About this time the neighbor across the street got my attention. Aurora was busy telling the bicyclists coming down the road to watch for tacks in the road, thus keeping her very busy. The neighbor said something like you better get going if you are going to make it. Aurora promptly replied, "We aren't going anyhow, we are waiting for my Dad to come get us." Soon we were invited over to the house. I was apprehensive as I could only see two men behind the tall fence. I did not know what dangers lie over there for my daughter and I. After thinking over our choices at this time I opted to give it a try, knowing I had my cell phone with good reception in case of an emergency. So Aurora and I moved the bike across the street.
We were offered chairs to sit in the yard on, which was wonderful after sitting on a bike seat that long! Right away the man who lived there, Russ, told Aurora that he had something she would like and brought out two small kittens. Aurora was just thrilled as she is my animal lover. The kittens, their mother, three other cats and two dogs kept her very entertained for quite a while. I was able to gradually get acquainted with Russ and his friend from Tacoma and enjoyed our conversation very much. The kittens were enjoyable as well. We learned that Russ was a single father who had two kids one girl, Cassie, was 12 and a boy whose name I cannot recall. The kids were both gone when we arrived by not long after the girl, her friend and little sister who was nine arrived. Cassie found a swimsuit that would fit Aurora and all four girls jumped into the swimming pool. It was a wonderful way to pass the time. The place was filled with animals of all kinds, horses, geese, ducks and of course the cats and dogs. Aurora had gone to heaven! She and the girls got along very well and had a great time. As time passed they were going to BBQ burgers for dinner and we were invited to have some too. That also was wonderful after having had my fill of bagels and grapes earlier in the day. After dinner was over Leif called and asked me where we were at. I had no idea other than in Yelm, but I certainly could not give any directions from the freeway as I had no idea where it was at. Russ gladly gave Leif directions and he found us around seven pm that evening. What a day!!
Leif had to take us to Winlock as our bags were there. So off we set on another leg of our trip. By minutes to nine o'clock we had arrived in Winlock, just in time to get our dinner at the senior center before they closed up at nine. After dinner we went back to the gym and decided to sleep there and get a ride from a friend in Portland area the next day to continue our vacation. Upon our arrival at the gym I located three of our four bags and waved Leif off, taking our bike with him as he went, as we were ok. I had been told that someone had seen the missing bag at the high school about four miles out of town. The person who thought he had seen it was heading that way so he was going to get it for us. When he returned, he said the bag wasn't there. After searching around the gym Aurora's clothing bag was finally found. Whew!!
We quickly set up our beds for the night and crashed. It was the end of a very long day. We were exhausted.
Day two Sunday July 13th.
I awoke the next morning to the usual sound of bicyclists packing up their gear and heading out for the day. I woke Aurora up much to her disappointment. We got our gear packed up and headed for a walk across town to the senior center to get our breakfast. The food was wonderful, much better tasting that dinner the night before was. My friend, Cary, from Portland was coming to get us between 7:30 and 8:00 so we had some time to kill. We eventually wandered out to the main road through Winlock and cheered for the bicyclists going through town. We were able to see a tandem with two women on it as well as a tandem which appeared to be a Mom and son team. A purple Santana triplet also went past. It was sure pretty! I got my picture of the Winlock Egg which was painted like a flag so it actually looked cool this time.
Since we were stranded in Winlock for a while in the morning we took a few photos of the riders as they passed us.
Finally at about 8:30 Cary arrived to pick us up.
We stayed with Cary and her family in Portland for nearly a week. I was able to personally visit Gateway Bicycles and test ride their Santana Triplet twice during the week. What an awsome experience!! Even Aurora liked that bike, maybe that is in our future.
We arrived home on Saturday the 19th rested and ready to tackle the normal routines of life. I think it has been a wonderful experience and I would like very much to do it again and complete it this time. :)