July 29, 2001

7/29/01 Port Townsend, WA

70.5 / 5414 miles

I think the Marque de Sade that designed this section of the route should be commended on a job well done. Like yesterday, I took roads not through town, but up and over. Names like "Pacific Heights" and "Ludlow Ridge" give you the flavor. And these increases in elevation would possible be worth it if I had a view but I'm surrounded by gargantuan trees.

The weather was mostly cloudy although I did see some blue sky from time to time. I lost my shoulder but traffic wasn't bad for a Sunday. One thing, no one waved today or yesterday. I think I'm out of the rural areas and too close to the cities. Too many people in a hurry to no where.

Saw these two foraging alongside the highway

Silverdale was having 'Whaling Days' so I stopped to wander among the booths. A boat was on display from "Three Years on a 12-foot Boat" because the author is from the area. I got a free long distance call at the Sprint booth but just got mom's answering machine. Passed the submarine base at Bangor, WA.

Took a break at the Kitsap Memorial State Park. Seems the park is a popular starting point for a lot of bicycle day trips. Several couples stopped to talk, one even on a tandem. Continued to try and call my cousin, Dorene in Oak Harbor but no luck. On the other hand, Jon Meullner, a friend from the internet said I was welcome to their guest room if I wanted it. Cool!

"You're just in time." Jon said. The whole family was headed over to a friends for a potluck dinner to watch the final stage of the Tour de France, the world's most famous bicycle race. After getting cleaned up, I joined Jon, his wife Kerry and daughter Perry, for the ride (in a car) across town.

Besides running a successful internet web-design firm with his wife, Jon is president of the Port Townsend Bicycle Alliance and also president of the Chamber of Commerce. His wife, Kerry is also heavily involved in leadership roles in the community, so much so they both have been approached to run for city council.

Dinner was great, and quite a departure for me. I had pumpkin soup and what I thought were sliced strawberries were in fact smoked salmon. A wonderful salad and bread completed the meal. Plus a Fat Tire Ale (what else!) to wash it down.

During commercial breaks, I was amazed at how knowledgeable my new friends were on the Tour de France and other big races. And four and three quarter year old Perry was not to be denied her spotlight either.

The main even was watching Lance Armstrong of the US Postal Team win his third straight Tour de France. Other riders said Lance was just unstoppable this year. He has been such an inspiration to so many because of his fight against cancer, then to restart a racing career that surpassed anything he'd done previously. Hey, he lives in Austin TX. Maybe he'll come and ride with me a bit.

Lance Wins!

Back at the house, we talked about a wide range of subjects, from living in Port Townsend to traveling around the world. Jon and his family seem to have found a good mix but as Perry gets older, Jon and Kerry are kindred wanderers. They'd like to tour some as a family but are also looking for an extended trip to Europe.

Again, I found a cyber-cyclist angel in Jon and his family when they opened their home to this road-weary traveler. It's people like this that make the miles all worth it.