Week 2 is over, and what a week it was! Time to reflect back on the second week of our 10 month trip around the US in an RV named Bertha.
We woke up Tuesday morning in a Walmart parking lot in Eureka, OR, with a mission to get North to Portland by 10am, when the big triathlon store in town opened. Heather needed a wetsuit for her first wetsuit-legal triathlon coming up in 5 days so we got her fit and all set up with a tax free (thanks, Oregon!) wetsuit and then hit the road. No stop in Portland would be complete without getting a few Voodoo Doughnuts, so we made a quick stop before hitting the freeway and left with cold brews and a pink box full of yum and headed northward to Seattle.
We pulled into Seattle Tuesday in the early evening, just in time to meet with one of Jim’s athletes who offered us a free place to park with water and electric hookups – SCORE! The race we were set to do this weekend was also to be her first, so Jim spent a lot of extra time with her getting her race ready.
Having finally arrived in Seattle after our crazy rushed dash north, we finally had the time, space, and shore power to get some long overdue projects done. We spent the next couple of days going through our project box and finishing our curtains (which Heather hand-stitched!), putting up rods, racks, and pictures, cleaning, fixing and repairing “stuff” that has come up along our travels, and getting our home further ready for the 10 months ahead.
Heather got to enjoy some of the beautiful summer weather in Seattle on her first Burke-Gilman trail run (one of the more popular paths in the greater Seattle area for running/walking/cycling) before the rain came in. The last 24 hours in Seattle presented us with an unprecedented amount of downpour, even for Seattle!
Thursday morning we got packed up, topped off our water supply, and headed East across the state towards Spokane, for the upcoming Half Ironman 70.3 triathlon. We made it as far as the Walmart in Moses Lake before calling it a night and getting some rest on our last rest day before the big race.
Friday morning we finished the drive to Spokane, picking up our race packets in Spokane Valley and making a quick stop at AT&T for our new cell phones. This is Heather’s first foray into the light side, switching to Android from the dark side, iPhone…
We left the city and headed out to Medical Lake Waterfront Park and found a nice long parking spot that easily fit our 30’ RV with attached trailer and was about a 250 foot walk from the starting line of the race – double score!
Heather made a killer pre-race dinner and we got our transition and race gear all packed up and organized to take down in the morning. We relaxed, had wine, and went to bed early.
Saturday was race day! Only the second day we’ve had to use an alarm clock since the start of this trip and we were up early getting ready. We had our pre race routine down, with a light breakfast and coffee down the hatch before heading to transition area to get set up. We met up with several of Jim’s Seattle-based friends who were also racing and helped his first time athlete, Erica, double-check her setup for the race that was to be her first (I’ll never get these go-getters who choose a half Ironman for their first go at multisport!). The three of us headed to the water and got mentally ready to start the race. The cannon went off for Jim at 8:00am and then again at 8:05 for Erica and Heather.
While the lake was a bit chilly, we were very lucky to have almost perfect racing weather, after storms had been going like crazy all night and the weather forecast had predicted a very cold, wet, race. It was a gorgeous course, with every turn looking like a Windows XP Desktop – green pastures, farmhouses, and rolling hills. Jim finished the race first and with a 14 minute PR over his previous fastest 70.3 and an hour faster than his last race in St Croix (5 hours and 31 minutes). Heather came in 27 minutes after him, also a PR and also an hour faster than her St Croix time (5 hours and 58 minutes). As we had our post race snacks of chocolate milk and turkey sandwiches, we waited for the official results to come in – Heather had come in first in her age group and got to stand at the top of the podium with a gold medal!
We waited for Erica to finish her race (she also crushed it on her first Half Ironman) before returning to Bertha for some rest. The post race destruction of wet and sweaty clothes and grass, left our home in a bit of chaos….nothing that can’t be dealt with later! We drove off to find a surprisingly delicious Thai restaurant in the middle of a small town and then to nearest Walmart parking for some rest and a red box.
Sunday morning, after sleeping in nice and late, we found an IHOP (thanks for the gift card, Mom!) and then drove a couple hours west to Moses Lake. We set up camp at only the second RV park we’ve stayed at during the trip so far. It was a chance to get laundry and cleaning done (and the first mishap and with septic tank – ew!) and to get ourselves in back in order.
Heather got the inside of the RV squared away while Jim revamped the mobile garage (aka, the trailer) and took care of exterior RV maintenance. We got caught up, relaxed for the first time in our 2 person hammock, and enjoyed the rest of our day before making the long trip back west to stay with Heather’s friends in Bremerton.
Monday night we had a tasty steak feast, compliments of Joe and Amber, who are letting us park in their ultra long driveway for a couple of months days while we’re in town.
This next week is our first week of not being time crunched, so we have plans to continue building the business’ online presence and training for the next race, an Olympic distance triathlon in two weeks.
Total RV Trip Miles: 2,336