18 August 2007

Oddyssei: Arcadia & Palm Springs

about 20 minutes after Brian so graciously dropped me off at Aunt Jan's, Jan and i were off again in another car heading for Palm Springs to see Bill and Rita. on the way, we swung by Kevin's new workplace, Game Stop. this was the first time i'd seen Kev in his natural habitat; usually our visits have been relegated to some wedding or other.

on the 2 hour drive to Palm Springs, we passed by a huge wind farm in the valley. AMAZING!! what a beautiful form of energy production, but why haven't they been painted more pinwheely colors, one wonders? think of how candylandish the desert would look.

the four of us kibitzed through the evening, and Bill and i plotted our bike ride the next morning. i admittedly felt a little anxious when i heard about his 60-mile per saturday habit, wondering whether i would just be slowing him down. however, the second he showed me what i'd be riding, all other thoughts left. it was a gorgeous and nimble carbon frame road bike with shimano shifters. i think the skirt i was wearing weighed more than that bike.

sorry, Sparky, but i'm getting a mistress. no offense.

we got up the next morning and were out the door at 6:15 to beat the heat, which was expected to top 110F that day. he showed me where the original Cheetah (from the B&W Tarzan tc show) lives as well as Al Jolson, whose music i adore. of course, who doesn't love "Alexander's Ragtime Band"? there were only a few hills (we hit 40mph on one of the downhills) with beautiful views of the canyon; the rest of the 25-mile ride were straight stretches. we had a great talk about comparisons between bike use and culture in Palm Springs v. Portland. Palm Springs needs bike culture! lycra-clad racers just don't count. and the bike was totally yare!

we got back to his house about 8:00am in time for Shelly's, their turtle's, breakfast and to get back on the road to meet with two of Jan's college friends. i think we convinced Rita and Bill to come up to Portland to ride bikes down the Springwater Corridor Trail with mom and i.

brunch with Molly and Linda, Jan's friends from college, was like something straight out of a Wendy Wasserstein play! i mean, three women who went to college during the women's lib movement meet to catch up with each other a number of years later and talk about how the roles and rights of women have changed or not since college? it's Act III of "Uncommon Women and Others". they all have such dynamic lives and rich insights. it was just heavenly. also, being at a table with 3 good friends to whom one has recently been introduced and not to feel excluded is rare, indeed. i chalk it up to Jan's great hostessing and Linda and Molly's graciousness.

after this, Jan and i went shopping. i haven't been shopping in years, and all of my clothes are supported by safety pins. Jan, you are a paragon of patience. we talked and talked until it was time for me to nap in preparation for an all-night workfest. all-nighters before a long flight is the only way i know of to combat jet lag. let's see if it works. the workfest commenced, Kevin came home, we hung out for a couple of hours, and by 8am it was time to head to the airport. thanks, Jan, Ed and Kevin! couchsurfing with you is just the bees' knees!

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