yep, we did it. Aaron and I got of town on our own. Just us and the bikes! Everybody warned us that we would miss True more than it would be worth, and miss the kid we did, but it was worth it!
We intended to be on the road by 6am so that we could start our first mountain bike ride by 9am (with the intention of beating the heat). You might guess now that we didn't roll out of bed until well past departure time. Our next intention was to get out of the house before True woke up so he wouldn't freak out when we left (or, at least we wouldn't have to witness a freak out). That didn't quite work out either, but at least True seemed to care less one way or the other. He had Grandma and he had his blocks, what else did he need?!
We finally hit the road at 8am, stopping for egg sandwiches and coffee at Neptune on our way out. This event may seem relatively unimportant and in itself it may be....but let me tell you....my life was changed by this Neptune egg sandwich. I don't like eggs much, I force myself to eat them every now and then, but I savored every last bite of this egg sandwich! Aaron and I couldn't stop talking about them!
Next up was a brief stop at the Ranger station to get a trail head parking pass and some information about trail conditions. We got the pass, but not much info about the trail I wanted to ride. Did I mention yet that it was well past 10:00am and getting HOT?
We did run into a Ranger further down the road who told us that the upper trails hadn't been cleared yet from winter, but he didn't expect conditions to be too bad since there had not been any big windstorms that winter. He neglected to mention that the upper trails were still closed because of SNOW! We found that out from two motorcycle riders who started when we did, but made it to the top while we were only 1/2 hour into the climb. It was super hot and I lt about as strong as I did after giving birth. I had nothing! Aaron was WAY ahead of me, riding single speed (I foolishly thought that Aaron riding single speed would some how equalize us. ha! It's only opened the gap wider).
We finally made it to the top of the climb and cooled off in the snow melt river. I was shivering, but that only lasted a few moments and then I was complaining about the heat again. It must have been at least 95! We ate pb&js, remounted our bikes and started our descent. I was excited to try this section of trail on my new fancy full suspension bike. I was determined to rock it! About 10 seconds later I found myself sailing through the air (uh, without the bike), headed towards a rock. I had enough time to think to myself, "hmmm, here comes a rock for my face, I better tuck my head. Jeez, I wonder if I'm going to die. Huh, I wonder who will take care of my boys if I do". I hit hard, crumpled and lay there, wondering if I was dead or alive. Turns out I was alive and I started to cry like a little girl. Aaron heard the crash and called up to me to see if I was ok. "NOOO!", and I cried some more. He hiked back up to me and unfolded my crumpled up body to examine the damage. Not much damage for so much carrying on. I had nice scrapes on my left arm and the immediate start of what would be a significant bruise. He dusted me off, gave me a kiss, checked my bike for damage and then said, "let's go babe". I couldn't believe that I did not have a broken limb or a broken head and I only thought, "he's being so cavalier about my injuries". Honestly, Aaron was just being realistic- I WASN'T that hurt, he knew that blood and bruises weren't a big deal, and he wasn't about to coddle me like I was some delicate little girl who couldn't handle it. Later Aaron explained that his first thought when he saw me on the ground was that any chance he had of getting lucky that night went away at that moment (and he was pretty much right about that).
And we were off. We crossed snowfields, blown down, raging snow melt streams. What should have been a 3 hour ride took us 4 hours. I'll take the blame for the slow pace- pregnancy combined with heat and a crash took a big toll on me. I had a great time, but I was slightly embarrassed and spent the next week apologizing for my poor performance (oh, it got worse with Sunday's ride).
We stopped at Lake Wenatchee for a quick dip to cool and clean off. Have you ever been to Lake Wenatchee on a hot day? I don't if I can adequately describe the crowd that hangs out at this lake, and it might do me well to just leave it at that.
Next stop, Leavenworth, a Bavarian village in the Washington Alps! The town was PACKED with tourists and what must have been attendees of a Volkswagen rally. I've never seen so many souped up Jettas in my life- fancy wheels, spoilers, all kinds of other car-culture crap that I'll never understand (never-ever). This was not our scene, so we grabbed a gelato and continued on to our little shack on the river.
Bindlestiff's (yep, you read it right), is this quaint and rustic little strip of land on the Wenatchee River just out of town. The owner has 6 cabins (more like shacks) right on the river bank. They are not fancy by any means, but each has sliding glass doors to a little deck overlooking the water. I love this place for that. We promptly opened the glass doors and feel asleep to the sound of the river, raging river this time of year. Taking a nap that time of day, with no worries, is a rare luxury when you have a kid(s). I had to pinch myself to see if it was real.
Rested and showered, we were off for our dinner reservation at Visconti's. We were there on time, but we would have to wait longer for an outdoor table. Not a problem for us, we had no timeline to worry about. This is where we started our experience of a series of fatal blunders made by the staff which will keep us from returning to Visconti's. In short: 1.Aaron had a 1/2 pour of preseco from the bartender who insisted that was a normal pour (really? You're going to argue with me about it? She did....). 2.Our waitress promised us bread and olive oil 3 times in a span of an hour only to come through after we had finished our first course (and during this time, I watched a neighboring table receive 2 baskets of bread). 3.We had to repeatedly ask for drinks that were ordered. But here was the good part, that made it all bearable- we had the absolute best seat on the patio with an insane view of the mountains and the subsequent sunset that was breathtaking.
Back at Bindlestiff's, Aaron's prediction of not getting lucky was correct and we were both asleep within ten minutes (sorry baby).
A quick coffee at Starbuck's, yogurt and bagels from Safeway, a map from the bike shop, and we were on our way to ride Freund Canyon, the infamous location of the Leavenworth Bike and Brew's mountain bike race. I wanted to ride, but I wasn't looking forward to the 100 degree heat, not the steep downhill that I had heard so much about. I was still nursing my bruised ego and by badly bruised arm! But, of course, that was not going to stop us. We headed up the relatively short dirt road climb which seemed like it look forever. I was just too hot and pretty vocal about it. We reached the descent and HELLO! I was off my bike and walking for a ways. I had zero interest in crashing again and this steep, sandy downhill was a recipe for disaster for a rider with a bad attitude. I had heard that every year somebody breaks a bone coming down that thing and I wasn't about to be another casualty. I couldn't wait for that ride to be over and it was very soon after. (btw, Aaron rocked it, of course. He's got mad skills).
Back in the car, back to the lake to cool off, and happily, back to our sweet little boy True. We missed him!