Ode to The Boys, posted 8/11

We called them “the boys,” although they were father and son, and they were our almost-constant companions for over three weeks. We first met them at an RV park along the Pend Oreille River in Newport, Washington. Eric, the father, and David, his 24 year old son, were between jobs when they decided to bike from Bellevue,WA to Michigan to visit friends and family. We chatted for a while after the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, then parted ways as Scottie and I took off for Sandpoint, Idaho. Later that day we ran in to them again heading into osprey territory and we teamed up for the final miles into Sandpoint. As we approached the bridge over the Pend Oreille to the town, the heavens opened up and we were deluged with the largest rain drops I’ve ever seen. We all pressed on, however, and the sun was shining on us as we rode into Sandpoint. Plans were made to meet up for dinner and we toasted our survival at a great brewpub. Next day we wished each other well and went our separate ways. The boys were going off route several days to visit a  friend’s house and we were bound for Glacier NP and  rendezvous with Lilly and Curtis. End of story. Until we met them unexpectedly in the campground in Canada after our visit with Lilly. Well, it was Kismet. We compared notes and realized we were riding on to the same town. We played leapfrog on the route, again in a torrential downpour, then ended up sharing the last room available in Cardston. The die was cast, we were mates! From then on every day started with the cheeriest “Good Morning” from Eric. David would inevitably leave camp after the rest of us then blast by as only the young and fit can do. They both were techies and were either listening to music and podcasts, reviewing the route and weather forecasts or checking Facebook and answering texts as they rode. Although we all rode our own pace, the majority of the day was spent within sight or sound of each other, and we all would hang together if there was some obstacle to be overcome. Certainly all meals were spent together: breakfast, second breakfast (usually a couple of hours into the ride), lunch, ice cream break( at the end of the ride just before making camp) and dinner. If one needed a comfort break, either for a call of nature or to rest the butt,   those riding together would take it, being careful to avert the eyes as needed. If one needed a rest day, the whole group took it as a tacit agreement had emerged that we were sticking together. And it was share and share alike, sometimes even unwittingly. Before going up over Logan Pass Scott and I decided to shed weight and had left a half-full can of fuel behind figuring someone would find and use it. Weeks later, while traveling with the boys, we were almost out of fuel. When Eric offered us some of theirs, we gladly accepted.   He hauled out a familiar looking can and explained, “We found this in Glacier at a hiker/biker campsite.” You guessed it – they had found our can. So thoughtful for them to carry our fuel for us! But, these are only objective details about our time together, what I really want you to know is what made these guys and our time with them special. Both of them were gentle, intelligent and truly funny men. Over the next weeks we made it through all kinds of challenges, including some very tough rides, but the boys were never far from our view, always upbeat and never let our spirits lag. They helped solve problems, get weather reports, find places to stay and eat, made us laugh, shared an awe of nature and contributed to the dissection and analysis of human nature as we observed it along the way. No matter what the circumstances, we shared them and made fun of them. It was all for one and one for all for 24 glorious days. Thank you, Eric and David, you two gave us an unforgettable time together!

One thought on “Ode to The Boys, posted 8/11”

  1. Your narrative eloquently shows that people are the most valuable part of our lives. Friends, new and old, give us something most precious…a reason to be the best of who we are.


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