A mile into today's ride, I got my first flat tire of the trip. When I took the tube out, I discovered that the flat was caused by a broken rim. Time to look for a bike shop and find a new wheel! I was able to patch the tube and cover the sharp sections of the broken rim with electrical tape, then pedal slowly and carefully to a store called "Sporthaus Ski, Bike, & Tennis Shop". I am very grateful to the folks here, who sent their young bicycle mechanic to a storage unit to retrieve the one 26" wheel they had in stock that was set up for caliper breaks, and managed to quickly work the repair job into their schedule . While they were retrieving and mounting the new wheel, I went next door for coffee and a breakfast burrito in an attempt to bolster morale.
At long last I was able to get on the road again and resupply milkweed seeds (half of which I had lost in the blustery climb out of the Columbia Gorge), pastries, and 70 SPF sunscreen from the wonderful Celisa at the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy. After a hot but very pretty pedal thru Cowiche Canyon, I came upon the Tieton planting site. There was no sign of milkweed here, perhaps because of the shade cast by large bushes and trees nearby, perhaps because of disturbance from local roadwork, or perhaps because of the invasive grass growing here. However, I planted a new little spot and recorded a brief improvisation based on the song Alejandro composed and recorded here last fall. Hopefully we will both return soon to make music for monarchs and milkweed!