Wednesday, September 9, 2009

San Juan Island Adventure

One last glorious summer trip to hang on to during the months of sweaters and all things downy, turned out to be one of our highlights of the season. Three families planned together for a San Juan Island tour. We packed bikes, coolers, cold weather, hot weather, and rainy weather clothing, all jammed into suitcases way too small.

Our kids were excited.

The grownups were excited.
(Scott Griffith, My sweet hubby - Jim, and Brian Bowe)
(Our fearless leaders)

We found a perfect place, large enough to fit all of us with a beautiful park-like outdoor setting to boot.

Our bike adventure began in the early morning hours on a ferry headed for Lopez Island - and the great unknown.

(Here I am in the blue shirt with my good friend, Tonya as I get ready to do some biking.)

Now, I feel it only fair to tell you all that I am not a biker. Worse than that, I am a shirker of a non-biker. I had every intention of biking this summer, but did I get my bike legs ready for the long awaited trip? Nope! I lived in utter and complete denial of the impending bike trip. Actually, I should say I looked forward to the trip - it was just the actual biking part that I disregarded. I have thought back over this. What was I really thinking? I am a fairly planned person, but when it came to this trip and doing something I really didn't want to do - like get in shape for a difficult bike trip - I wimped out. I guess I figured I would just do my best and that might get me through. Well, unfortunately for me, it just didn't work that way.
(Thankfully, others also had to walk their bikes up a few hills).

I rode my bike for a short way and then encountered the mother of all hills. I absolutely could not get up that stinking hill. I not only had to push my bike up the hill, I had to sit down on the side of a busy highway because I thought I would throw up. Not my greatest moment.

At one point, while my head was on my lap as I sat on the side of the road, I think I spotted a pregnant woman who biked past me, pulling her toddler in a trailer behind her.

Small children were biking circles around me.

I decided I did not want to go out like that. After the nausea subsided, I had my husband, who was driving the truck, drop me off - away from my biking group - I didn't need any more humiliation, thank you - and I was determined to end on a high note. While I never made it around the island, or even anywhere close to that, I did get back up on my horse (bike) and tackled another hill or two; not as big as the one that took me out, but still a stretch for me. I will never forget cresting one of the hills and feeling the wind and the thrill of just sailing down the road - it was wonderful -

the downhill part.

Now I know there is a deep spiritual lesson here - but I am quite sure you can make the connection yourself, so I will not belabor the point. Let's just say there should be no doubt that God has a sense of humor and believes in the laws of natural consequences. If we look carefully enough at the day to day situations we encounter we can make spiritual connections that are abundantly clear and full of meaning. After all, daily living is spiritual - so the connections are an outflow of our lives.

'Nuff said.

I happily drove the "sag wagon" the rest of the day!

Despite the difficulty I had with the actual biking portion of the bike trip, it was one of the highlights of our summer.
(Here is our group at the end of the 35 mile Tour de Lopez loop!)

We enjoyed exploring the islands, hitting some estate sales, and browsing the local bookstores. Our boys tried their hand at crabbing. They were able to catch a few that we brought home and cooked. Here they are with a starfish they found.

We played badmitton, croquet, and horseshoes. And my favorite - speed scrabble (bananagrams).

We took a trip to Mt. Constitution and the weather was spectacular. We could see for miles.
(Tonya Griffith and Sara Bowe - from the top of Mt. Constitution)

The trip made me thankful for dear friends who were willing to carve time out of their busy schedules to drink in life; together. We played hard and made memories that will last a lifetime.

This is the good stuff.


  1. Indeed, this is the good stuff! We haven't had a trip with friends in forever, but are going to Gatlinburg in November with a couple and can't wait! I had to laugh at your comments about the pregnant woman passing you. While out running, I often tell people that elderly people with walkers lap me several times before I finish. So funny.

    And you're right; all of life should be a spiritual experience. God created us with the moments in mind.

    Have a great week; I think we'd make great biking buddies...


  2. Ha! I love it - I'll be your biking buddy any day (we'll sneak away and get a cup of coffee!) Blessings friend! Don't put off that trip with friends - it's so worth it!