07 August, 2007

Bike Trip 2007

Alright, so writing down what the bike trip is like every year is something that doesn't come easy. In theory, yes, I can tell you a few stories about things that happen, places we go and see, laughs we have, in hopes of showing you what is only a small slice of what the bike trip really is . . . but it's so experiential that even that is almost impossible!

I start out my wonderful, ten-day solace, by going to my dear friends' house. There the first three days are always spent hanging out, playing cards, last minute preparations for the bike trip, taking our stuff and bikes to the lodge when the days come for that, and this year I even went to the girl's breakfast that was on that Saturday - what fun it was! Also, at the same time "Water World" is going on. (An event that the church hosts every year for the middle school age, I believe . . .) and the water fun day is always on that Friday that we end up being there. That's rad.

When Sunday finally rolls around it was hard to realize it was here! It felt like it was too soon, or never going to come. But the "bike trip" feeling slowly starts to sink in as we sit in the early service. As soon as worship is over all us bike trip peoples get called up to be prayed for, (this year we overflowed the stage in size!) then it's back to our seats to listen to Pastor Robert teach us. I always love hearing the messages but I usually get somewhat distracted I am oh so very not proud to admit, but it's so true. My mind is already off on my bike. *laughs*

That Sunday it was raining, but we all still flooded outside to the lot behind the building to hop onto not one, but two buses this year! Sorted alphabetically by last name, which put me on bus number two. (There seemed to be so much space on them this year!) After a short two-hour bus ride we arrived in Anacortes. All it takes is a short ride down a rather large hill to get to the ferry and soon we're on and riding off to what will be our first campsite. Though right after we get off the ferry we have about a five-minute bike ride to a small park where 20 pizzas are waiting for the hungry hoards - us! After we eat it's back on our bikes for another short, ten-minute-ish ride to our very first campground.

Now, this first campground - McDonald Campground, is very foresty, traditional even. There are four sites that we always get and they're across from each other over the small dirt road that leads up to the rest of the camp. Boys on one site, girls get two, and one is there for Pastor Mike, Dave and their families. This campground isn't among the favourite of a lot of us, I'm pretty sure it's because of all the bugs, the chilliness and possibly the seeming separateness of us all. But I think it's swell. There is this adorable little fire-pit that we all gather around at night for our worship time and session, and this year there was no burn ban! (The fire was very welcomed, let me tell you.) I think the favourite thing about this site is not the site itself, but what's hidden away behind it. There's a small path that leads from the road to the fire-circle, but if you keep going it leads you back to another small road and across that is "the field." It's oh-so-very exciting! At night it pretty much becomes swarmed by us, most of us go to play Ultimate Frisbee in the dark (with a glow-in-the dark Frisbee of course) but some of us go to just sit on the perfect grass and talk. (The grass is SO perfect, oh man. It's the shiny type which would normally mean that it'd be pointy and prickly, but it's not! It's soft too! Craziness. I don't know how it is, but it's amazing.) I'd only seen the field at night once last year, but this year we had down-time on day two and I went in the day as well! It's huge, like football field size huge, but it's not a football field. At least I don't think so . . . it's kind of just "there," and it's awesome.

We don't really spend a whole lot of time at the campsite itself in reality because day two is the day we go into Victoria. (No, we don't bike in, we get charter buses, again. Haha.) Then we spend the day shopping, walking around, being goofy and having a great time. We meet on the lawn of the Fairmont Empress Hotel before and after, it's stunning! This year we had a bit of extra time since some groups got back early and so a bunch of us started making human pyramids, as is tradition, and we got a rather large one of 10 (I do believe) but soon that wasn't big enough for us. So, we gathered some more people and soon had one being attempted of 15 people! It took roughly 5 tries before we successfully got Jordan to the top and the pyramid was complete (for only about 7 seconds) but complete none-the-less. It was so funny, we had Megan taking pictures, people from our group taking pictures, Clayton taking some video of it and also just random people that would walk by taking pictures! So amusing, it was great.

The next day is that which would be "Hell Hill" day, had there been a "Hell Hill" this year, and there was not. We did, however, get a rather good sized ride in place of it. All up and down hills and about 6 or 7 miles of it, yes, it was a good work out. ;] When we arrived at Ruckle campground the ride we had just persevered payed off in full. We were tucked away kind of in the back, or so it seemed, but still right out in the open where we had an amazing view of the ocean in front of us and soft, thick grass padded down with hay to lay on. (It must have been like 3 inches thick! so comfortable. :]) We kind of just chilled until dinner. Playing cards, Empire and Ultimate Frisbee, the best kind of "chilling" there is. Soon, came dinner, we ate and then got ready for our first session there. We walked a short walk away from our campsite to a little nook in the rocks right in front of the ocean. It was so pretty. The sides of the rock wall-ish things looked as though they had been carved out for the purpose of us sitting. There were two "ledges" that we sat on and yet another small platform just below that Mike taught from and the worship team lead from. It was wonderful, gorgeous, and oh so close to a piece of heaven. I think my favourite part of that campground was the first night. After we walked back quiet time wasn't until 11. Since we had gotten back at around 9:30 we were allowed to talk (whisper) and sit around the campfire for a bit if we wanted to. (Not many of us didn't want to, let me tell you.) The sky was so close to us! That's why I wanted to stay out. The moon was an orange harvest moon and it took forever to rise to it's full, it was so gorgeous. Steven had a very awesome thought, when you looked out over the water (since the moon was so low) it looked as though there was a path (made of moonlight) leading you across the water's surface and right to the moon. It was so gorgeous and his thought was, "What if you could walk right across that path, and straight to the moon?" It was so awesome to look at. Even if we couldn't do it, just the thought was so fun! A bit later I went with Dennis, Raney and Mr. Rene down closer to the water. We lay down and looked at the stars for a good amount of time. They were all so close! It took us a few tries but we eventually located the Big Dipper (when you can see so many stars, you'd be surprised just how many come forward looking like other constellations! It's crazy, dude!) I slept SO well that night, it was awesome.

