Today we left Marblemount and headed into Bellingham. As we rode along I was thinking about how close we are to the end. After the first Rest stop I began having flat issues, yet again. Washington state is by far the worst place for flats on me. I have no idea why, but I suffer more flats than most people in this state. In fact at the beginning of the ride it was my biggest fear. I loathe flats. It really ruins my mood. It may be because I get them so often, or maybe due to my last bike having to go to the shop for every flat. Maybe it just ruins my day because I allow it to.
After pumping up the tire a couple of times, I flagged down Tom and told him to take me to a bike shop. I need a new tire, knowing I have only one more day left. It was about that last day really, I did not want to fight with flats and pumps on my ride across the border. I just wanted a smooth ride. So off to Sedro Wooly we went. I found a nice bike shop and the mechanic got us in quickly. He pointed out my chest piece and talked about the tattoo for a bit. He loved the chain, said he has seen many bike chain tats that all looked bad. He has never seen one done so well. We continued to talk about the ride when he suddenly realized the Electra he was changing the tire on was ridden across the country. He got a bit excited. He exclaimed he loved Electra Bikes and was so thrilled to hear I rode one across the country. He informed me that I was most likely the only person to ever do that. I should really work on that angle with Electra soon.
New tire on the bike and back on the road. I got back on at the 60 mile rest stop. BTW that was a beautiful Japanese Garden just before we went over this beautiful scenic highway. We ended up on Chuckanuk Highway which is, according to most cyclist in the state the most beautiful route. They are quite correct.
Once I rode up that road I could smell the Ocean. The Pacific, then I could see it. It was a glorious moment, like seeing an old friend for the first time again. The tree canopy over the road made everything feel like home. And that gnawing in the pit of my stomach gave way to a feeling of relief. I knew I was close to home. Bellingham was absolutely beautiful. I have never been there before, so I took some time to explore. I spent much of my evening in a little wine bar catching up on my blogs. Before that, though there was a foot washing ceremony.
If you have never seen a foot washing ceremony it is very powerful. I am a heathen, so I sat back and photographed it. I am a heathen, not a hypocrite. I became emotional towards the end. It is a very emotional thing and I cannot explain how touched I was by the selfless act of washing feet. It seems petty and overly religious, but I can attest to the power it has. You walk away from this with this feeling of peace and joy, for no apparent reason.