Finding our Washington Twinsies

It all started outside Cougar’s gas station/market. Derek was looking at our map, trying to see if an alternate route would work because the roads we were planning on riding were closed because of snow until July.

A UPS truck pulled up and we asked the driver about a few local roads. While he was looking at the map with Derek, he casually mentioned he’d love to take his kids (now 4 and 6) on a bike trip. Jasper quickly got out a business card with our blog on it from his stash and we thought that was the end of our brief, friendly encounter.

But a few days later, when we were in Woodland, checking email at the library, I noticed a comment on our blog from Sara, whose husband Erik was that famous UPS driver, inviting us to stop in if we happened to be going through Longview. Turns out that after about 10 days of riding, we were eager for a rest day and Longview was a natural stop the very next day!

That evening Derek and I carefully composed our email to Sara saying we’d love to stay, but just so she knew we are a little complicated in the eating department – vegetarian, Jasper can’t have dairy and I have a severe peanut allergy. It’s always a little awkward being complicated, but best to let folks know early before they make a Thai-inspired pot roast with a creamy dressing to celebrate your arrival. 

Sara’s response had Jasper literally jumping for joy. Not only were they vegetarian, her son was also not able to eat dairy and how did oat burgers for dinner and vegan crepes for breakfast sound?

  
And so it was that we met Sara, Erik, Riley and Annika, fellow cyclists, hikers, travellers and all round fun, kind souls ready for adventure and ready to make new friends.

After visiting together in Longview, when the boys played soccer all afternoon and Anna and Annika played all kinds of fun games,Sara and the kids took all our bags, packed their bikes in the car and met us at Castle Rock, where their favourite bike park is. The kids blew us away with their mad bike skills and we spent a beautiful afternoon together before we got set up at our campsite.

   
   
It wasn’t too hard to say goodbye because we had plans to meet up again in a few days in Morton to drive up to see Mount Rainier together (we’ve learned to pronounce it Ray-near, thanks to Sara!) 

    
    
 We are so happy and grateful that we couldn’t follow our original route and that we got to meet first Erik and then his whole wonderful family! And what a gift that Sara had time to share with us, to make memories together.

As Anna said, “we’re going to look back on this time together as some of the best days of the whole trip!”

With best wishes,

Kathleen

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13 thoughts on “Finding our Washington Twinsies

    1. Thank you Yvonne! It was really special, such a lucky chance encounter, like so many we have had on this trip.

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  1. I am sooooo glad that you all know how to go with the flow. Super things happen when you are flexible. What a wonderful story. Touching lives, living yours to the fullest – How cool is that? You are all inspiring.

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    1. Thanks Marnie! I have honestly come to realize, through talking to many people that we encounter along the way, that we have inspired people. One guy I talked to outside of an REI in Marina, California, after chatting and explaining our trip said “That’s it! I’m doin’ it! I’m going to go home and plan the big motorcycle trip I’ve always been dreaming of!” It is a humbling and beautiful experience to touch many lives in this way, as others have touched us and inspired us in our lives.

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  2. Such a serendipitous encounter with our favorite UPS driver! We are so lucky that we got to be part of your adventure for a few days. And your family will be inspiring adventures in our family for years to come (probably for the rest of our lives!). Seeing your kids do amazing things has our kids thinking BIG. I hope we can keep up! We’ll keep following your journey and can’t wait to see what you get yourselves into. Hopefully our paths cross again someday!

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  3. Annika received the sweetest post card in the mail today from Anna Sierra. The rest of the day, Anni was playing pretend with her sister, Anna Sierra. 🙂 Thank you! I hope you are all well and still having tons of fun. We’ve been keeping up with your blog and it’s wonderful to see all the good, friendly people in the world!

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    1. So glad to hear the postcards both arrived. We mailed them together, but it sounds like they went off on their own adventures before arriving at your house. Anna Sierra loved hearing about Annika’s big sister game! We miss you all and send our best!

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