Tuesday, July 24, 2012

We Be Jamming!

A plate full of yumm: Netzy getting on the road: oysters on the barbie: rum cake queen Nana, my bff Susan: Netzy partaking in the happy hour: a seafood feast.

On the one and one half days between the two Cycle Washington tours not only did I shop like a madwoman I baked for the trip and Susan and I managed to produce 50 jars of fresh strawberry jam, in hopes that the tribe would like to take home souvenirs from the trip! It was quite the assembly line going on in the kitchen: wash, hull, smash, cook, jar, seal.  I am delighted to say that I came home from the tour jam free!  I think we may have a new business venture happening.  Jam anyone?  Seriously.

We woke early on Saturday to more sprinkles and the forecast of more rain for the ride to Bay View State Park.  The tribe is hanging in there: damp spirits that they are.  The upside of the rain is that Aaron has been quite busy with bike cleaning.  The starving grad student needs all the extra cash he can manage to procure.  He has an extra hungry mouth to feed: he and his girlfriend gave themselves a chocolate lab puppy for Christmas.  Baker is joining us tonight.  He is a great grand puppy with an affinity for chocolate brownies (he ate a whole pan as I was out of the kitchen), screen doors (which I do not have one anymore), and flour (that was a trip to the vet while Aaron was on the last trip.  Kara's parents were puppy sitting and he was a bad puppy).  We will see what havoc he can wreak the last two days.

Today's ride was be a gentle day compared to the last.  As the riders wound down the river into the Skagit Valley they peddled through the berry and potato fields, then along the Samish Bay into camp.
The rain started again as they left camp, but subsided in the afternoon and actually things warmed up.

Jack was walking through the campground last night and a man walked up to him and said, "I know you!".  Jack looked at him and said, "I don't think so."  The man said, "Yes I do!  You were in the paper on Monday and your wife is the cook for the bicycle tours!" Too funny.

Jack and Sue and I scrambled the day away, filling propane, re-upping at Costco, picking up fresh berries at Sakuma farms, taking Mom for her Mocha, then up Chuckanut Drive once more to pick up the bivalves that the tribe is eagerly looking forward to for happy hour.

We set up camp, set out or jam for sale, and started the seafood feast promptly at four.  We attracted quite a bit of attention from the other campers today.  It is a weekend and the park is full.  Many stopped by to see what was going on and one man even bought jam!  The tribe enjoyed the steamed clams and mussels, as well the grilled oysters.  We have a new tribe member joining us for his first tour from Chicago.  He had never eaten bivalves before and is a new mussel convert.  This tribe did not gain the notoriety of being seagulls, though.  We only went through one case of oysters, not the two that last weeks gulls gulped down.

At tonight's map meeting Ranger Tommy introduced Mom to the tribe, pronouncing her the queen of rum cakes and cookies.  She was given a standing ovation.  Well deserved after years of providing yummy treats for many, many tribes.  She's still baking away this week for the Oregon group....pretty amazing for ninety.

After a delicious feast of bourbon salmon, curried coleslaw, greens with fresh berries and a raspberry chipotle dressing, steamed vegetables and potatoes, pecan pie bars and cookies, the tribe waddles back to their camp sights for a good nights sleep.  Sunday's ride is a tough one on the hills of Whidbey Island, and the weather isn't looking to friendly.

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