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Friday, May 14, 2010

Spanaway, Tacoma, Washington

SAM & ME covered 24 miles yesterday, after a grueling climb up Portland Avenue hill in Tacoma. Left hip started acting up during that climb...one more thing to occupy my time...goes with the territory I guess.

Bright sunny all day. Solar Panels pumped out watts into RED which ran nearly 8 hours, consuming tons of electrons on that big climb. SAM performed beautifully all day and literally pulled me up the hills. Been a week & half since we did any serious walking and wow am I out of shape.

Stopped in at Harley-Davidson, Fife, where Owner, Ed met SAM & ME. We thanked Ed for hosting the (Wednesday) Discovery Channel interview, which did not happen...after the fact, Discovery folks said they postponed the interview until later...and were so busy as to not think it important enough to let me know of the postponement...so, wasted a 1/2 day. Ed was the magnificent host...admiring SAM and offering me lunch at their inside Deli. All in all, a most pleasant visit to H-D Fife.

After the postponed interview, I drove the motorcycle to Vancouver H-D, where she is safe inside their storage building. Then drove Van/Trailer back to Federal Way, parked at Son, Ron's home.

Yesterday, SAM & ME left Ron's about 10:30 am and SAM promptly had a flat tire from a blackberry thorn. Cell-phoned Ron..."Help"...a few minutes later he showed up with Van/Trailer. We loaded SAM into the trailer and drove to the "Bike Shop" on 336th avenue, where in 30 minutes or so, the ever-so-kind/efficient owner replaced both of SAM's 20 inch tires and tubes with heavy duty ones lined with Kevlar reinforcing (put baby powder to lubricate the tube-tire interface). Ron drove SAM back to the point of the flat. SAM & ME resumed our walk while Ron drove Van/Trailer back to his home...to be recovered when I drive the motorcycle back from Vancouver after SAM & ME complete our walk there in the next week or so...still 120 miles to go to Vancouver.

As evening approached while walking down Pacific Avenue , a curious fellow standing along the roadway hailed us. Saw you walking earlier climbing Portland Avenue...and here you are again on the "Ave". You really walking to Key West....we chatted for a few minutes...Where you staying for tonight?...Well, why not come stay in our yard...have dinner with us...Maybe a shower...Perhaps you could put SAM into our garage with power to charge up her batteries...And maybe you would like to sleep in our motor home instead of setting up your tent...

Oh, my! Another 3 miles along, Aaron & his puppy meets us along 168th and we walk through his "average America neighborhood" to his home on a culdasac in a neighborhood just full of young kids playing in the street. Met Christie & Sons Tanner & Kevin. Enjoyed lengthy conversation...did a bit if HD filming...and devoured the Alaskan Halibut Aaron cooked up. Two neighbor girls, Bree and Bianca came over to join the conversation which went on until after 1100 pm. Then all went off to bed. In the early morning, Aaron went off to his truck driving job; Kevin got a ride to his concrete barrier construction (for freeway walls) company, and Christie fired up her beautiful Bethel School District bus, which she brings home every night for the past eleven years to get an early morning (6 am ) route picking up kids for school.

Sensational news: A stabbing (between students) in the High School classroom.

Now 10:30 am. SAM is all loaded up ready for our day's walk. We head down Hwy 507 behind the Army Base, Fort Lewis towards Centralia 40 miles away. Bright sun again and promise of more of the same the next 3 days at least.

Hard to leave such nice folks, but "bye" to Aaron, Christie and boys...and cannot ever thank you all for taking in this "lonely" walker.

For Fred, Melanie, Lanie & Muriel....please keep in touch.

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