Resting with the old locomotive on Railroad Avenue in downtown Shelton WA.

U.S. 360 Tour V – Day 66 from Shelton WA to Bremerton WA (Surly Pearl, My Wilson)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

46 miles – Total so far: 3,461 miles

“We live and die by time and we must not commit the sin of turning our back on time.” — from the motion picture “Castaway”.

Woke up to all-to-familiar raindrops in Shelton Washington, but was soon enjoying cruising down the historical-looking and appropriately named Railroad Avenue as I was leaving town. As so often seems to be the case, I got the morning started off with a steep climb right out of town, but soon settled in to the more moderate terrain of the day’s ride. The majority of the route paralleled the western portion of Puget Sound, heading northward to Bremerton Washington, almost directly across the Sound from Seattle. Hills, forest, the beautiful Isabella Lake, and inland waters were the norm as I paced myself throughout the day.

Given the lack of significant landmarks, and the terrain not being overly taxing, I found myself daydreaming a bit as I pedaled through the alluring surroundings. I don’t exactly “tune out” during my daydreaming moments. In fact, those moments usually manifest themselves into sort of an active conversation with my bike, Surly Pearl. While I normally don’t find myself immersed in deep conversation with inanimate objects, I have found that one way to deal with long days in the saddle is an occasional conversation with Pearl. My behavior is not without precedent. You may remember the movie Castaway, where Tom Hank’s character, stranded on a deserted island, had routine conversations with Wilson, his volleyball friend. I too, have conversations with Surly Pearl, my Wilson; like Tom Hanks, I converse with her, I ask her questions, sometimes I am forced to stop and take pictures of her, I sing to her, and I always trust her.

There are other interesting parallels between Pearl and Wilson. In Castaway, as he is about to launch a make-shift boat to escape the desert island, Tom Hank’s character says “Okay. Here we go, Wilson. You don’t have to worry about anything. I’ll do all the paddling. You just hang on.” I’m sure you understand where I’m going with this. Replace “paddling” with “pedaling”, and you get the picture. Anyway, I do love my bike more than what is probably healthy, and I am always amazed at the punishment she can absorb and still ably transport me through my journeys and dreams.

Today I learned that you don’t have to be ashamed of having an occasional dialog with your bicycle, but it’s probably best to save those conversations for remote riding.

It’s All Good.

Surly Pearl and an old west style locomotive in downtown Shelton WA.
Surly Pearl and an old west style locomotive in downtown Shelton WA.
Resting with the old locomotive on Railroad Avenue in downtown Shelton WA.
Resting with the old locomotive on Railroad Avenue in downtown Shelton WA.
Beautiful forest near Mason Lake in WA
Beautiful forest near Mason Lake in WA
Resting in Illahee State Park near Bremerton WA.
Resting in Illahee State Park near Bremerton WA.
Ramen noodles is what's on the menu at Illahee State Park near Bremerton WA.
Ramen noodles is what’s on the menu at Illahee State Park near Bremerton WA.
Beautiful camping spot in Illahee State Park near Bremerton WA.
Beautiful camping spot in Illahee State Park near Bremerton WA.

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