Bike or Hike?

>> September 28, 2013

This week we are enjoying our new Thousand Trails membership in Newport, WA. I’ve thought about the commercials where a middle aged lady is whining about her son’s adventurous lifestyle via “the boat, the boat, the boat”, or his motorcycle escapades, or the kid’s honeymoon spent camping. How unromantic is that?

Her husband quietly munches on snacks as they sit side-by-side in their recliners, going nowhere, doing nothing, living in fear that an adventure might be the death of them and I’m pretty sure not experiencing anything remotely romantic.

Embarking on an adventure seems…well…adventurous. One of my favorite movies is UP. The quote “Adventure is out there!” strikes excitement in the child-mind at the beginning of the movie but later we notice that the adventure has a sense of peril, danger or mishaps. Every good adventure holds a bit of those elements, don’t you think?

This week Les and I headed out exploring the campground on our bikes. (BTW, Explore is one of those precursor words to an adventure).  We cruised on the paved portion of the campground for a couple  of miles, pressing up a long, arduous hill and sailing back down once it was conquered.  

I soon took the lead and headed down a dirt road towards the “lake” (aka: Mallard Marsh). Les said he knew from looking at a map earlier that there was a trail all the way around the lake. We stopped and assessed the fact we didn’t bring water or snacks but it looked pretty doable in a reasonable amount of time.

“Let’s go for it!” I shouted. I’m always up for a good nature romp AND I had my camera.

We noticed there was a sign on the entrance of the path that had a symbol of a single footprint. The kind of footprint you make when you wear waffle stomper boots. What’s that mean? Foot traffic only? Oh well, it’s off season in the campground and our bike ride exploring won’t be bothering any pedestrians. Onward!

Our cruiser bikes were doing rather well in this mountain bike environment, even if we had to get off and push them up a steep hill. I thought to myself…Maybe this is why it’s pedestrians only?  We crested the hill and discovered a lookout platform; a perfect place to rest and listen to life on the marsh. After a bit we judged our location at almost the half-way point so we chose to press on and walk our bikes down the other side of the steep hill.

Immediately, huge boulders and fallen trees became an embedded part of the trail. Remember those adventure words? Peril, danger, mishaps? And so our adventure really began.  For about a half mile we wrestled, pushed, lifted, and carried our bikes on what clearly was now a moderate to difficult steep hiking trail, befitting waffle stompers not tennis shoes or cruiser bikes!

Les would call back to me making sure I was alright when he couldn’t see or hear me through the brush. I hated to admit to him I was stopped taking pictures so I’d tuck my camera away and hustle to catch up, banging myself with the bike, lifting it over obstacles, or stumbling into boulders, yet laughing the whole time.  I was enjoying myself 100%.

Finally we pushed through into a wide clearing where some recent logging had taken place. We explored the open area, then we were able to actually ride our bikes. As we sped along the logging road, Les’ bike caught a large stick between the fender and the tire, but with a great deal of effort, he yanked that sucker right out of there and we were able to ride remainder of the way back to our campsite.

Our bikes are a bit banged up and so are my legs, but we survived. Should we have taken our bikes on that trail? Probably not, but I am so very glad we did.

Adventure is out there.  And who doesn’t love an adventure? Probably people who prefer to stay warm and safe… and bored.

Enjoy the slide show of our Marshy adventure.

1 comments so far...Care to leave your thoughts?:

rebazooka,  9/29/2013  

Loved reading about your adventure. And I apsolutely love the thought of you camping. Makes me smile. BIG!!!

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