Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Let's talk about luggage!

Today's topic, after the ride overview, shall be luggage! We do have luggage stories, believe it or not!
Day #2: ride day # 1. The tribe was hot to go this morning: French toast & scrambled eggs to fuel them down the mountain to Leavenworth and on to Wenatchee. The ride through the canyon to Leavenworth is so pretty! The river is extremely high this year: some of the rapids looked to qualify for cat 5! This is our first year staying at the State park in Wenatchee and it is a hit. Situated on the Columbia River, it is a large, clean, beautiful park.
Dinner was Broccoli salad: you're welcome Linda!: Greek lemon chicken, fresh, local sweet corn on the cob, basmati rice, teriyaki vegetables with tofu, fresh local Rainier & Bing cherries, brownies for dessert. Quite a feast! A note about the broccoli salad: it was so popular every time I made it there were always many requests for the recipe. After dictating the ingredients year after year I wrote the recipe as I made it on the side of my truck. All the tribe had to do was take a picture home with them! Oh yes, reduce the quantities to fit their needs. Recipe:
1 case broccoli cut in small pieces, 3# raisins, 3 # salted, shelled, sunflower seeds, 12 large red onions sliced, 5 # shredded mozzarella cheese. Dressing: 1 gallon mayo: 2 cups cider vinegar, 1 cup sugar. Have fun with it!
So let's talk about luggage. Adventure Cycling puts a limit on how much luggage you "should" bring. 1 bag not exceed 40 or 50 pounds plus your bike. How creative can people get? There was a garbage can, 30 gallon, with much needed wines & Dean & DeLuca specialty foods. The significant other had to reduce her luggage to accommodate his clothing. There were the "Chardonnay Sisters". They are such a hoot to have on the ride! I think there may have been a couple of extra bags, but these ladies are so gorgeous I don't think the luggage man cared. Lawn chairs, yard art, wine glasses and cases of chardonnay. Well, maybe not cases. They set up their own party pit every night and thoroughly enjoyed life. One luggage story Ranger Tommy likes to tell goes like this: Tom reminds the riders that before their luggage is loaded on the truck every day it is a good idea to remove necessary items for the day. Sun screen, cameras, the usual stuff. This alleviates the scramble through loaded bags to find things. So, one morning after delivery this note of wisdom, a rider came up to Tom and the luggage guy saying he had to get in his bag. The truck was loaded at this point. Tom, ever so willing to be helpful, suggested that whatever was needed Tom could pick up for him at the store and deliver it on the road. He was thinking along the lines of lip balm. The response sent bags flying out of the truck: "you don't understand. I need my nitro pills."
Picking luggage up at the hotels can sometimes be tricky. One tour group staying at the same hotel as a couple of our riders picked up our luggage and off it went with them. The wrong way. It was returned, but what a fiasco.
One luggage story pertains to the luggage guy, not the luggage. Luggage handler extraordinaire, Will from Florida, (hi Will! We miss you!) liked to sleep in the luggage truck. Most of the guys do, don't have to set up a tent. So one night in Colorado he shared the truck with a fellow staff member. Somewhere around two in the morning Will woke up to something running over his face. Field mice. Cute, cuddly little field mice. Not to Will. I think the scream could be heard over Rabbit Ears Pass. Of course Kim, my helper at the time, and I picked up on the field mice theme. The rest of the ride as well as the rest of the summer, we found toy mice everywhere we could. They would show up in the lunch cooler when Will was on lunch. The snack cooler while on snack duty. His sandwich. His vehicle. We even found a remote controlled mouse to run around the camp the last night of Utah. Fun times!
So off to more fun! I'll blog tomorrow!

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