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.