Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Day #6: Deciding to Play Hookie

Today's Route: [Somewhere], WA to Winchester, ID (all by car)
Total Trip Miles (by bicycle): same as yesterday

I needed to make it as far as Winchester, ID by the evening. We decided that Eric would drive me to Clarkeston, just shy of the Idaho border, we'd grab a lunch together, and then we'd go our separate ways. That would leave me with the afternoon to bike the remaining 45-ish miles to Winchester.

At lunch, Eric had this look of deep thought on his face. I asked what he was thinking, and he said he'd rather spend another day birding and hanging out rather than going back to work the next day. With a little coaxing, Eric decided to play hookie.

Being conscientious and professional, Eric wanted to make sure that everything at work was in good order before taking the day off. So, we sat in the parking lot of the McDonalds for awhile borrowing their wifi. Eric worked on his laptop, and I caught up on some emails.

Eric, working from the car.

We're glad we didn't actually go into the McDonalds, as the parking lot provided a wonderful stage for people watching.

As we sat in the parking lot, flashes of lightening started to appear in the sky, and the rains began to fall. In more ways than one, I was pleased that Eric was playing hookie - not only would we get to hang out more, but now I didn't have to ride in the rain!

We drove to Winchester State Park. We chose a nice spot on the water. When we got out of the car, we were surprised to see a healthy campfire in the firepit. We joked that this was a "deluxe" campsite; having the campfire going wasn't too different from walking into a hotel room and seeing mints on the pillowcase.

The unusual coffin-shaped firepit.

Eric nursed the fire using wood from the abandoned site next door, and then we took a little hike around an interpretive trail at the park, again looking through the eyes of a binocular. Eric was impressed when I was able to point out a white-breasted nuthatch (you know, the birds that commonly hang upside down as they peck at trees for insects.) Yeah me!

You know you are with a bird expert when he points out that the trail sign depicting an osprey is drawn incorrectly. The drawing showed an osprey carrying a fish in its claws. The claws were side-by-side, and the bird was carrying the fish perpendicular to its body.

Only bird experts would know this isn't right; ospreys carry fish with one claw in front of the other. This enables the birds to fly more aerodynamically with the fish.

Sure enough, while we were at the campground, we saw an osprey swoop into the lake and rise from the water with a fish in its claws. Although I didn't have the binoculars to my eyes as I observed this, I'm sure one claw was in front of the other.

Throughout the day, poor Eric kept standing upwind and giving me subtle hints that I smelled like a woman who'd been biking for several days in the same clothes. I was in desperate need of a shower.

It was pretty cold at camp, and the showers didn't have a nozzle for hot and cold. So, I figured the showers would be cold. Surprisingly, the showers were luke warm.

Pressing the shower button would turn the shower on for about 30 seconds. Knowing that when the shower ended I would have to step out into the cold bathroom and dry off with my tiny pack towel, I kept pressing the button, just like a cocaine addict continually going back for her next hit.

After saying, "I'll turn off the water after three more button presses. No, five more. No, nine more," I finally worked up the courage to be done. I turned off the water, shivered so much that I stopped shivering, pulled on my big girl panties (figuratively, of course), and then headed back to camp for some shut eye.

Thank you, Eric, for the lovely diversion. I'm so glad we were able to hang out.

Me & Eric.

Moral of today's blog entry: When in doubt, play hookie.

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