Posted by: Jack | July 5, 2007

What an Independence Day!

Yesterday morning began early with a little work on an essay project of mine. After getting a hold of Anna at the house where she has been dog-sitting for almost two weeks, I biked over there to meet up. From there we continued to Ward Lake for a swim. Although I did feel stronger than during the previous attempt, I am growing more and more jealous of Anna’s abilities.  On the way out of the lake I made friends of a couple fishermen sitting on shore when I donated to them the lure I had found in my foot.

After a return ride, we spent some time playing with Bella and Tasha (the dogs) before hopping right back on the bikes and making our way for the Independence Day Parade. The festivities were extraordinarily long-lasting with up to ten minutes between each parading group/float/display/whatever you want to call them. To make matters worse, a majority of the groups consisted of people showing off their various cars, revving their engines and honking their horns. I was wishing I had my commuter unicycle with me so I could demonstrate the difference between accomplishment and ownership. We only stuck around for the first half of the parade but having unexpectedly spent about 1.5 hours sitting in the hot sun under a clear sky, we both rode away with way a bit of a burn.

After lunch at home we made plans to find a hiking trail in Capitol Forest just southwest of Olympia. The logging roads in the forest are crudely represented on map sites such as GoogleMaps and maps of the trails are significantly more difficult to obtain. However, both the roads and trails are present in abundance and though they may not take you where you want to go, they generally lead somewhere worthwhile. So we found a road heading uphill and climbed and climbed until we reached a dead end at a high point.

My tire’s are worn well beyond recommended levels (don’t worry, I’m planning on replacing them today) so I was almost expecting to encounter a flat on these rough and rocky roads. In fact, I was almost looking forward to the prospect of swapping in the spare since I’ve never had to change a tire before (aside from at home in a garage which doesn’t count). Anyway, having reached this dead end, we were surprised to not find a hiking trail in the vicinity and were forced to head back to lower terrain. This probably turned out for the best though as the lower trails are at their peak lush-ness and offered plenty of shade from the hot afternoon sun.

On our way home we made a stop to feed the dogs before heading home for a delicious, albeit non-traditional, spaghetti dinner.

Since yesterday was not only the 4th but also a Wednesday, around 6 PM we rode down to Sylvester Park to meet up with my juggling club. Much to my disappointment only a couple other people were in attendance and they are what I would call posers. They come to juggling club with very limited juggling apparatus and do some very basic juggling for about ten minutes before sitting down to complain about how the government is keeping them down. Their all-complaint-and-no-construct agenda was soon supported by the Alternative Independence Day celebration which also took place at the park last night. This “festival” was honoring free speech and did so with an open mic for anyone to speak their mind. One speaker with especially strong convictions made a few comments which represent what I see as a fundamental flaw in the mindset of the general population and which I am eager to address but will be doing so in the essay project I mentioned earlier in this post so I’ll refrain for now.

Growing weary of the whining, we decided to find a quiet bar where we could relax with a beer until it was time for the fireworks to begin. After finishing our drinks we still had some time to kill so we walked down to the marina to enjoy the sunset over the sound.

That orb of light in the second image is the initial fireball of an amateur firework exploding.

The big fireworks show was at a golf course in Tumwater so with tired legs we slowly rode across town arriving just in time for the show to begin. I feel that I’ve lost my enthusiasm when it comes to fireworks and this may be due to having experienced Rhythm & Booms, to which no other show has since compared. But I did have a good time playing around with my camera and figuring out the best ways to capture the displays.

The show ended abruptly without the traditional finale and it was at this time that we were happy to be among the few who had arrived on bikes. Not only had the vast majority paid $5 for parking but they also found themselves in an enormous traffic jam with a one-lane bottleneck which released about ten vehicles per minute. As we were having great fun weaving in and out of the stationary crowds it was quite apparent that most of these people wouldn’t be getting home until well past midnight.

Once home I collapsed and was out cold in minutes; a sure sign of a worthwhile day.

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