Gary Gardner (grgardner) wrote,
Gary Gardner

Small Town Parade

The Seattle Chapter of HOG (Harley Owners Group) has a tradition of riding lead in the Burien, Washingotn 4th of July Parade.  This is truly an All-American small town parade, only about eight blocks long and I think more people were in the parade then were watching it.  It's a lot of fun, none the less.  We had a group of about 30 bikes leave the dealership and head the 45 minutes to Burien, where we lined up outside the feed store to wait for the parade to start and attempt to find food.  The organizers had promised a bbq that failed to materialize unfortunately, so we all stood around and chatted about bikes for a couple of hours before the parade started.

After an hour or so of that, we were asked to move to the staging area and form up, which we all did.  And then waited for another hour.  As with most typical small town parades it was full of local elected officials, all of whom I knew by virtue of my job, but in addition, the Governor of Washington was going to walk the parade as well, along with the gaggle of Democratic legislators who represent the area.  I had a chance to chat with her for a bit, having known her before she was Governor.   Apparently she stubbed her toe the night before and was in some pain, so I humbly offered to let her ride on the bike with me, but she graciously declined -- but with a glint in her eye that told me she wished she could. 

Then the parade started, the Harley's roared to life, and off we went.  The entire route, at 3-5 mph took about 10 minutes, and we brought a lot of smiles to a lot of kids, so it was grand fun, and a vanishing slice of pure American small town life.  However, it was somewhat cloudy so I didn't think to spray sunblock on my bald head, and because it was cloudy, my riding glasses stayed perched on my head through much of the morning.  As we all know, clouds don't block UVA rays.  Needless to say my head on Sunday morning looked like a semi-ripe tomato, complete with the outline of my riding glasses on my head.

Oh well, thank goodness for Aloe Vera.

Sunday Tony and I rode out...way out... to visit a potential boarding kennel for the dogs Lucy and Abbey.  The girl's usual "home away from home" boarding kennel is closing after 20 years, and I've been frantically searching for a new place for them to camp out when Tony and I are both out of town.  Since he and I are going to be riding the bikes back from Key West, Florida in a couple of weeks,  the girls will need a new place to stay for about a month, and I've not liked any of the places I've visited so far.  However, this one came highly recommended by our neighbor and fellow dog worshiper, and although it was 55 miles out of town I thought it was worth checking out. 

Remember the May blizzard in Utah and the June snow on the pass while I was riding?  This is GLOBAL WARMING MY ASS! Part 2.    It's July. It's sunny.  The thermometer on the garage said 70.  It was 11am.  I figured that a short sleeve shirt would be fine.  It wasn't.  As soon as we started heading south, it got somewhat cloudy and cool, and at 50mph on the bike, it was cold.  Freezing cold.     You know how Wallgreens and Rite Aid pharmacies always have cheap-ass t-shirts and sweat shirts on sale?  I figured that we could swing into one and get a $5 sweat to keep warm the rest of the day with.  Wrong.  They had lots of flip flops and tanks, but no sweat shirts, after all WHO THE HELL STOCKS SWEAT SHIRTS IN JULY?!?!?  So after two stops, we gave up and headed to the boarding kennel.  And after touring it and finding it to our liking, signed the girls up for drop off next Friday and headed back to Seattle.  If anything it had cooled off even more!  At the first major town we pulled into a Fred Meyer and found sweats that were buy one get one half price.  $45 dollars later we were back on the bike and warm enough to finish the 50 miles back to Seattle.   The next God Damn, Prius Driving, Tree Hugging, Ex Hippie, Vegetarian, Granola Eating, Environmentalist who tells me that "Climate Change Is Real" is going to get a $45 Fred Meyer sweat shirt jammed up their ass.

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