So when I last left y’all, I had told you that Michelle and I had had one HELLUVA busy weekend last week. (See That was a busy 36 hours!) I will tell you that the week did slow down a bit, and I was NOT rushing near as much as last Saturday.
I had no problems making it to Spokane, or to my hotel. Sadly, in the continued effort to keep costs down at the Mighty P, I was not able to stay downtown. Our office is in the Spokane Valley, about 8 miles east of downtown. Hotels are MUCH cheaper there.
This means, that if I truly wanted to visit Spinbitch, I would have to be on the road by 4:20 AM to make sure I had time to melt the windshield frost and get to class. I decided it was NOT worth the effort… Therefore no spin classes.
I was also not within walking distance of my favorite Italian place, the Italian Kitchen, so food was much less exciting.
But, on the plus side, the office was only a mile away, and I did have an Azteca and Taco Time close by! I did NOT starve.
I was very lucky this week. First off, the two people in my class were very smart! Also. when taught in person, instead of remotely as I did the previous week, they are much more fun to be around. It made the days go quickly.
However, after the previous weekend I was still exhausted. After work, I would go to the hotel, bundle up in my new Mountain Hardwear gear, and go have dinner. By 6:30, I was laying in bed reading. Yep, party animal I am!
I do have to share this, the Spokane office of the Mighty P has a life-sized statue of Sasquatch, outside the meeting room named the same! He was trying to be incognito this week.
Well along about Tuesday I realized that these two were SO smart, we were going to be done two days early. I hopped on the phone, and soon I was booked for the last flight out-of-town Wednesday night! YES heading home early!
Wednesday was a bit of a surprise, though, snow made a brief visit!
I knew a big dump was due Friday, so I had rented an SUV, but this one came out of nowhere! It was a bit slippery as I made the Starbuck run and gassed up the rig, but with the 4 wheel drive I had no issues!
AND, it just turns out it was the office Christmas lunch, Bar B Cue, biscuits and cupcakes! YUM!
After work, I decided to head straight to the airport and try for an earlier flight. As I left, I was surprised to see a hot air balloon coming in for a landing at the Mall. Sadly my camera had already been packed. Turns out it was NOT a planned landing.
I got to the airport, got right through TSA and up to the counter. I asked to be put on the wait list, only to be told. “It is a VERY long list, however, if you’d like to pay the $25 same day change flight fee, I can get you on the flight that leaves in 10 minutes.” My debit card appeared as if magic!! And I was on a plane 4 hours early!
The only downside, or so I thought, was that I had a window seat. I normally prefer the aisle so I can get up quickly when we land. Or, if I need a restroom, I don’t have to make someone move. But, for a much earlier flight, I was willing to suck it up!
I am SO glad I did. As we left, I saw the most amazing sundown going on. Again, I wished I had the real camera, but the iPhone cam will have to suffice. (Sorry about the dirty windows)
I kept putting the book down and just looking outside… just wow…
Thursday also dawned bright and sunny. From my desk I had a great sunrise! And for any who wondered what this place I work for that I have dubbed the Mighty P, this photo will show you!
Coincidently, it was the Lynnwood Christmas lunch! Ham and potatoes au gratin and cookies! (they ran out of ham and taters, and had to order Jimmy Johns, glad I eat early!)
Friday, the clouds and drizzle came, BUT this meant the temps warmed up and there was no ice on the road. Finally, after 15 days, I could finally ride to work! Round trip cut off 10 more miles on the quest to 5000!
Today dawned cloudy, but dry and not icy. After breakfast, and a quick cleaning of a VERY crunchy dirty chain, I tool off on long outside ride! Damn that felt good. Even the small rain squall at 17 miles didn’t dampen my happiness.
At one point, I had to stop for a photo, I had just passed my llama buddy who is always there on this route (old photo)
When I looked over and saw the coolest clouds on the mountains, And you know my rule, if I think its cool, I stop for a photo!
Winter riding in the Northwest just lends itself so some of the best scenery and photos. Nope I will never be a real photographer, but I will always take pics to share.
As I passed this area, it hit me. Last night, in looking at my Strava App (tracks miles and elevation on a bike) I found I had climbed 169,000 feet. After this spot, the climbing was almost done for the day, and I knew I had added 2000 more feet. Folks, per my Amazon Echo, I have climbed 32 miles on my bike this year! Nope, you know I do not brag, but damn I was surprised!
Soon, I found myself on the Sammamish River trail for the last leg of the ride. I passed this point, but something caught my eye, so I turned around to look again. I thought I saw something, but clearly the camera says differently.
But I kept watching and kept camera close. sure as hell, I DID see something.
This little guy, and some of his friends, were swimming up-stream. One of them decided to pose for me out of the water!
After 8 plus year of riding on this trail, I finally got photos of some of the river otters who live here! As I have said time and again, there is NO better way to spot nature than on the back of a bike! But you do have to pay attention! I was in the right place at the right time!
In the end, today’s ride was 46 miles, I have 92 miles left to hit 5000!
When I got home, Michelle and I made a second Starbucks run, and stopped into the local Thriftway to visit Santa (and donate to his food drive)
The rest fo the afternoon was spent wrapping presents and watching Christmas shows. The first being Diehard (YES it IS a Christmas movie!)
And then Rudolph!
All in a great day and NOT so bad a week!