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    Thursday, July 31, 2008

    Vancouver to Bellingham

    Today I pulled into the beautiful agricultural/mountain city of Bellingham, WA at around 1pm.

    Yesterday, I left Vancouver at around 5pm (my departure was set back by a beautiful bike ride through Stanley Park and a quick visit to the Granville Market). I was only about 10 minutes into my ride out of Vancouver, in a sketchy part of the city -- East Hastings St. -- when the trailer that I had purchased used the day before suddenly popped out of it's securing skewer, lost balance, and nearly toppled me into traffic. The weight of the unbalanced load horribly bent my trailer skewer, making my bike unridable. Getting it fixed would take time and I was already starting my journey way later than I should have.

    I jumped from bike shop to bike shop -- and finally got the thing fixed at about 7pm. I was offered places to stay by the friendly workers in the bike shop, but I had a doctor's appointment in Bellingham the next day at 3 and was determined that I had to continue on, even at this hour, to make it.

    In the course of about 2 hours, I biked from Vancouver to a small town of Surrey. And at after 9pm, I needed a place to crash. The map I was using showed parks in the area -- but it didn't specify whether you could camp at any of them. I biked to a few and finding that they were just day parks, I gave up. Camping in a day park wouldn't be so bad, I figured, but crazy people might walk through in the night, so I reasoned that maybe a random suburban lawn might be safer.

    And so that's where I ended up. I found a front lawn perfect for the task -- had a small area hidden by a tree, perfect to sleep on. I pulled up my bike, unrolled my sleeping bag and pad, and conked out. I did get spotted in the morning, which was slightly embarrassing :).

    Once I was spotted, I figured it was probably about time to get up and out of there, so at 6:30am I took off and headed out to the Washington border.

    When I got to the US Border, my trailer popped out of it's hitch and bent my NEW skewer in the same fashion it did the first. I spent an extra hour and the border and eventually bent it back to a usable shape - for repair later.

    After about 20 more miles, I got into Bellingham, made it to my Remicade appointment, and then met up with an old high school friend, Leah Bayer. Leah hooked hooked me up with a place to stay, with a cyclist buddy of hers named Jason (who once road from the coast of Washington to Maine!!).

    I stepped into Jason's place and was utterly amazed. Giant apple trees, a full garden, large workshop, a trampoline -- the place was something out of a dream.

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