This turned out to be a down day for me. Or an up day. Depends on how you look at it.
It was a down day today because I did not ride anywhere. It was an up day because I got to spend my down time hanging out with Tee. She and I are pretty close to polar opposites in so many ways that it's amazing we can talk to each other without it ending in fisticuffs. What actually happened was that we spent endless hours helping to enlighten each other regarding the other's points of view. Tee is a self-proclaimed "dirt-hugging tree worshipper hippie." She has a little grabber tool that humanely catches bugs so she can release them outside her apartment without harming them. She meditates. She grows her own bean sprouts. She is very proficient at brewing her own black tea. She has laid claim to Mount Baker (you can just barely see it in the background of the picture here) as "her" mountain. She would not be the least bit out of place in a '67 VW Microbus with a peace symbol on the front and pot smoke rolling out the windows. I, on the other hand, am a self-proclaimed "trained professional killer" (USUALLY stated in jest). In order to keep myself and those who work for me safe while in combat, I've received classes in Combatives (the army's new version of hand-to-hand), I've become extremely proficient with my assigned weapons and teach others to do the same, and I constantly read up on the evolving fighting tactics of those whom I may face in combat some day. To me, beansprouts are not food, they are what food eats. Sweettea (one word) is a food group.
And somehow we spent the entire day discussing the nature of both inner peace and world peace. We realized that we have a couple of things in common, such as our tastes in music, our affection for animals, and our disdain for toy store employees who act like Baby Huey (don't ask). We came to the conclusion that the only way peace can ever come about in this world is for both of us and those like us to keep doing what we're doing. And we each realized that the other can give us insight into ourselves that can help us achieve a little bit of inner peace during our own troubled times.
Then we went to dinner. Not surprisingly, the hippie chick was right at home on the back of a Harley. We rode to the local Mexican restaurant. Tee ordered the vegetarian plate (who is surprised by this?) and I ordered what turned out to be the best steak burrito I have ever eaten, bar none. If you're ever near Sumas, Washington, stop in at El Nopal and get a steak burrito and a Dos Equis. Yum. That's all I have to say about that. Yum.
After dinner, Tee took me to find one of her local geocaches, then we went back to her house and stayed up until 3am discussing the nature of conflict and the roles of both peaceful resistance and the threat of returned violence in stemming the tide of both local and global violence. Then I crashed for about 6 hours before getting up to get on with my trip. For a "do-nothing" day, I think we made good progress in solving the question of world peace. I know I've said this already, but the people I've met on this trip are still the highlight of the ride. Even the weird hippie-chick with the ADHD cat who thinks I'm the antithesis of everything she strives for. Funny who you can make friends with, huh?