Sunday, May 18, 2014

1st S24O o' 14

Maddie and I went to Riverside State Park last night for a quick overnighter. Maddie has done this overnighter before on a bike. This was Maddie's first bona fide S24O completely under her own power. She totally rocked it. No big whoop.

And: being a cyclist using the "Bike Only" sites was a breeze.

Maddie: age 3. Preparing for her first S24O.

The first time Maddie did this trip she was three years old (8 years ago -- almost to the day) and she was a passenger on the Xtracycle. That was the dreaded trip where we got turned away at the gates of RSP because they were "full." It was an epically miserable night: we were camped off in the woods a couple miles north down the trail; Maddie had diarrhea, there was no bathroom near by. And then it got freakishly cold that night; we woke up to frost on the inside of the tent. The ride home the next morning at about 6 AM was a friggin death march. As a result -- I wrote a letter to the RSP ranger folk and they created some bike/hike-in sites.

Maddie: Age 4 -- on her first S24O at Riverside State Park
The next year, we went to RSP on the tandem. The bike sites were still not fully baked into the whole program. The guy at the gate didn't know what we were talking about, but we weren't turned away since there were open spots in the car section.

About 2 years ago, Pat, Eric, Eberly, and I went to RSP for an overnighter. We paid at the auto-teller thing at the gate. The next morning, a ranger sort of gave us a bit of the run around -- having not heard of the bike/hike site thing. Pat had a damn rational story to tell and some receipts, so she sort of bought it and left us alone.
People were rafting. It looked amazingly fun.
Maddie wasn't so sure about that.
So -- when Hank went to RSP a couple weeks ago and sailed through the whole process, I was hopeful. And indeed, it appears that the Bike Only/Hike-In site thing is real and bona fide and baked into the program. Yesterday, when Maddie and I pulled up on our bikes and asked for the bike only site, the kid in the window as all over it... like having Bike Only sites was as natural as the river flowing through the Bowl and Pitcher. Word.

We got there pretty early in S24O terms. It was about 3PM when we finished setting up the tent and eating a cup of noodles. Normally, S24O's are a bit longer of a ride and a bit later to camp -- sort of optimized for eating, beer drinking, and then going to bed. But with Maddie, we'll need to figure out a different protocol.

We hiked around a bit. Maddie found a tennis ball and we played catch for a while. Maddie climbed stuff. I had my Kindle, so I read that for a bit while Maddie amused herself by smashing up plant leaves into a fragrant mixture. We decided that we should bring playing cards next time. And maybe we should each have a book.

Bottom of Doomsday.
She grinded up... standing up... the whole way up.
RSP is a perfect distance - about 10 miles with a few hills. Maddie is ready for a longer haul, but I'm not sure where we should go. I guess we'll try CDA on the Centennial Trail, though that ride is a soul-sucking bore. But Maddie may not think so. There's also the Trail of the CDA's. We could do that. Or better: the San Juan's.

As for bike stuff: I need to put a double on Maddie's bike. If we're going to do longer hauls with a load, she needs a bail out spin gear. She stands on every hill right now and it's frying out her thigh muscles. This works ok for short stuff, but it doesn't scale for bigger days.

More hill climbing.

Beth. Dig that bike.
On our way back into town we ran into Beth on the trail. Crazy. She joined us for breakfast at David's place. He has a ridiculously good Bibimbap on the breakfast menu right now. There is a small handful of restaurants in Spokane that I love with all my heart -- for various reasons -- David's is totally on that tiny list. He is so intentional about everything he does there, and has been for years before opening this place -- the guy knows great food, thinks and reads a ton about a variety of food, beverage, design, building, gardening, technology, cycling, etc. subjects, and figures out how to integrate and filter it all out into a super unique and highly valuable dining experience.

Shirt says: Eat Local  -- Central Food. Image is an osprey picking off a marmot.
That's Stine's work.
We're lucky David is here doing his thing. The more "mature" Spokane dining crown seems to cultivate a fairly conventional and narrow set of acceptable menu/pricing/dining experiences. In my opinion, you can see this Spokane-normalized experience replicated across a disappointingly large number of local restaurants. David's restaurant defies many of those expectations in a refreshing way in both dining practices and with his menu. He's quietly doing things his own damn way and he's rad for that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are not many better things in life than touring with our kids. Brandon and I started on a S24O and we graduated to long distance touring. Maybe someday in the not too far future you will be writing about your cross country bike tour with Maddie