25 June 2010

last year's cycling adventure

The days have been such a blur that I hadn't been paying much attention to the dates.  But this morning, I woke up and took a peek at the calendar to see how many more days I have to get my act together in time to fly to Boston, and I realized that exactly a year ago, one of my most treasured adventures had just ended.
I bicycled 400 miles around the Olympic Peninsula with my parents, then met one of my best friends in Seattle and biked almost 100 miles around the San Juan Islands with her.  500 miles in less than two weeks.  It was glorious.  Utterly glorious, and I decided to share a couple of my favorite photos from that trip today.  Partially so I can relive it a little bit, but also to share the magic.
Cycling around the Olympic Peninsula, we went through all sorts of different environments, including rain forests, and biking down along the ocean.  The one constant was the color green; it was everywhere.  Growing up in New England I am used to a lot of greenery, but this was something else - a landscape completely saturated with vibrancy and life.
And the moss!  Oh, the moss...
One of my favorite aspects of cycling such a long distance was noticing things I never would have in a car, even though I keep my eyes pealed in the passenger seat.  The pace is slower, so things appear that never would at 60mph.  Things like funny misspelled signs, funky statues in peoples' yards, amusing street signs, and so many cats.
I also can't stand when I see a picture I'd love to take, but by the time I realize it, I've whizzed past it and it's too late.  Not on a bike!  We stopped and took every picture we wanted to, and posed with all sorts of interesting things.
If you ever have the chance to take the ferry to the San Juan Islands, and cycle around them, do it!  The magic there is palpable, and life feels like a dream.
My dear friend Allie and I just sauntered around the islands, bicycling in dresses, eating freshly made crepes at the farmers markets, napping in hammocks, pausing to dip our toes in the ocean whenever needed.
For our Solstice celebration, we hiked Mt. Constitution, the highest point of the islands, drank some vodka, ate some pumpkin seeds, and lit candles.  We also frolicked around the top, completely rejoicing in the glorious view surrounding us in all directions.  We stayed until it was dark, and then realized we had forgotten our headlamps.  It was an exciting hike down to say the least, and yes, I fell.
There is nothing quite like traveling 50 miles in a day, using nothing but your legs for power, and setting up camp.  It is so completely gratifying.  This is by far the best way I've ever explored an area.

It's HOT out today!  So nice of Summer to finally arrive.  My weekend looks like it will be full of packing, so I have a feeling I might sneak away to post here a couple times.  Nothing like some good old fashioned procrastination.  Oh, and this is my first post on my new laptop!  So fun.  I will confess that transitioning to a mac is confusing me, so I might be posting old pictures again until I figure everything out.  
Have a magical weekend!

10 comments:

  1. You've had some really great adventures!!! These photos are beautiful

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  2. wow! that's a lot of cycling! and what awesome and inspiring photos!

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  3. I love that you shared your experience with us - it does sound magical, indeed.

    And I think that's why I like to walk - you can take so much more in and stop when you want to inspect something closely... none of which you can do from a car.

    I hope the packing is going well, dear. You have such an open, free spirit - I have a feeling it will take you far in life. Can't wait to see what incredible things are in store for you, as you embark on this new adventure.

    xoox,
    -maria

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  4. Gorgeous! I had no idea you were from New England--yay for East Coast!

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  5. What great pictures! I'd love to get into biking!

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  6. SO glad summer has reached you!

    i've been meaning to get into biking again---your trip descriptions and photos have convinced me the time to do that is NOW!!

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  7. You really were able to see some fabulous things. Those birds on the back of the sheep (goat?) are wonderful--great image!

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  8. just when I love you the most ever, you open the door to another room to fill with bubbles of love... thinking of you today <3 <3

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  9. these photos are great - so much great, and looks like an adventurous trip

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