Our drive up to Anacortes yesterday was accompanied by several groups of motorcyclists, the largest being about 15. It was impressive to see them fall into formation in one lane, staggered right-left-right-left etc, one behind the other. It was particularly neat to drive behind them and see the long straight lines. They were definitely behaving as a single organism, not as a bunch of individuals, though, so it threw off both Ian's and my normal driving styles. One isn't used to a vehicle as long as three semis in Washington State, although from what I understand a semi can still be itself and pull two trailers behind it on the interstates in Oregon. Believe me, it's scary to drive a Civic when one of those is on the road. It's scary enough to drive a 4-Runner.
A group of bikers got off I-5 just behind us when we exited to take SR 20 to the boat, a group we'd passed on the road earlier. One of the men (I think it was a man—he had man legs) was wearing a helmet with crazy gray hair attached to it. Well, once I stopped the car at the light at the end of the off ramp and looked in the rearview mirror, I saw that the man (this is why I can't be sure it was a man) was also wearing a skull face mask with his, we now decided, crazy death head helmet. Hoover, who likes to look at the "road movie" unwinding behind him as we drive, noticed the man right after I did. His ears, already perky, tensed. "wwwWOOF," he said. "WOOF!" "WOOF!" Scaredy cat.
We found out when we reached Anacortes that we had happened upon a Classic Motorcycle Show, which they hold there every year the same weekend. I swear, it looked like Sturgis. There were bikers there from Fairbanks, bikers from the Northwest, and bikers from the Mid West. We saw lots of Bikers for Christ (lots of denominations), and a mobile tattoo unit. We did not see any Hell's Angels, which was a bit of a disappointment. Two really, really cute things were a German shepherd lying in the shade of his owners cycle, next to his customized dog trailer; and two riders we saw from the back as they rode down the street, and the one holding on behind had short, curly, little old lady hair.
We were able to see the bikers and take a quick tour of the show because we were two hours earlier to our sailing than we'd meant to be, because I could've SWORN that the schedule changed from summer to fall on the 29th, not the 28th. But no, it changed yesterday and so we arrived just before 9:30am for a 12:05pm sailing. A lot of people who spent the beautiful weekend on the island were probably even more annoyed than me—I at least could drive back to town and look at some good choppers—but they all got stuck waiting many extra hours and extra boats to get home because a couple sailings had been removed.
Anyway, Orcas was beautiful, as always. Our trees that we and friend E planted in April all survived the summer of inattention from us (the cherries were a bit stressed to not have been coddled but they were hanging in there, and E's nuts—I mean nut trees—were all gorgeous—one chestnut had even fruited!), THANK YOU VERY MUCH everyone who watered them and talked to them. We're very, very happy about them. Ian's parents came over from Bellingham with us and stayed to camp last night; we ate blackberries and the four yellow plums our inherited plum tree produced; Spackle and Hoover swam at the (smelly, smelly) mudflats in Anacortes and tore around the property until they were exhausted; Ian and I replanted a lilac that appeared to have been pushed over, but not actually destroyed, by the mower; we killed some paper wasps nesting in the eaves of our outhouse, way too close to bare bottoms; we ate a fancy dinner at the Orcas Hotel before getting on our ferry home; we drove back through Anacortes at 9:10pm and nary a motorbike was to be seen.
It was the farthest afield I've been since May—fitting, really, that it was back to Orcas. Next trip: Jerome Creek, Idaho, home of Dr. Jason's parents and my favorite horse in the world.