Some elements that made the Trek so fun were the new friendships I made, the adventure, the weather, and my new-found appreciation of the little things in life that you miss only when they’re not there…like tooth brushes and showers! Yes, I forgot a toothbrush on the Trek BUT I was able to snag one at a convenience store along the route…whew!
Overall, I learned at lot. Most of the lessons I learned would fall into the “life lessons” category. I learned a lot about what you can and can’t expect life to throw at you. For example, an older bike can’t face 35mph headwinds on gravel trails no matter what you do….apparently a bike’s derailleur can get bent. However, you can expect beautiful weather again and again and AGAIN on the east side of the Cascades. Gotta love a perfect 80 degree day with no clouds in the sky!
Best advice: Double up your bagel! When you make your own bagel for lunch, double up on EVERYTHING to make a very tasty sandwich. This is especially tasty after 47 miles of biking!
Some of the fun experiences we had though were more memorable than the lessons. The most memorable campfire moment was Greenway staff member, Sayward, soloing “Bohemian Rhapsody” for a good three minutes when the rest of the singers simply could not hit the notes or remember the lyrics.
On our second to last day of hiking, we arrived at Newcastle Beach Park in Bellevue. We were greeted by a welcoming crowd of people cheering and clapping and generally making us feel like we had just completed a marathon. It felt amazing.
I think if you ask any of the Trekkers, those 9 days will have been the highlight of their summer. I feel so privileged to be working for such a great non-profit organization devoted to conserving and enhancing the unique landscape from Seattle to Central Washington encompassing 1.5 million acres. And I got to “trek” 130 of them with a great group of people and beautiful views every day. Not a bad way to spend my summer vacation!