24 June 2010

Father’s Day 2010 – A Picnic Well Done

It was a rainy day in paradise. Yeah, right. So what else is new? This is the wettest June since at least 2001 and perhaps will go down as one of the wettest Junes in Seattle history. This after one of the wettest Mays which followed a wet April which trailed right behind a wet March which kinda surprised us after having such a pleasant warm and dry February, but I do digress.

It all started out pleasant enough. It rained all morning. We had to be SOMEWHERE, but nobody would tell ol' Boothby the secret location, but he wanted to ride down to Leschi for an espresso at Pert's Deli and was pleased to be informed that this could happen, that it wasn't really too far outta the way. So Mimi and I are all geared up with rain pants, booties, Showers Pass jackets and after about a half hour of preparation for a 7 mile ride head out expecting a good soaking. The rain has suddenly quit.. And it is 56 degrees. Now we're on steamy pavement in personal saunas looking like we're one tank short of a full scuba outfit and set off toward Leschi. By the time we get to the bottom of the hill, I'm ready to take off all this stuff, but decide I'll wait since it's only about 5 miles and we're riding along slowly enough that I am able to watch two banana slugs race by heading north. I never did catch up to them.

Finally, we arrive at Pert's Deli and spend almost a half hour drinking an espresso, chatting with Max and Mae and finally, Mimi says its time to leave, but still won't tell me where. As we head out, continuing north toward Madrona, it starts to sprinkle again. Now, of course, we don't have any rain gear (or rain deer) because we'd done that quick change think at Pert's. I'm supposed to be following her, but she won't lead. The best I can get is her riding on my shoulder whispering sweet instructions in my ear.

"Turn Left," she says.

Wow! I'm impressed. Mimi is telling me to turn UP a hill. I ask her how far up the hill we're going and she says we're looking for Maiden Lane. I let her know that is right up about the top of the hill. Cool! I love this route. There's some really awesome century old houses on this street I enjoy scoping when I ride to and from work sometimes. We get to Maiden Lane. "Don't turn yet," she says. Another half block, and we cruise by Denny Blaine Park which consists of a large covered bus stop shelter, a duck pond and is one of Seattles's "quarter acre parks" that Megan and I scouted last year and thought it would be fun to have a picnic and croquet tournament. Just to PO the neighbors if nothing else. Well, as we cruise past, here is TOM, #2 son, inside the shelter. And Megan #2 son's #1 wife and one of my favorite tandem stokers. And Josiah, #1 son. Now THIS is an awesome way to spend Father's Day. And to make it better, they've made the church bells start chiming to announce my grand entrance!

To make a full fledged novel into something just one chapter shy of a boring English assignment, I'll be brief. After 2 hours of hanging out,
Megan teaching Mimi to play bocce,

me enjoying the scenic beauty of the duck pond and water lillies:

feasting on flank steak, grilled asparagus and fennel,

incredible potato salad (WITH BACON!!!), roasting marshmallows over the coals

and then finishing off with nice hot fresh coffee,

it was time to take a moment to appreciate just what a couple of fine young sons I have

then pack it all up and head back home.

By now, though, we've been watching the rain come, then watch it come down and watch it settle in over the hill in this misty, almost foggy fully drenching and all consuming wet Sunday afternoon.

It may be the last day of spring and the second longest day of the year but it looks like January an hour before dark. All the cars have their lights on. The temp has dropped to 51 degrees and we gear up again with our booties, rain pants, Showers Pass jackets, wool caps, helmets, turn on the lights and after hugs and kisses all around, Mimi and I set off up 34th heading south. At the top of the hill, we head over to MLK Way and as we're dropping off the hill Mimi says she wants to go up Cheasty Boulevard instead of to the north end of Beacon and up 18th. OK, I think. This is TWO big hill climbs that she is actually choosing to ride. Maybe she's getting ready to climb Washington Pass next weekend?

We've no sooner started up Cheasty when Mimi hollers out, "STOPPING!"

"What's up?" I holler back.

"I've got a flat" she says. She was NOT happy.

Sure enough, I check it out and her rear tire is flat. Really flat. Like not a bit of air left. "What do I do?" she says.......

In the rain, of course! We've just stopped and I've leaned Katrina up against a tree and it starts to rain harder.

Her bike is filthy! She pulls out a tube and wrenches while I start to remove the wheel. I quickly strip the tire and tube out and start feeling around, but can't find anything inside. She finds a small puncture, but we never do find anything in the tire itself so install a new tube and air it up. It took me less than 10 minutes.

After I wash my hands in a mud puddle,

and dry them off on some big leaves
(note to readers; at this point Donald was particularly happy because he wasn't able to get ENOUGH flats to participate in a thread on Bike Journal which involved simply bragging about flats. So he was able to use MY flat for this purpose - Mimi)

(then a 'finish drying' on my wool knickers) we're off again towards home. Mimi is much happier now.

While the flat was a bit of an inconvenience to me, I have to say that this was the most fun rainy Father's Day I've had since the infamous Father's Day Ride of 1992 when my sons and I with 2 of their friends rode a 25 mile ride to Green Lake and back to get ice cream - in pouring rain.

No comments: