My Coach used to say “You can call me anything you want, just don’t call me late to dinner.” My stepdad Ken told us there’d be halibut waiting for us. That, plus the promise of hugs from parents I hadn’t seen in over six months made Seattle’s Thursday afternoon traffic even more unbearable.
Fortunately, the ferry to Whidbey Island has magical powers that instantly relax the shoulders and put you on what my Mom coined “island time.” For the last seven years they’ve called Washington home, though I call it their eternal summer camp. A mile walk around the neighborhood always lasts at least two hours because there’s a neighbor’s new tool that Ken has to check out, or an invitation to enjoy some freshly caught salmon. One of our walks was pleasantly sidetracked by a bonfire and s’mores on the spit by the water.
Our short few days on Whidbey were a whirlwind of bike prepping, truck maintenance, and blogging, punctuated by delicious meals. Even Mom’s vermiculture worms eat well here! Tyler and I ate more tri-tip steaks, brisket and cornbread, and homemade potato salad than we needed to, knowing that in a few days it would be pb&j sandwiches and ramen noodles for weeks.
After the community garage sale in which Tyler and I scored some great touring gear, Mom and Ken hosted a potluck. All of the neighbors, who are truly like an extended family now, laughed and ate as the sun set late into the June evening.
The night before we took off we sailed a strong wind over smooth waters to Kingston, savoring some leftovers with wine as the light fell behind the Olympic Mountains. They looked so far away considering we would be biking to them the next day.