Tuesday, July 29, 2008

San Juan Island Tour, Day 2

Tuesday: the weather forecast for the San Juans had been a 40% chance of rain Tuesday in the day and at night but I heard rain on my tent Monday night and awoke to steady rain. I thought these islands were in the rainshadow! OK, no problem, I would read a book for the first time in many months until the rain let up (I entertained a Princess Variation but check-in time typically isn't until 3pm). Then I hopped on the Surly and rode into town with my shampoo, soap and towel. Yes, it was shower day; one public shower on the whole island for all of the campers to use. It seems ironic now that I am writing about it- I waited for the showers to stop so I could go take a shower.


My favorite ride route on Lopez Island was the one from Spencer Spit to Lopez Village. It rolled gently down along a working farm, worked by oxen.

A left turn went by the sign for the farmstand that seemed to always be open. At the sign for the u-pick berry farm, I turned right to Hummel Lake Road which curved to the right and left and it always felt like I was riding downhill, no matter the direction I was traveling. There were reed grasses along the lake where birds hid and lily pads on the lake itself, making it a good place to fish. The hills on this route were small and required minimal energy and
attention, leaving me more energy to focus on whatever it was I was going into town for.

I showered and, feeling very refreshed, felt it was a good time to be around other people so I did some food shopping. It started to rain again so I ducked into a cafe and managed to make a 16oz mocha last for nearly an hour. One thing to note: the island ways were starting to seep into my system and I no longer used a lock for my bicycle since no one else did and I didn't want to possibly offend anyone with my uptight city ways. When I came out of the cafe, I thought it was possible that my Surly could have become disgusted with me and taken off, having been out in the rain all that time, but there she was, saying, "let's go!" and off we went toward Shark Reef Sanctuary.
I caught myself smiling out loud, to nothing in particular, while on the way to the park. I had taken an unsigned road with the attitude that at least it was a nice road and who cared if it was the right one. I still wasn't sure if it was the "right" one but I was thoroughly enjoying it. Quiet, of course, and with some views, lots of flowers and it meandered and rolled just like the perfect bicycle road should.
And it turned out to be the backroad route to the Sanctuary. I hiked out to the point where there were lots of seals loafing and swimming by the rocks offshore.


At my return to my camp area, I grabbed my thermarest chair and my book and headed down to the spit area by a marsh, to read and relax while the sun began to set. I felt like I was really on vacation.



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