Kickin' Off In Style
A graduation ceremony, two wheels rebuilt at the last minute. A flight with over a dozen passengers under the age of five. Packing, unpacking, and reassembling a bike in an airport terminal. A ride from the airport to downtown Oakland. A wedding. A trip across the bay to San Francisco. And the tour hasn't even started yet.
Only a week before, I'd cracked a rim and bent another one. At first, my plan was to ship Valeria to a bike shop in Oakland, because that would give them more time to get all the parts in and have it fixed before I needed it on Monday, about a week later. None agreed this was possible. Instead, The Hub, my favorite shop in San Marcos, got it done in four days. The Hub, is there anything you can't do?
My parents came down to do me a favor and take me to the Austin airport, since I had no other way there. The night they were here was Wimberley HS's graduation ceremony, thankfully short enough. Best part? Afterwards, seeing all the students hugging each other, and getting a few myself. These students will be missed, and it's exciting to imagine what they have in store next.
Had to wake up at 5:00 AM the next morning to make it to the airport on time. Managed to sleep through most of the flight in spite of the age of several passengers. Arrived in Oakland in late morning, where I reassembled Valeria in the terminal, then rode her straight to the hotel. The air was cool, the sun was shining. And goodness, Valeria, is there anything you can't do?
The rest of the weekend naturally revolved around Athan's wedding, a festive affair that fittingly involved a lot of dancing. Proud to be his Best Man, and hopefully, my speech was worthy of the man it was about. Got to have a good time with dozens of good people, including Athan and Barbara of course, and also Meredith, Mandy, Chris, Amy, James, Justin, Hassan, and too many more names to count. The Creecys are a family made up of nothing but good ones, and while I don't know the Ekerdts well, it appears to be the same story. Glad they let me hang around.
The morning after, on Memorial Day, I took a rail across the bay to San Francisco, where my aunt lives. Had to kill some time while I waited for her and my cousin to take care of some business. Met some of her friends, ate some killer deep-dish pizza, and got to hear stories, unfortunately not nearly enough, of her recent hike on the Camino de Santiago.
What a whirlwind three days! Enough big events to fill a whole tour, and it hasn't even started yet! What an introduction. Would make an even better finale. So it goes. Here's looking forward to the rest of the summer. It's an adventure; anything can happen!
from Western States