Sunday, October 6, 2013

Best Birthday Party Ever!

Jeffy celebrated moving up to a new age group and a new decade by inviting his friends to bring their toys and join him at his cabin on Hood Canal for a day of playing, cakes, and ale.  What an awesome idea -- I looked forward to the day all week!  On Saturday morning I loaded up my car with road bike, roller skis, helmet, a variety of shoes and boots, poles, water bottles, beer, cake, and a bunch of clothes, and met part of the group at the early ferry to Kingston.  After a stop for ice cream and ice in Kingston, we caravanned to the cabin.

After all the stormaliciousness of the past few weeks, we were happy to see that it was shaping up to be a perfect October day, with crisp air and sunshine and no rain in the forecast.  It was an ethereal early morning there on the water, and while we waited for the air to warm up and other people to get there, Max and I grabbed cameras and headed out for a beach walk.

Then, when we had critical mass, Jeffy led us on a fantastic bike ride through the rolling hills near Hansville, out to the Point No Point lighthouse, and back along winding country roads.  It was a spectacular ride, especially for a city commuter like me: light traffic, autumn colors, brisk clean air, ocean, sand dunes, driftwood, cows, birds, green fields, vineyards ... a gorgeous ride.

We got back to the cabin, grabbed some of Joy's scrumptious home-made power bars, switched to  mountain biking gear, and headed back out on the road.  Max turned out to be a real trouper: he brought an extra mountain bike for me to borrow and then, once we got to the trails and he realized I was completely inept as a mountain biker, he waited for me at the tricky spots and showed me the best lines to take through the gnarly roots and steep little bumps.  Jeffy had advertised the ride as non-technical, but that's because he's really good; Max labeled it more like "intermediate to advanced moderate."  Either way, it was beyond my skill level, but the forest was beautiful in the sunshine, and as I careened around corners, smacked into trees, stumbled over roots, and hiked my bike up (and down) almost every hill, I could totally see why, if you actually knew how to do this, it could be a super fun sport!

(no pictures of mountain biking; my camera was safely zipped into Max's pocket, but we did see one person who didn't survive the ride)

Then ... lunch time!  We made it back to the cabin to dive into chili, cornbread, salad, meatballs, quiche, and all kinds of other goodies, oh, and beer.  After lunch, before we could get too comfortable out on the deck gazing at Hood Canal and the Olympics, we geared up for Sport #3.  One group headed out for a bike ride, and Jeffy took the rest of us on a great little roller ski, down to the marina, back up the hill, and through a rolling nearby neighborhood.  There was zero traffic, the roads were smooth and perfect, and the scenery was unbeatable.

We considered another loop, then remembered that cakes and ale were waiting for us back at the cabin, so we hurried back.  There, Jeffy opened silly presents and funny cards and we ate cake and drank beer and laughed and talked.  And then, Sport #4!  This was scheduled to be water sports, so Jeffy and Marion headed out into the bay in a surf ski and a kayak.  Robin and I had talked about trying stand-up paddling -- there was the SUP board and the super-long paddle, right there in the yard, but by now, the sun was sinking and the air was crisping and the prospects of falling into the cold ocean were just too daunting.  So we decided that land SUPping was just as good, and that's what we did, first me, then Robin, then both of us in the very advanced, highly technical tandem land SUPping.

Finally, reluctantly, it was time to go.  With a flurry of ferry schedules, packing, and goodbye hugs, we piled into our cars and headed for Kingston.  There, just to put the cherry on a wonderful sundae of a day, a pinky gold sunset decorated the sky over the ferry dock.

What a wonderful day.  Thank you thank you, JeffnJoy, for making it happen!

(PS. If you just can't get enough beach photos, all of my pictures are here:

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