Driving up to Washington I knew I could make the choice to make it a great state. It also helped that I was feeling confident I could have somewhere to stay because I’ve met quite a few nice people in Washington from a previous job. Some friends generously reached out and said that I could stay with them for however many nights. I appreciated their generosity, but that was only the beginning.
Feeling content having a place to stay, I decided to head to a small brewery before going to the house. Upon arriving, I had a good porter and found out the bartender’s father was the brewer and owner. I seized the opportunity and inquired if he’d be willing to speak with me. I got the ok to come the next afternoon and speak with him!
That night my friends were very welcoming, and my buddy and I went to a local brewery for a pint and growler fill. I inquired about the owner but unfortunately, the cashier didn’t have much information and suggested I could try my luck the next day. Regardless, we enjoyed the pints and then some of the growler back at the house.
The next morning, I shot some emails out trying to set up appointments. I was then offered a freshly cooked breakfast which I scarfed down happily. Those that know me, know all too well that besides fitness and beer, I like to eat some good food. The good start continued with a response from FOB Brewing who let me come in that day. Jared took a chance to talk with me as he was preparing to open. It was interesting to see the place as it was coming together and hear that while he had a good business plan, he was already seeing how adaptations in clientele could allow for greater inclusion.
Upon completion, I tried some local gyms and left voice mails before heading to the library to type up the responses of prior meetings. I received a phone call in return from a friend of a friend who happened to own a gym. Just like that, one friendly chat later I had my first gym in WA locked in. I finished the afternoon with John at Hoh River Brewing, a smaller place but great beer that I told others about later. John has a successful career and business with flooring but loves brewing beer and understands that everyone doesn’t experience the same tastes which enables him to try new things that work better than he may anticipate.
At night, I visited with my friends who made yet another meal for me. In a similar fashion as before, I ate it happily. We then relaxed and enjoyed a banished beer from Crux Fermentation Project which was at their usual high quality.
Sunday morning, I had a quick banana and some surprise parting snacks from my friends. We took a picture to imitate a similar picture I had taken with mutual friends earlier in the trip, and I said thank you and goodbye for now. I headed down to Enumclaw to meet with Heather at The Garage, her welcoming facility. Meeting with Heather was a great people type experience. She had met my friend before and those two had a nice bond. Meeting her was almost as if we had already been friends which was a nice experience. I appreciate her kindness and encouragement for my journey overall which was high.
Feeling good after the meeting, I realized I didn’t know what to do. I had all of Sunday remaining. I needed to write up meetings and organize future plans but also needed 1 more gym. The next few hours were somewhat odd, to be frank. I went to Tacoma thinking maybe there’d be a gym I could go to or something. I came across some museums and thought I’d take them in. A little culture would be nice, plus I like to learn. Well, they were both $12 each and so essentially, I walked in, saw the price and walked out. Sure, I felt a little cheap, but with the limited budget for the trip, I decided I’d rather have gas and food later.
I came across a cool looking gym and wandered inside. There was some boxing type class occurring around the corner. I tried to balance between making my presence known, and not being rude interrupting. After some awkwardness, a gentleman came over and asked to help me. I explained to him I needed a gym owner to speak with, but while he was nice and willing to help, it wouldn’t be that day. I was determined to get someone for Sunday so I could move on to Idaho.
I decided I’d retreat to a gym I visited after FOB Brewing but had been closed. As I drove by I saw a car parked and got excited. I hopped out to open the door, except it didn’t open. It was locked. Well, I put my hands up to look inside and saw someone there. After he opened the door, and a few minutes of chatting, Roby graciously agreed to delay heading home to help me. I was so pumped/trying to not take too long I forgot to get his name until the end! Luckily, it didn’t have a detrimental impact and he even was a good sport during the video. I could resonate with Roby who was focusing on improvement, both for himself and his members.
Finishing up my second of 2 gym owners I was feeling like a champ! I then could either head to Idaho, or there was another friend who had commented on a Facebook post that he was in Seattle. We had played sports together and been friends since middle school but have only seen each other once or so since graduating high school. We got in touch and ironed out details to meet up.
A big old bear hug with my friend and meeting his fiancée was followed by a beer. As we chatted (like old and new friends do), they offered me to stay at their place for the night. Also, they just so happened to be going on a boat in Lake Washington in an hour and I was invited. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity and a while later I was smiling as we cruised around in the boat. My friends’ friends were all very kind and the owner of the boat was quite gracious to let this new guy hang out. After a few lovely hours on the water, -which I was told the weather wasn’t usually to this standard, multiple times, we called it a day. The night ended with a dinner which my choice was a peanut butter bacon burger because it was on the menu and my buddy said he had tried one and wasn’t disappointed. Neither was I.
The next day started off with getting to experience a nice gym where a friend worked. I decided a group class would be all encompassing and likely warm up and stretching that I would likely have omitted on my own (far from ideal/recommended, yet true). It was a good class to start the day and I was ready to head to Idaho. I had a friend connect me with another friend regarding a place to stay. I now had a destination. A fun note was that as I was driving to Idaho, I didn’t fully realize/check the route, just knew the roads. As it turns out I was heading to Oregon again on my way to southern Idaho! Well perhaps it’s more amusing if you were on the 7-hour drive 😊 I joked with some friends that “Roady” -my Lego travel buddy from my friends, was also surprised, which lead to more amusement. It doesn’t take much, regardless if I’m on a road trip or not.
Looking forward to continuing this momentum going forward! I appreciate the people who have reached out and said encouraging things and such. As my friends I’m staying with see, I truly get a jolt of excitement when I have somewhere to stay, someone to meet, and along the way I enjoy the comments from all those along the journey with me!