Friday, August 20, 2010

Return to McMinnville

Saturday night is party night! Frank and Carol had arranged for some friends to come over for a barbecue. My job was to make some veggie kebabs and supervise/cook the corn on the cob. Being as how we do not really have a barbecue culture in the UK, in fact I had completely forgotten, if I ever knew, how to spell it let alone use one, it was all a bit of a mystery to me. Nevertheless the tofu kebabs went like hot cakes and the sweetcorn went like, well sweetcorn. We met lots of folks including Bert and April who we arranged to see again at the BMW rally in Nakusp in Canada in a couple of weeks ,and spent a bit of time showing off our gear and sharing our travelling adventures and expertise with folks planning a trip themselves.
The following morning Sunday, as promised Elise and her partner came over in their delicious 1952 MG for us all to salivate over. Frank took me out for a spin and I drove it back. My next car I think!!

Then we (Frank, Bert, April, David and me) Steam up 14 heading off to the local Steam Up for the afternoon via an electric ferry. I wanted to buy this Attitude Adjustment Tool for those moments of disagreement when David didn't see my point of view, but couldn't fit it on the bike. We returned to a wonderful feast prepared by Carol.

On Monday the boys (Frank and David) toddled off to the 'Shop' otherwise known as 'Shed' to do boys and toys stuff on bikes: wire up the headlight on Frank's BMW R75/5. I pottered about sorting through my luggage in the vain hope that I might be able to jettison some and make more space in my pannier (oh and lighten the load). We managed to get all 1700 photos so far downloaded at Wal-Mart, onto about 8 discs to send home. Carol gave us a box into which we packed various items for return to the UK: his and hers iPods, clothes, a phone charger, camp cooking book (I know I hear you ask why did I need that? Well it was a very useful gift from Malin and Eunice for our trip, and has in it valuable info on food survival, including how to make a Dutch Oven, bread and cake on the road!! I read it from cover to cover, and made lots of notes, before deciding I could remember all the tips enough to be able to send it home).
In the afternoon we (Frank, Carol, David and me) went on a scenic bike ride on Frank's R75/5 (Nancy is still incapacitated!) to Henry Hagg Lake, (not sure about his claim to fame) where Frank thought it might be fun to get me wet!!
It looked warm and inviting but not wearing all my bike gear! Frank decided he should bring his Kayak up to the lake, and we decided that we should really stay or even move in with Frank and Carol to help them play with all their toys. After sand railing, I quite fancy learning how to water ski, and I think their speed boat would do the job just fine!
In the evening we took Frank and Carol out for a meal to say a huge thank you for sharing their home and friendship with us. We had so enjoyed our stay it was going to be hard to leave.
On Tuesday we had been invited by Bruce a friend of Frank and Carol's, who we met at the party to the Spruce Goose Museum. He is a volunteer there and offered to get us in for free. The ticket included the Space Museum
and for $11 we could also visit the IMAX cinema which we did to see a 3D film of the refurbishing of the Hubble Telescope. On the same lot a leisure complex was being built with a real Jumbo 747 which had been winched onto the roof and was being turned into a water park with flutes and plumes going into and out of the jet, for people to whizz down.
It was a fabulous day and we could easily have gone back for a second visit-there is so much to see. Then in the evening, we collected Nancy from Steve
we all (Frank, Carol, Courtney and Daniel) went for a meal to Dundee Bistro.
On Weds Carol, Pheobe the dog and I went shopping
whilst the boys did more motorbike stuff at the Shop: seized the spokes of the rear wheel together, and posted the parcel back home. In the afternoon we went for a shake down ride to Depoe Bay and the world's smallest harbour (not sure what I am doing with my face!!) (where a scene from 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest' was filmed) where again I was drawn to the sea and posed for a photo (second time lucky!) as the waves lapped over the top of my boot!! then we headed off for a Mexican meal.
Thursday 0900 brought with it our departure day.
As we were preparing to leave David noticed a smell coming from the bike, as he checked it over, it became apparent that the fuel lines were leaking!
Less than pleased, we set off to Frank's shop where the plan was for David to replace them with the same type originally on there before they were changed by Steve. And so I headed off with Frank in his truck all dressed up and nowhere to go! And David set off to buy new fuel line. About an hour later we all reconvened at the Shop and David set to work. He was jittery with anger and frustration! (We had been charged $20 + fitting for the lines) Around 1330 it was all done. Hot sweaty and probably smelly (I didn't get too close) David thought it would be nice to have a shower, so even though we had said our goodbyes already. Frank phoned Carol to say we were heading back to the house to freshen up, before getting finally on the road. We said our goodbyes to Frank, arrived with Carol who had kindly prepared lunch; ate, freshened up and said our second goodbye of the morning!
Nancy's split rear wheel hub had delivered us to Frank and Carol, who had kindly swept us up in our moment of need, shared their home and life with us, until setting us gently down on our travels again. The kindness of strangers is astounding and has been a profound lesson for me in being human. So often in my life I have found it difficult to open myself up to others, fearing their judgement, or rejection. David has often told me that mostly people are kind. But I have often been to fearful to test that out, noting only the harshness of one person to another, and sadly feeling embittered by some of my own personal life events. In Frank and Carol, we were surrounded by unconditional friendship, warmth, generosity and laughter. This was all the more poignant given the sadness shrouding them since the loss of their second daughter Allison nearly 3 yrs ago. We were ill-equipped to help them through their pain, but we hope that through the misery of loss, will come the celebration of a life, not just the pain (as with all children) but also the pleasure it brought, and for your own sakes, the germination of the joy and happiness your daughter would want for you.

1 comment:

  1. About time too!!!were all getting withdrawel symptons not having the blog to read.It really is lovely to read about all your adventures and the pictures are stunning.It makes me feel part of your journey.You seem to be having a wonderful time. Love and best wishes to you both.