2015-08-03 - WA - Day 68 - Darrington to Snohomish
The next to last day reminded me of senioritis. I woke up to the squawking of birds. People were sluggish in getting up and on the road. We were told it was a 65-mile day but it turned out to be about 45 so plenty of time for us to relax. I left and rode alone through the trees, grasses, and mountains that have become familiar. I stopped at a store near Oso for a break to eat and check it out. While there, I saw quite a number of other cyclists from my group pass by. The store was quite interesting, possibly converted from a bank, with a menagerie of items ranging from household goods to a sizable candy section. Oso is the site of a 2014 mudslide. 2 days before my birthday that year, a major landslide occurred 4 miles east of Oso, killing 43 people. Caused by the collapse of a hill, it engulfed homes, destroyed roads, and flooded the land. I believe there is a monument or sign about this event now in the town itself. Even the outskirts of Oso I saw though, seemed a shell of its former self, closed stores and a distinct lack of people. Is it really the "partytown USA" as declared by the railroad bridge graffiti?
25 miles into the day brought us to Arlington. Many people stopped for lunch here. Having just ate at the store 10 miles back and hoping to get some work done in the library at Snohomish tonight, I decided to press on. I grabbed my laptop and other things I needed from the van and left with Amanda. We rode the whole 19 miles or so on the centennial trail to Snohomish. It was fun riding together at a relaxing pace. We talked about how we kind of started the journey together, she having stayed at the same rental house before the first week of riding. Now, that she is back riding these 5 days, it was fitting to ride together for some of it. She also told me about why she loved running and I told her about some of the things I wanted to do, like run a 50-mile event in a day. We stopped for a water and snack break close to Snohomish and saw 3 roller bladers on their 30-mile journey. I also fondly remember Joe and company passing us while yelling "This is an audible signal" in a robotic voice due to the signs on the road that said to always pass with an audible signal.
At Snohomish, we saw Bill wandering around town and I left the two of them to go work in the library for a few hours. The library was quite large and nice but as I've been realizing more and more, nice libraries do not necessarily mean fast Wi-Fi, especially for photo uploads. We were camping next to a large youth soccer field that night. Games were played and training held in a distant field. I set up my tent and saw that the portable toilets were a soccer-field length away. We were surprised by Bridget's parents and dog who brought us a large subway sandwich and platter. Two of Yong's friends showed up too. They had helped him out a lot when he was in need during his individual ride before he joined us. They brought delicious desserts for us to have. Even though I was quite full from dinner in town, I managed to scarf down one of those cakes. Showers were provided to us for free at an amazing aquatic center that seemed to be half swimming pool and half water park. I went into my tent to rest, tired, and listened about Robert Moses as others laughed in the distance. I found out later that a large group of the riders had gotten together to write comments on index cards about each other in a circle around a fire. That would have been a fun form of closure but being so burnt out by then, I did not regret not walking over to see what they were doing.