This week marks both the start of a new month and an entire month of living on the road full time; we’re starting to feel more settled into this lifestyle and into living in a smaller space. This week has been another eventful one full of triathlon, sickness, and adventure.
Following our last update, we had a couple of rather uneventful days. This is becoming the routine as the middle of the week has become our time for getting some work done and being productive. We spent last Tuesday at the library in Bremerton, got our grocery shopping done, and snuck in a short swim and run in the evening. These were the last few days we had to spend in our glamorous Bremerton driveway, Wednesday was also a work day combined with some relaxing reading time.
Thursday we decided we should get out to Seattle one last time, we still had one big item to check off our to do list – riding the Burke-Gilman trail out to wine country! The Burke is a 27 mile long, luxurious trail that runs from central Seattle, through University of Washington, along Lake Washington to Sammamish River, and into Woodinville. We spent the morning getting our bicycles ready and raced down around noon to catch the ferry across to Seattle. Once across, we rode our bikes through downtown to meet up with one of Jim’s friends and clients who was to join us for the ride. Once we arrived at our destination, we decided the obvious best course of action was to stop at the Red Hook brewery for a beer and a happy hour burger. Once our stomach’s were refilled, we rode over to the wineries…to discover that most of them close at 5pm. The long ferry ride, long bike ride, and lunch stop had taken more time than we planned, so we missed the winery visits and instead found some tasting rooms open until 6pm. Mark Ryan Winery was our first stop, where we had a flight of tasters, followed by a bottle of Malbec split into three at the William Church tasting room. As you can imagine, the ride home became a little more interesting after wine tasting. But we booked it back as quickly as we could, though sadly not quickly enough to catch the 9pm ferry back to Bremerton. So instead, we rode through downtown Seattle in search of somewhere to eat at almost 10pm…and this is where Heather decided to have her very first bike spill. Twisting and turning, searching for a restaurant, and dodging pedestrians after 50 miles on a bike, she just fell over in the middle of all the action. She pulled herself together enough to grab a quick gyro before jumping on the 10:30 ferry. Arriving back on the Bremerton side at 11:30 pm, we still had a 2 mile bike ride uphill to face. It was a crazy long day, we left just before noon and arrived back at Bertha at almost midnight. But it was well worth it as it was a lot of fun to ride the trail and we all really enjoyed each other’s company (and all the wine).
Friday brought the day it was finally time to leave Bremerton. We spent the first part of the day preparing for our departure – loading everything up, filling water, unhooking power, finding a place to dump the sewage, and then stopping at Discount Tire for two new tires on the trailer (this makes 9 total tires purchased since we got Bertha). Once the RV maintenance was complete, we set sail for Lake Wilderness for tomorrow’s triathlon. Jim had been feeling under the weather all day so he went to take a little nap while Heather drove the hour or so southeast of Bremerton. He woke up to Heather having missed a critical turn and getting Bertha stuck on an uphill with no room to turn around (this is why she doesn’t drive very often). This led to a fun sequence of events…attempting a many point turnaround ending in smoke and spewing transmission fluid from Bertha. Sigh. It was nearly dark at this point so we had to unload the motorcycle and disconnect the trailer (keep in mind we’re in the middle of the road at this point) while a nice passerby helped us push Bertha (yes, push her), a little way down the hill so we could at least move her to the side of the road. Jim did a bit of research before racing off on the motorcycle to an O’Reilly Auto Parts store where he was able to load up on advice and transmission fluid with 10 minutes to spare before they closed. Luckily, that all paid off and we were able to start Bertha up and move her to where she was supposed to be many hours before that. We had a nice pasta dinner and got to bed later than we would have liked before a race the next day…definitely could have been much worse though!
Saturday morning – our second race day since beginning the journey! Being that the prior evening didn’t allow for any pre-race prep, we were up extra early to get ready. Super lucky for us, we were able to park our home right at the starting line (there may have been a few people who were more than a little annoyed with us and the six parking spots Bertha requires). We rose at 5:00am with Eye of the Tiger blaring, had our coffee, prepped the bikes, set up our transition areas, and downed some pre-race carbs. We got it all done in time to help another of Jim’s clients to prep her gear and make sure she was ready for her first ever triathlon. It was a truly gorgeous morning at the lake and we slipped into our wetsuits with minutes to spare before the gun went off. As previously mentioned, Jim wasn’t feeling well the day before and as much as Heather tried to talk him out of doing the race, he wasn’t having it. We set off at the exact same time (usually we go in waves so Jim has a head start) and saw each other a few times throughout the course, the first time being when Heather kicked him in the face during the swim. This was a shorter race than our previous two, this was an Olympic Triathlon so it was a .93 mile swim, a 28 mile bike ride, and a 6.2 mile run. As per the usual, Jim beat Heather on the bike but she closed the gap on the run, finishing only 4 minutes behind him overall (he was sick so that probably means he gets a little slack!). Jim still had his Olympic PR and Heather came in 2nd overall in the 30-39 female age group. After the race, a shower, and some lunch, the weather had really heated up (the end of the race was starting to get really warm) so we decided to get out of dodge and head toward our next destination of Port Angeles. We pulled in after dark and set up camp for the evening in a lovely Walmart parking lot.
Sunday proved to be another very warm day so after waking up in a parking lot with zero shade, we made it our life mission to find somewhere cooler. We found an RV park in Port Angeles and headed out toward Lake Sutherland to check into our home for the day. We got Bertha settled into a shady spot, plugged in the shore power so we could use the air conditioning, and spent the rest of the day doing some cleaning, laundry, and relaxing in our hammock…the air out in the woods smelled so fresh and delicious, it was just what the doctor ordered.
Monday was the best day of the week, we decided to make it adventure day! We parked Bertha in a safe spot (ok Walmart again) and headed out on the motorcycle for a day trip to see the Olympic Peninsula. The trip started with mountain after mountain of green trees, as far as the eye could see. We then cruised past Lake Crescent, a truly stunning sight to see with water so blue it almost looks tropical. We made it out to Forks where we decided it was time for a nice Mexican lunch before heading on to the beach at La Push (this is all very exciting if you happen to be a fan of the Twilight books…which we’ve both read all of them). The beaches up here are so much more rugged than the beaches in Southern California so we enjoyed some exploration time before starting the journey back. As we pulled back into Port Angeles, we noticed the sun was still out and warm (this whole sunsetting at 9pm thing is still weird) so we pulled off the road at Lake Sutherland and spent an hour reading and basking in the day’s final rays of sun.
Stay tuned for what next week has in store…
Total RV Trip Miles: 2,645