Day 12

Bremerton, WA to Clinton, WA
$5.40 :: tacos, ferry ride
78.04 mi :: 15.32 hr :: 38.8 mph :: 3.0 mph :: 845 mi

On the way out of town I pass library & decide to stop to do some work on the net. I get on no prob, do my late Astoria report, talk to Nathan, find Jim’s real phone # & leave a message, look his address up on the map, and update the web site. It’s 11:00 by the time I get going again.

I entertain myself making Captain’s announcements to an imaginary crew & passengers. I sing Tom Waits songs real loud.

A cloudy cool day. After crossing the Hood Canal bridge I run into a big round guy with porkchop sideburns clearing a small field. He’s had 3 recumbents, newest one an aluminum Gold Rush, previous 2 handed down to his kids.

At Port Townsend I wait for the ferry – Jim still doesn’t pick up the phone.

On the ferry a guy with a bushy gray beard starts talking to me about the bike. A question or two and he starts telling me about his life. Missionary parents in Chicago, childhood in S. Africa, med. school at U of Illinois, specializing in surgery. I notice he has surgeon’s hands, like my grandfather. I tell him a little about Grandpa. He says, “I once worked with a Ralph Blocksma…” “That’s him,” I smile. “No…” Dr. Howard Christoferson tells me few stories, about his love of surgery and the snooty doctors who denied him opportunities to practice. He seems to feel abused by the surgeon’s Old Boy network. He implicates a Dr. Greely who operated with Grandpa, but I can’t help wondering if Grandpa slighted him and he switched names in the story. The other stories all have the same theme. As the ferry docks he gives me his card & we part ways.

One last call & Jim is home. He’s having a dinner party, & invites me to join. I laugh. A dinner party after three days without a shower. His house is 25 miles away, so I’ll be a little late.

A nice ride across Whidby Island. I pull into Jim’s carport, a beautiful house surrounded by cedars & bigleaf maples. The little sign at his door requests guests to remove their shoes, & I immediately wince at the stinky thought. I knock, give Jim a sweaty hug, & explain that a little time in the bathroom is needed to make the transition to dinner party. Obliged.

The guests are a German psychic and her American electrician husband, a Zen monk and Jim’s neighbor & lover Deborah. Oh, and a lively Italian restaurant chef, Guiseppe. It’s hard to take my attention from the fresh salad, lasagna, and beer, but I learn a little about each guest & discuss my trip a bit. The German lady is full of good stories, and Guiseppe is full of laughs. The Zen monk says hardly anything, asks for nothing, and eats whatever is put in front of him (including ice cream, strawberries, & banana bread). Mostly fun.

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