So we are off. The date: 7-7-07. At 4 AM we woke up after a brief nap to get shuttled to the airport, making our first flight. 12 hours later, we showed up in the SeaTac airport with crossed fingers hoping that all our gear came through ok. After getting all our bags ok, we waited hesitantly for our bikes, before realizing that they were actually going to come down the baggage ramp (these bikes were essentially naked and ready for any damage that the world would throw at them)! I dove into the steel "landing area" that the ramp dumps into and did my best to "catch" the bikes. Luckily, in the end there were only minor bruises on the bikes and we spent 2 hours putting everything together, checking the gear, adjusting the brakes, etc. After getting a few hours of sleep on the plane, I felt much better and ready to rock.
So we set out on bike to visit with Brad's parents, The Emersons. It was only 20 miles or so of riding, and the weather was great. And the first thing we saw as we came around the corner was Mt. Rainer - huge, snow covered, and beautiful. The picture doesn't even convey the hugeness of it. That was great. It really hit that we are really here, with no real backup options, everything we have on our bikes. We are now operating without a net.
So the report for the day: total mileage: 17 miles, weather great, equipment great, morale great.
If we can keep this up for 8 more weeks we will be in business. And I also happened to have my first clipless-pedal related fall on my bike (as I was stopping to look at a trailside map), but I fell lightly into the grass, so no big deal.