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Our flight home from Palm Springs was late enough on Saturday to allow for another day of climbing and cavorting in the dry, warm desert. Andrew did a great job of selecting routes that would challenge Mrs. Perils, and even kept a couple aside that would not completely emasculate dear old Dad.
This one is a fun, easy one called “Cyclops”. It starts out in an enclosure that looks like the skull of some dead avian creature, and finishes through a tunnel-like structure that looks like an eye upon a piece of the landscape.
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We got to the airport in Palm Springs in plenty of time, as our flight was delayed an hour. We ducked into a cafe in the airport for dinner, and caught the last few minutes of the NFL game between St. Louis and the Seahawks. The most salient piece of information we gleaned was that it was still rainy and cold in Seattle.
Sometime during dinner the Most Recently Former Republican Senator from Washington took a table in the cafe, ordered a beer and read a book. The only other time I’d seen him in person was in the mid-70s when I was organizing the Whidbey Island Century bicycle ride for Cascade Bicycle Club, and the MRFRSFW graciously allowed us to use his Mutiny Bay beach cottage as a rest stop. He was a sometime bicycle enthusiast and had ridden across the country during the BikeCentennial days. At that time, he was the state attorney General, and one of a group of moderate Republicans, along with Dan Evans, whose good-government and positive environmental leanings I had respected. I was always puzzled by the MRFRSFW’s hard right turn and environmentalist-baiting when he became a Senator. In the cafe in the here-and-now, I had to short-leash Mrs. Perils, as she was starting to snarl and paw the ground menacingly.
From all the flying around I’ve been doing, I have platinum frequent-flyer status with Northwest, and, since Alaska Airlines code-shares with them, I can sometimes get upgrades if there’s space. When we’d checked in, the agent told me my fare classes were too low to honor my NWA certificates, but I decided to ingratiate myself with the gate agent when we got there anyway. At the last minute, it turned out that there was first-class space available, and he reticketed both of us, to my delight. Our seats, as fortune would have it, were one seat behind the MRFRSFW. I chuckled to myself a little as I wondered if Mrs. Perils perceived the irony in her desire to launch a populist putsch against the ostentatious gluttony of the Republican regime from seat 2D of our 737.
My turn to be abashed came as we were exiting the plane and a former boss a couple of seats over recognized me and proffered his hand. We had not, of course, had any opportunity to shower or otherwise prepare ourselves to return to civilization (let alone a first class cabin), and I looked approximately like this:
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What the camera doesn’t disclose are the cartoon stink waves that are certainly emanating from me and everything I was wearing.

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Since we’ve returned to Seattle, it’s rained almost non-stop, and the memory of our short visit to the desert has taken on a fever-dream unreality. I’m glad I have the photos - they’re an antidote some days to the drip and shiver. To see a larger collection of these photos, click here.
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