DAY 73 (8/22/05): Rest Day, Anacortes, WA 11.9 mi.  This morning I
rolled down to the town of Anacortes and did all the things I hadn't
had time or opportunity to do in the past 10 days: leasurely breakfast
and coffee at a F rench bakery, browsing at a used bookstore, and (for
the benefit of all you webfans) several hours on hold with T-mobile.
After talking to a bunch of different people, each on a higher tier of
the T-mobile food chain than t he last, I finally got to someone who
was willing to concede that a unit that spontaneously erases its own
opera ting system -might- be defective and should be replaced.  So, a
fresh Blackberry was dispatched via 3-day mail t o a UPS store in
Anacortes.  Hurrah!  After all that was settled, I walked around some
of the piers in Anacortes and basked in the glory of being surrounded
by so much salt water.

DAY 74 (8/23/05): Anacortes to Lopez Island, WA 30.6 mi.  With a few
days to kill before the arrivals of my new Blackberry and Tobias (my
German west-coast touring partner), I decided to explore some of the
San Juan islands, just off the coast from Anacortes.  After a short
ferry ride, I was on Lopez Island.  This is one of the flatte r San
Juans and has quite a few small, organic, free range, etc, farms on
it.  Lopez village is clearly an expen sive place to have property and
the whole place was full of exceedingly well-groomed people in their
"casual" at tire shopping at the organic food shoppe and clothing
boutiques overlooking the ocean.  Because the island is so small, I
was able to ride almost the whole thing before settling in to the
Spencer Spit State Park campground f or the evening.  Cycling on this
island is the polar opposite of cycling the deserts in the eastern
part of the state--there is a constant cool breeze, everything is very
nearby, it is lush and green, and navigation is a non-issue--if you
get wet, you've taken a wrong turn.

DAY 75 (8/24/05): Lopez Island to Orcas Island, WA 26.7 mi.  After a
leasurely morning, I returned to the ferry terminal and took the
inter-island ferry to Orcas Island (named for the whales that are
frequently seen in the s urrounding waters).  This island is quite
hilly and forested, so even though it is not much bigger than Lopez it
is significantly miore of a workout to ride.  Although I'm sure it is
just as expEnsive as Lopez, somehow it do esn't have the same
"playground of the rich" feeling.  The island is shaped like a
horseshoe, and I especially l iked the village of Eastsound, located
in the U of the horseshoe and offering spectacular views of the water
and surrounding forested island.  I camped at Moran State Park, at the
base of Mt.  Constitution, which, at 2400 ft, is the highest point in
the San Juans.

DAY 76 (8/25/05): Orcas Island to Anacortes, WA 32.4 mi.  This morning
I got up early and left my tent set up wh ile I climbed
Mt. Constitution.  I had forgotten how easy climbing feels on an
unloaded bike.  I zoomed (relativ ely speaking) to the top of the
mountain, where I had great views of the San Juans and snow-covered
Mt. Baker on the mainland.  From the phonebooth at the top, I learned
that my new Blackberry had arrived, so I came down the mountain,
packed up my gear, took the boat back to Anacortes, and got
reconnected with the outside world.  It h ad taken a surprising amount
of effort, so it was a real relief when I at last received my first
incomong call o n the new unit.

DAY 77 (8/26/05): Anacortes, WA to Vancouver, BC 30.3 mi.  I took an
early ferry this morning to Vancouver Islan d and then from there
another ferry to the city of Vancouver itself on the Canadian
mainland.  On the second fer ry, I met a Canadian cyclist from
Vancouver who offered to lead me into the city and show me around.  I
hadn't b iked iin a major urban area in months and it was certainly
nice to have someone to follow so that I could focus on the traffic
and not the street signs.  He also knew a sneaky back way that I would
never have found.  On the way we passed a unique 100 year old Finnish
community whose houses are all built on stilts in a tidal creek.  Al l
the street signs are in Finish, and the only way in is on a
sketchy-looking wooden bridge.  My guide dropped m e off at the
airport, where I only had to wait a short time for Tobias' flight to
arrive.  We then rode the rest of the way through Vancouver to our
hotel.  I had made reservations online at a "budget" hotel.  Our room
was about 18" larger on all sides than the bed it contained, with a
micro-bathroom off to one sid e.  After squeezing two bikes and all of
our gear into the room, there was basically nowhere left to walk and
al l of our movements around the room had to be carefully
choreographed.  After a light dinner and brief exploratio n of some of
the less inviting neighborhoods of Vancouver, we called it a night.