I have two for washing at a friends place that is setting up a processing mill. These will be her first Alpaca to wash/dry and in a couple of weeks I'll take some wool over to her place and "play" with her and her huge carder.
I've not done any spinning or knitting in the last two to three weeks, but am ok with that. It's a seasonal thing and I've only got so many hours in the week. I've realized that I cannot do everything, every day and that it's ok for me to indulge in my seasonal happiness right now. There will be plenty of rainy, wet, cold days in my future. I can enjoy the warm, dry ones now. ;)
I've ordered some of the Jacquard dyes from Knit Picks and they should be showing up soon. I'm planning some massive dyeing sessions to try them out and also to use up some of my old dye solutions. I'd like to get a bunch of stuff dyed up so I can play with color blending this winter. That is the plan so we'll see what happens. lol Once again I didn't give into the weaving urge, so I'm thinking I'm not ready yet. When I'm ready, I won't be able to resist. And I'll have room in the house. I hope. ;) I'm still in the de-clutter stage. I'm hoping to use some of the good days this summer to get some organizing done.
One last one for you. Salem picks the weirdest places to sleep sometimes! Doesn't this look like we dropped the recliner on him?!