The other interesting part of the drive to the winter cabin near Mount Baker was when we stopped to find a place to eat in Bellingham. After we vetoed a few places like Subway and Burger Me! (what does this mean anyway?), we found the "downtown" and almost ate at a Taco Del Mar. But when we got out of the car, we saw a bunch of people coming out of a deli and thought that a local deli with soup sounded much better than the ever expanding fish taco empire. It turns out that all of the people sitting outside eating soup were actually homeless and being fed from a van; so we tried to pretend like we were actually just walking to eat at a place called the Pita Pit, which is also a chain though I didn't exactly realize this at the time.
In case you're wondering, their "special sauce" included jalapeno juice.
We got to the cabin (which was super-retro cozy) and forty percent of the group had already arrived and game playing was in progress. Given that we were staying in a cottage in the middle of nowhere(ish), this was a major theme of the weekend along with watching bootleg video tapes. The game that captured the most attention was called Blokus, which should maybe have a warning label about becoming an obsession.
As preparation for hiking, Jon made waffles and Elena baked corn muffins and everyone packed lunches and we managed to leave the house sometime around noon to drive to the ranger station for advice. Due to insufficiently powered 2-way radios, we lost part of our group on the way, but two of the three cars stayed together and drove down a road full of dangerous potholes and scattered with lost hubcaps to find a trailhead.
because this is a weblog, I will post an iChat transcript detailing my thoughts about hiking
jenna_marie:did you have a good time mud-hiking or w/e?
joshc: yeah. i guess so.
joshci like hiking well enough. but it's mostly just walking up a hill.
joshc: it really wasn't that muddy; so I probably would've survived without handing over all of my cash to REI
joshc: it's pretty and good exercise, but most of the northwest looks the same.
joshc: i mean, you spend a lot of time thinking about walking and not enough time just gazing thoughtfully at the trees.
joshc: because you don't want to trip over a rock.
joshc: and get stuck on the hill
The saddest part of the hike was when when we got to the point where stopping to eat seemed more fun than walking through snow and brush just to look at more snow and I realized that the pretty fantastic sandwich that I made before leaving was still on the kitchen counter. Luckily, I wasn't so braindead as to forget all of my food supplies. Still, trail mix and odwalla bars aren't quite as satisfying as an avocado and tomato sandwich.
Anyway. The evening included game playing, pizza making, and consumption of more warm alcoholic beverages. The weird part is that the cottage owner's collection of videos were really just movies taped off of Canadian television, complete with commercials. One such tape included the unlikely double feature of The Wedding Singer and The Others.
Sunday morning was consumed with leaving the rental property and following each of the hundreds of notes posted on every available surface to avoid additional charges. Instead of looking for a short walk, we decided to drive home. On the way, we stopped at the gaudiest casino on I-5 and played the penny slots and watched Jon lose money at the craps table. The slot machines were all electronic and even less fun and more confusing than usual. We remedied the music situation by stopping to buy one of those old-fashioned cassette adapters so that Rachel could put together an iPod DJ set for the ride home.
Perhaps because of all of this excitement, or because my bed was the least supportive ever placed next to a hole in the wall (really a sliding door that opened into a closet), I promptly took a Sunday afternoon nap upon arriving at my apartment.