Oh, Myra Canyon

As soon as the kids were out of earshot, Kristine leaned over and said, “I’m terrified.” I’d been focused on whether we’d all have the right tires for the gravel trail. I had not considered that others might be concerned about the possibility of falling to our death. That is, until I was half way across a trestle and looked down through the railroad ties, which were spaced about 12 inches apart – too close together to allow you to slip through, but far enough apart to make your heart rate quicken.

On day two of our 2018 Fry Summer adventure, we drove to the top of Myra Canyon outside of Kelowna, BC. Once there, we unloaded our bikes to ride the 12-kilometer length of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail that winds along the canyon ridge over 18 trestles and through several tunnels.

The Fry Family Quartet is now of mostly equal riding ability, which makes little adventures like this possible. Moments of terror notwithstanding, we all enjoyed the ride, which gave us the most amazing views of the canyon below, despite the hazy skies caused by BC’s wildfires.

Ruby and Kristine returned to the trailhead before Henry and I. Upon our return, we discovered them enjoying an all-American picnic in the back of our pick up.

If you ride a bike and ever find yourself near Kelowna, a ride along Myra Canyon is a must. It’s way more beautiful than scary.

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All Systems Go

We’ve completely changed things up at Fry Lodge this summer – particularly with respect to Fry Lodge on the go. Motorhome: gone. Minivan: gone. In their place: an Airstream trailer and a big red truck for hauling it.

In advance of our first long trip with the new set up, Ruby, Kristine and I did a quick overnight shakedown cruise to Fidalgo Bay RV Resort, while Henry attended a friend’s birthday party sleepover.

Pulling the trailer was no problem, with the help of our Race Red F150 3.6 liter V6 Ecoboost. I’m glad I got lots of practice maneuvering our little boat trailer last summer. I still need practice.

Even though it was a quick trip, Kristine, Ruby and I got in a bike ride this morning. We rode into Anacortes for a delicious breakfast at Dad’s Diner. On the ride along the water, Ruby remarked on the beautiful scenery, saying the only improvement would be the removal of the big refinery that kind of marred the landscape.

All systems go on the Airstream, though. New batteries – check. Tire pressure – check. Propane for hot water – check. Graywater protocol – check check. Can’t wait for our trip to Kelowna with the full Fry Family Quartet.

Bike-Mow-Reflect

Sometimes a long bike ride is as relaxing as lying on the beach with a cool beverage. Today was one of those days. I rode 28 miles roundtrip to mow the lawn at Fry Lodge Mud Bay.

The one-hour-fifteen-minute ride from one end of Lopez Island to another was a good opportunity to reflect on life. It’s interesting how my mind wanders on these long rides that put me into a meditative state.

My mom turned 77 today. After mowing my lawn, I called to wish her happy birthday. She was in Colorado, about to enter a restaurant for a birthday party of a friend whom she’d driven 1000 miles to surprise. It wasn’t even her friend’s actual birthday. Celebrating somebody else’s birthday on her own birthday. Classic Kaye.

My trip to Lopez was bookended by ferry rides. Such a beautiful way to travel – especially when a bike allows you to skip the hour-long car line to board.

It was a very relaxing, thought-provoking day. I think I need a cool beverage on a beach to recover.

Ski to Sea

The subdued excitement was palpable this Memorial Day weekend at Fry Lodge. Physical activity included: walking, biking, kayaking and sitting on the edge of our seats while watching Solo, a Star Wars Story.

To kick off the weekend, Henry, Ruby and I biked to Mallard Ice Cream. Because no Fry Lodge bike ride is complete without ice cream.

The annual Ski to Sea event is held over Memorial Day weekend in Bellingham. We walked down to Fairhaven on Sunday to watch the racers cross the finish line as they completed the kayak leg of the relay race, which started 60 miles to the east on the ski slopes of Mt. Baker. Last weekend, Ruby participated in the Jr. Ski to Sea event. She did the biking leg for her team, the Pug People.

Today, inspired by the previous day’s race, we hauled our kayaks to Birch Bay to launch the Fry Family Flotilla. The kids held their own. Ruby needed a short tow when the wind kicked up.

An awesome, very memorable Memorial Day. Bring on summer.

Henry is Ten

As Kristine and I walked around Lake Padden this morning, we reminisced about another 3-mile walk she took exactly 10 years ago. At 40 weeks pregnant, and after 2 months of bed rest, Kristine decided to walk to Blue Moon Burger, where she ordered the spicy jalapeño burger. That, combined with the mile-and-a-half walk home, quickly led to labor and the birth of Henry Owen Fry, who turned 10 today. 

The large volume of red meat preceding his birth probably explains Henry’s preference for a juicy steak birthday dinner. He also likes spicy food. 

Everybody was extremely pleased with how Henry’s 10th birthday unfolded. It started, of course, with breakfast in bed. Immediately after chess club, we opened presents and ate cupcakes. Nothing fancy. Small presents. We told Henry he should go downstairs to play the new video game Ruby gave him. Waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs was a new big boy bike. We’d successfully underset expectations and overdelivered. 

Happy birthday, Henry. I’m so glad Kristine ate that burger 10 years ago. 

Fry Lodge Mobile

For nearly two months, starting as soon as the kids are out of school, Fry Lodge is going mobile. For most of the summer we’ll be living in our RV as we travel around the Pacific Northwest. We’re calling it ProjectWA.

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Having never driven, slept in… or emptied the gray water of our own RV, we knew we needed a shake down cruise – to test the systems and familiarize ourselves with RV culture. This weekend, we took our motorhome off island and camped for three nights in the Burlington KOA.

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With the exception of a broken tail light at the very end of our trip, Kristine and I agree that we nailed the shake down cruise. It was just like car camping. Except we had a microwave, hot running water, our own bathroom and comfortable beds to crawl into at the end of the day.

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We were surrounded by other RV families, so Henry and Ruby quickly made friends. They spent most of their time biking around the KOA property, while Kristine and I got acquainted with power, water and sewer hook ups. By the time we rolled out of camp, we felt pretty confident in our RV skills.

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On the way back to the Anacortes ferry terminal, we stopped at the Padilla Bay Bike Trail, where we had a picnic before biking through some beautiful Skagit Valley farmland.

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With the shakedown cruise in our rear view video monitor, we’re looking forward to our two-month summer tour of the Northwest. Members of the Fry Lodge Faithful can follow along at http://www.ProjectWA.org

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