24 September 2016

Stardate 2016.732

MS-150 – Washington Style

Snowcatcher and I recently returned from a whirlwind trip to the Pacific Northwest. If you've never been there, you should try to visit sometime. It's a hoot. And scenic, too. Our main objective for the trip was to visit good friends and participate in the MS-150 fundraising bike ride. To shake it up a bit this year, we chose to volunteer for the Colorado Multiple Sclerosis Chapter and ride for the Washington Chapter. Moreover, I attended graduate school in the Pacific Northwest, and it's always nice to visit again.

We left after work, and our route took us from Denver to Casper, Wyoming. The next morning we made a B-line to Yellowstone National Park – a very cool place! Following Yellowstone, we had an easy Interstate drive across Montana and Idaho to Spokane, Washington. In Spokane, we had our finest room, and I'll leave it at that! The next day was a long drive across Washington and up the coast to the Mount Vernon / Burlington area for the ride. At Mount Vernon, we were about 50 miles due south of the Canadian border. We also were due west of the jagged, snow ramparts of the north Cascade Mountains.

After checking into our hotel, we returned for the pre-ride spaghetti dinner at the Skagit County Fairgrounds. The fairground was the staging area for the event both days. The only thing missing were Future Farmers of America and 4H kids and their stock. Following are some pics from the eve of the ride. I'm used to parking in dusty gravel and/or dirt lots. The grass was pretty nice.

By the time we left for the evening, the lot had filled up, as had the tent camping area.

One of the most important and unsung jobs is in the hands of the Honey Dippers. They deliver and maintain Honey Buckets. Love 'em or hate 'em, they're extremely important.

The U.S. Navy had a strong team. There's lots of Navy stuff in these island areas – I love it!

Hydrangeas were everywhere. Here at home, we're expecting mountain snow this weekend.

These two friends of mine are among thousands of recipients of services provided by all your wonderful donations each year!

Thank you donors!

It takes lots and lots of volunteers to pull off these events. Thanks, volunteers!

Well, there's a preview. Up next on the docket is the Day One ride. Later gator!


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