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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Riding With Friends

There was no rain forecast for Saturday February 6th, according to one online weather site. But other “reliable” sites forecast rain for Saturday and sunshine on Sunday. Flip a coin!

A friend sent out an impromptu invitation to ride the bikes and go look for eagles. I had been cooped up in the house with too many issues to deal with and even though my heated gear is still on back order with no due date to arrive, and the weather was only going to be in the high 40’s or low 50’s, I wanted to ride. Friday night I laid out every piece of warm clothing I could find and would have to hope for 50’s in the afternoon. At least we didn’t have to be on the road until 9:00 AM.

We met our friends at the Alger Tavern for coffee and when our group was assembled we said goodbye to Gary who rode down to have his second cup of coffee with us and even though he couldn’t ride with us today, he wished us well.

Dave L. and Jan, Kaye and Rob, Dave M. Harmon, and Larry and I set off on a scouting expedition to Sedro Woolley, up the N. Skagit Highway, Rockport, Darrington for lunch, Arlington, Big Lake, Clear Lake, Sedro Woolley and home.

This was Harmon’s first trip out on his new trike on a group ride and his longest ride. He has a red trike just like ours, well not exactly like ours--Larry has added a lot more bling to ours, but yes, they are both Tri Glides.

Dave L. saw his first eagle just as we turned onto N. Skagit highway. The road was in pretty good shape and because it is still February, even with the sun shining, there were not many bikes out to crowd the roadway. Dave M. stopped several times for photos opportunities but he has better eyesight than some of us because, even when we stopped the bikes right underneath the trees, the rest of us had a hard time seeing the eagle perched high in the tree tops.

Looking out at the farmland on either side of the river you could clearly see the skeletons of the deciduous trees with their branches wrapped in bright green moss, some of it hanging a foot or more off the limbs. An occasional evergreen or a grouping of ferns kept the landscape from looking like a typical winter landscape.
There was an occasional donkey, sheep, llama, or cow in the pastures next to the road but it was the Belgian horses in their thick winter coats looking huge and stately that made me take a second look over my shoulder as we went past. They didn’t bolt and run like a lot of horses do when a Harley passes by with loud pipes. No these majestic animals just stood and stared at the iron horses going by.

We took a pit stop before Rockport where we turned our bikes toward Darrington for lunch. Kaye and Dave M. bunched up a second table to the booth so the whole group could sit together and talk during lunch. Everyone who had the fries agreed they might be the best fries ever because they were crunching on the outside and soft on the inside. I was ready for something warm to drink, hot chocolate with whip cream with refills. Full stomachs and we were back on the road.

We drove to Arlington, Lake McMurray in Conway, and around Big Lake where we took our last pit stop. We passed through Clear Lake and into Sedro Woolley were Harmon broke off and continued up highway 9 headed home and the rest of the group went west on Prairie Road to the freeway and home. One by one we peeled off until it was just Larry and me on the last few miles of freeway to Ferndale.

It was a great day with friends even if it started out a little cold; I wouldn’t have wanted to stay home. These are the friends and memories you want to treasure and share.

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