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.

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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.

Puberty, Brought to You by Old Spice

Henry, as part of his 5th grade curriculum, received a lot of very helpful information this past week at school. Specifically: how and why boys and girls develop into adults and the precautions one needs to take along the way. For his participation in this important unit, Henry received some deodorant, provided by Old Spice. He’s been applying it liberally. And Fry Lodge smells awesome.

Happy New Year from Fry Lodge

The Fry Lodge Year-in-Review video is a good opportunity to reflect on an entire year of adventure, change and growth for the Fry Family. 2017 was quite a year. We made some nice friends in Bellingham, traveled all around North America… again, and [re]learned several skills, including snow skiing at the end of the year. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.

Happy New Year to the Fry Lodge Faithful!

2017 Fry Lodge Year-in-Review | soundtrack by B.E.R. (The Night Begins to Shine)

Ski Bums 

Today,  Henry went snow skiing for the first time in his life, and I joined him. The last time I skied, George H.W. Bush was president – back when I still had knee cartelidge and my original ACL. I was a more than a little anxious to get back on the slopes, but Henry has been so excited about learning how to ski, I had to try. So, at 6 am this morning, with a brace on each knee, little Fryman and I pulled the minivan out of the Fry Lodge driveway on our way to Mt. Baker. As Henry slept on the way up the mountain, I kept saying to myself, “This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy.” 

Crazy? Yeah, crazy awesome. At several points during the day, both Henry and I said to each other, “This is amazing.” 

We were the eager beavers of the mountain. With a parking spot right in front of the ski rental shop, we were first in line to sign up for lessons. Henry looked a little panicked when I told him we couldn’t be in the same ski instruction class, but he confidently joined his group as we went our separate ways for 90 minutes to learn the snow plow and how to turn. 

A lot has changed in 30 years. Skis are shorter, bindings are more forgiving, and boots are a hell of a lot more comfortable. Over the course of my lesson, my muscles somehow remembered how to ski, and I almost felt 17 again. When I rejoined Henry post lesson, it was clear his life had changed forever. I seriously don’t think he’s ever had this much fun doing anything. 

After dozens of chairlift rides, and as the sun started to set, we called it a day. On the drive down the mountain, Henry decided we’re going skiing again this Thursday. He also gave me some of his reactions to the day. He thought it was great that we didn’t have to pay each time we got on the chair lift (I agree).  He also admitted that he’d envisioned something completely different. For example, he’d expected us to take the chair lift up the mountain, ski around a bit, and then take the lift back down. He thought the actual way they do it is way better (I agree). 

Winter at Fry Lodge just got a lot more exciting. 

Estimating Henry 

“If you had to choose, would you rather underestimate or overestimate?” This is the type of question from Henry that formed the basis of our 3-hour conversation as we made our way to Lost Lake and back this sunny fall afternoon on Chuckanut Mountain. Henry had slightly underestimated how long the hike would take us, and I had overestimated my ability to keep up with this boy, who has benefitted from a soccer season of constant running. Neither of us minded the time nor the exhaustion, which were far outweighed by the scenery and conversation.

This fall, Henry has been enjoying regular outdoor adventures made possible by Wild Whatcom, Bellingham’s year-round outdoor program for youth. A few weeks ago, the program took him to Chuckanut Mountain; so today Henry acted as my tour guide along the trails he and his buddies had previously explored.

Along our path, we crawled inside “the cubby holes,” descended “the stairs,” and finally ate lunch while hanging our feet over a log jutting out into Lost Lake.

Throughout the day, it occurred to me that Henry has turned the corner to early adolescence. He easily shook off having accidentally submerged his boot into the lake, something that not too long ago would have ruined his day. When we became momentarily lost, it was Henry who proceeded with confidence to find the trail again. And, as we hiked 2 miles straight uphill, it was Henry who left me in the dust. Henry Fry, he’s not to be underestimated.