August 29th, 2004



I sat on my Rally 200 on the deck of the Bremerton-Seattle ferry, still seething. A 40-something yuppie couple walked up with their Starbucks venti something-or-others. They stood next to me quietly. He took a sip. She took a sip. He took a sip. I hated them very deeply.

Two hours earlier, I was on a beach in some area of Washington I'm not familiar with. Otis and I had stopped on our way back from camping in Hamma Hamma to shuck some oysters, which we were fully prepared to batter and fry for lunch. After that, we'd do a little fishing and then meander back to Seattle.

Otis shucked while I gathered oysters in ankle-deep water. When we had what was more than enough, I joined him at the edge of the water and we both shucked away. After about 10 minutes of paying attention to nothing but oysters, we realized that we were both sitting in water. Otis looked up and started yelling that his tackle box was floating away. The tide had come in around us, but we were too stupid to even notice. For a brief moment, I laughed at the absurdity of it, until I looked at all of our other floating objects and realized that one of them was my backpack.

We quickly dragged everything to shore. I opened up my bag, hoping the damage wasn't too severe. That hope was crushed when I saw that all but one of the compartments contained a few inches of water. My camera was completely submerged and is no longer of this world. My mp3 player was in a case and wasn't as soaked as the camera, but I'm not holding out much hope for it. I will let it dry for a few days before trying it out. The remote for the mp3 player, which I use daily (I clip it in my glove while riding, so I can skip songs and stuff) was totally under water and is probably dead. The dry socks I was looking forward to putting on before the ride home were now drenched, and the socks I'd stuffed in to my shoes (which almost floated away) before wading in to get oysters were also drenched. Various other inconsequential items were soaked too.

Otis returned to shucking oysters as I silently mourned the loss of my beloved camera, and came to terms with the fact that my mp3 player might be joining him. At that point, I decided that I was no longer even remotely interested in doing anything but getting the hell home, so we packed up and headed home.

Aside from this afternoon's adventure, the trip was fun. We found a really sweet campsite that was pretty empty and secluded. It was really damp and humid, so we pretty much spent the whole night last night nursing the fire.

We're going to turn this trip in to an annual thing and probably do it in June or so. It will be for people who have strong running, fast bikes that can keep up 60 mph for a hundred miles or so (each way). Not for the faint of heart, but still totally fun. You in for next year?