Oh my gosh: I really can't believe that we have participated in 17 years of Ranger Tommy rides on the Washington tour! My youngest, Scott, was not even one, and now he is graduated and on his way to the Marine Corps boot camp in 2 weeks! Tom was just retired with two at home and one in college: now he has two married with children and the last one finishing up college. Grandpa Tommy!
SO: tonight was the kick off for the first of two Cycle Washington': the Farewell Tours.....and Tom has brought on his stellar players to augment the tours. Daryl and Kim on lunch: Leo and Sue on water stop: Marker Bob leading the way: Kevin keeping those wheels turning: Jack P packing those bags on luggage, and finally Linda on massage. Quite the crew.........the tribe shall be well cared for.
AND: what a tribe it is! At the first map meeting Tom asked the tribe how many had ridden a Tom ride? Roughly 75% of the tribe stood up...one member (We love you Bob) has been on 7 of his tours. We have quite a few adult families with us, as well Zach and his dad....Zach is quite a young athlete: now competing in the juniors races on the East Coast...way to go Zach! And, he has such an amazing outlook, or maybe insight, to cycling.....his comment tonight was that this is something that he can do for his lifetime. Wow.
The weather right now is gorgeous. After a month of record rainfall we have been blessed with the sunshine. Here in the Seattle area it is in the 70's. As we head East over the mountains we will hit 100's......dry and arid. We have had reports of fires in the Chelan area....hoping to avoid those.
I am excited: the berries in the Skagit Valley are in full production:(I made 60 pints of strawberry jam last week for the tour; using it at lunch and water stops and then for sale at the end of the trip...you haven't had strawberries until you've tasted these) the soft fruits and cherries the same on the Eastern side of the state......and the seafood is abundant! We will be doing the "happy hour" at Bay View State Park on Thursday....steamed clams and mussels, oysters on the grill, and salmon on the bbq. YUMMMMM......can't wait!
So: dinner tonight I tried something new: a salad buffet. Quite nervous about how it would be received; but I think it went well.. We offered a tossed green salad with, on the side, ham, turkey, 3 cheeses, chick peas, dilly beans ( a home made favorite) olives, curried chicken salad, pea salad, pasta salad, home made corn muffins, cookies, brownies & watermelon on the dessert side. One rider commented that it was "salad central". Well received.
Tomorrow's ride starts with a bus shuttle up Steven's Pass, then they hop on the bikes and it's a down hill ride through the quaint town of Leavenworth and onto the State Park in Wenatchee. (Where, I must warn you the mosquitos are horrific!)
I will catch you up tomorrow on the day's ride......and the food in the making..
Fresh Berries from the Skagit Valley: Awesome t-shirt: Kevin and Jack "hard at work" the tribes first meeting.