I had my first little solo adventure this last week and it was amazingly refreshing!
This last week I went to Lopez Island located in the Puget Sound. My trip started about a month ago in my head, maybe longer, anyway I thought, that would be a beautiful island to bike around. I don’t think I knew what I was in for as I packed my panniers for my bike and head down on the bus. The getting there was the exciting part. I had forgotten what that feels like when traveling solo. I had adrenaline from biking from Anacortes to the ferry landing, sure, but this other feeling I had was more a mixture of excitement and wonder. I haven’t traveled to a place where I didn’t know someone on the other side or have someone waiting at the airport for me. This was a solo trip, for me, by me and I felt alive.
After disembarking the ferry and at Lopez Island, the first thing you see is the huge hill you have to climb to get out of there. I am not to proud to say I walked up that hill, pushing my bike and gear as cars zoomed passed me on their way home or to there own sightseeing adventure. The hills on Lopez are many and when I first started thinking about it, people were saying how bike friendly it is, and it is because everyone waves at you; but dear god there are a lot of hills. Anyway, I degress, the bike ride was part of the excitement and I have been biking as a form of transportation since 2008 at least. The thing is that being in ‘shape’ is not really my thing and so I struggled and had to get off and push that bike (which I have now named Bertha) up some of those hills.
First thing I did on Lopez was look for a place to have some food and drink! Luckily my friend Kate suggested the Galley for food and refreshing beverages and I took her sage wisdom and biked there with appetite of a lumberjack. The food was a mix of classic dishes and seafood specialties and the bar was a classic little dark bar, though illuminated by the pending sunset. I ordered 1/2 lb of mussels and the pork chop with salad bar…yes, salad bar. The food was great and drinks were strong, I filled up for more bike riding. Now all I had to do was get to the campground and set up my tent. It was on this part of the ride that it hit me…I was doing this alone and it felt rewarding as the few people I talked to along the way seemed quite impressed by my gumption and willingness to ride solo. It was about this time after some of the hills were behind me that I began to actually be proud of myself for my willingness to step outside the comfort zone of my days off.
I decided to camp at Spencer Spit because a few people had suggested it to me. I am glad I did because it was BEAUTIFUL! I grabbed a campsite (I was one of maybe 4 groups) close to the beach in what was considered the primitive campsite. It was only $12 for the sight and by far the best one as I ended up spending the rest of the evening wandering around the beach and day use area to get the last pictures of the sunset.
That night was a fitful one as I haven’t camped alone in years but I was testing my limits and the next morning I made a promise to myself that I would have another solo adventure sooner than later. It empowered me to know that I did bike up those hills and get out there on this little mini adventure. I think too often women stop short of challenging themselves, hell we all do, because we are not sure of the outcome. You know what though, challenging yourself is part of growing and learning and experiencing new things. Pushing myself to do this trip alone made me feel more independent and also gave me a wake up call on some of the ways I am wasting my life. By doing what I think may be hard I am challenging myself to try and take healthy risks. This trip was a road less travelled and I found the street sign to match (which was quite fitting) and I found a little adventurer in me that has been dormant to long.