9/8/07 So a little time has passed, too much time actually. I've been so very busy. Let me finish up my little Bike Trip story and then I'll fill you in . . .

The next day we rode (almost) all the way back to where we started to get to the lake that we were to swim at. Even though it was tiring for a lot of us and somewhat annoying to some as well, the lake was perfect. So it was worth it. At least I think so. The day after that we were to ride all the way back, it was our "travel day" as we all refer to it as. Up at 5am and on the road by 6:30am. Yes, it's hardcore, but we have 3 ferries in a row to look forward to after we get to the dock. Each ferry varied in length, but from 7ish am arriving at our next stop to ride a bit more to our last ferry at around 12pm and then our final campsite at around 3pm, you can see where the "travel day" title comes into play.

Our final stop is an amazingly pretty campsite in Friday Harbor. It has a beautiful lake and a wonderfully full-of-grass campsite. The other perk is they're both connected. (The campsites we always get that is.) So we're always easy access to everything at all times.

Lazy days happen at this last campsite, no one is in an hurry. We get to sleep in that first night there and free time is abundant. (Except we do ride into Friday Harbor to do some shopping and sight-seeing for that next afternoon.) It's such an adorable town! But still so functional. Everyone is handed $10 for lunch, and there are only a couple options for dining. Well, 3. One is to go to this very tasty sea-food restaurant at the end of the dock. Another a fancy restaurant that all the leaders get treated to as is tradition, so fun! And the last (and the one most all of us opt for) is the grocery store at the corner. We usually end up in groups for walking around anyway, so in our groups we just pool our money and buy all sorts of things to make our lunch! This year Raney, Alyssa, Gregory and I were in a group. We bought wonderfully tasty sourdough bread, lunch meat and cheese (and made tasty sandwiches!) We each got a drink and we bought a quart of ice cream for dessert. Yes, we did eat it all between us. It made us feel stuffed and fat. (Though we did solicited the help of Emilee and John for some of it, that was most lucky that they stopped by!)

The last night is always my favourite. It's the night we do the baptism, communion, loads of worship, the prayer circle and just added; the feet washing station. It's a wonderful night and God never ceases to show up in very evident and amazing ways.

It's always too short of a night and it's a general feeling that we wish the night would last forever. But, all good things come to an end sometime, and around 11pm is the end for our favourite time together. Early-ish day the next day at around 7am when we ride back to the ferry which will then drop us off at our buses to head back to the lodge. It's always over too quickly. Even though this year ran so smoothly and at times felt like it was really slowwwww, it zoomed by. It didn't really have the "Bike Trip" feeling about it, only because the others felt a little more crazy. But I liked this Bike Trip feeling better.

It's just the way it is, they just keep getting better. I love bike trip time. It's hard to think that next year will be my last! Very sad. I went straight home this year after, which is getting more normal seeing as I only didn't for the first year. The great part is that just the next week my friend's always have a "going away/birthday party thing" for their cousin (and our friend) Mischa so I get to see everyone very soon after. That's always good times. They taught me how to play "Telephone Charades" SO fun and SO funny! We also swing danced a lot. (Almost everyone knows how and Steven taught me so I love to practice and dance around with everyone, so very fun. :])

That, is my Bike Trip 2007 story. It was amazing and I wish they'd last forever. Also, looking back I think anyone who's gone on a Bike Trip in the past would tell you; it's not like you even remember the biking anyway! That's how much we bike, hardly at all. Haha.

Okay, now my life as we know it. One word: busy. I've been working a lot, it's taking all my time (awake and not.) I seriously have dreams about work very often now, go to sleep thinking about things I still have to do and wake up with the same thoughts. It's insanity. Which is okay because I have the office all the way unpacked now we can actually us it! I'm so excited for some stability and normality for the paper, it's going to be awesome.

That's really all. The rodeo has come and gone, camping along with it. I always love that bit. Though I was sick over most of it, I got better pretty fast. That was groovy.

I have to go do more work now, but I'll check in with you later. Just had to get this thing finished before school starts again: September 19th! Wow, soon.

Peace + LOVE

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Wow, it sounds like you had a lot of fun! I'm jealous! I wish I was in a church that had those kind of activities for teens but, seeing as how there are only six of us, it seems kinda pointless. I still miss the fellowship though. And I miss YOU!
I so hope you can visit us next summer. That would be soooo ggggreat!