Earlier this month Jeff and I set off on an eight day Delight Detecting adventure to explore an unfamiliar part of the Northwest. Our mission? To pedal our bicycles around the corner of SE Washington and NE Oregon. In these parts, ribbon-like wheat and hay fields stretch out to the horizon with honey and blonde waves of color.
At first glance, you might think it would be hard to find a shred of Friendly Universe evidence in these sparsely populated parts. Au contraire! You just need to go slowly and keep your eyes peeled.
Our “F&J Autumn Sunshine Tour” took us through the towns of Dayton, Pomeroy, Clarkston, Enterprise, Elgin, and Walla Walla as we rode a challenging loop around the Blue Mountains.
Travel is quite, (ahem), leisurely on a bike that is loaded down with:
- 4 panniers and handlebar bag;
- food, water and snacks (an important food subgroup);
- sleeping bag and tent poles (Jeff, bless him, took the tent!); PLUS
- my Delight Detective tool kit, art supplies and book!
Yes, I am painfully aware that I carry way more stuff than I actually need. But heck, this Delight Detective prefers the little extras that make the journey more fun.
On past bike adventures, pedaling (too) slowly usually made me cranky. Now that I’m a Delight Detective, I’ve discovered that my slow and steady pace is perfect for gathering evidence!
Sometimes clues are subtle…like this water truck that appeared on a particularly strenuous uphill climb. This sign made me laugh at just the right time *AND* interrupted my rant about the heat and scorching sun. Brilliant!
The next afternoon, this large and friendly CAT invited us to sit a spell and enjoy a tiny morsel of shade before we continued our uphill climb. Perfect timing!
Later, Jeff spied these two street signs that I promptly recorded in our Friendly Universe Notebook (F.U.N. for short):
And who doesn’t love smiling metal creatures? Giant friendly ambassadors! We found these two metal beauties, created by artist Elton Brown, near Pomeroy, Washington.
Our latest Delight Detection Mission (D.D.M. for short) was chock full of gifts including nice folks, plenty of water, tasty snacks, gorgeous scenery, no flat tires, and lightly traveled roads.
And the bike trip bonanza bonus? Our universe points the way to friendly!
Here’s our final clue from the trip:
Smiles outnumber frowns!
Have we sparked your next Yes and Yay clue-gathering adventure?! Excellent news!
On your next trip, whether by foot, bike, horse, scooter, car, or train: bring your F.U.N., sharpen your pencils and collect some evidence!
I’m excited to hear from you!