Monday, July 31, 2006

Weekend one in a million

A group of us spent our weekend camping. This was a trip I had reserved some five months ago because it's very competitive for the few campsites available.

To get there, we had to take a ferry. People go this island for hiking, biking, camping, and day picnics. Tourists go there if they know about the great views or are curious about the bits of local history on the island.

It was an overcast morning, but the guys wanted to see the views so we climbed to the top level of the ferry. The boat was full of wide-eyed people ready to start their day of adventures.

Almost immediately after we took our seats, Hula recognized a woman leaning against the railing across from us. What are the odds of running into someone on a ferry going to a tiny little island at 9am in the morning? It's the last place you'd expect to randomly run into people. Somehow Hula knew this woman through our friend, TJ, and had gone shopping with her once. She was part of a group of 20 that was going biking as part of some birthday celebration.

As they chatted, my eyes caught a glimpse of this guy walking around people on the deck. He wore shorts and a bright yellow windbreaker. His hair was black and short cut. Since his back was turned towards me, I couldn't be sure but his body type reminded me of KT. I reasoned that that was unlikely and began to talk with Chi.

Minutes later, I noticed in my peripheral vision that someone was approaching. I heard a "hi Pandax," as I looked up and saw none other than KT walking towards me. It was that guy I spotted earlier. Of all the damn places to run into someone you don't want to see. It's not as if there's much place to run when you're trapped on a boat for 20 minutes, and there's only one exit.

My mind was so caught up in thought - what the hell do I say to this guy - that I forgot about introducing Chi. I also, probably rudely, dropped the conversation I was having with the people next to me about backpacking on the island. After a minute of conversation with KT, her interpretation was that this was not someone I cared to introduce to her. She stood up and walked over to talk with the rest of our group standing along the railing.

"It's good to see you. How have you been doing?"

"Good, yeah, keeping busy with lots of activities."

"Are you still traveling for work?"

"I do have a short trip next week, but actually it's been slow. It's been really nice to be home. How about you? Is this a biking club you're with?"

"No, these are some new friends. Actually, I know this one guy from Mond and he invited me."
[Ugh, the "friends" angle again. Yeah, you're not meeting mine loser.]

"Nice. So, did you buy a house?"

"Naw, you know how it is? [garbled] Still looking."
[Gee, what a surprise. You like living at home with the folks, admit it.]

"What are you out here for?"

"Camping with friends. It's a convenient, local trip."


"Cool. Yeah, so I should give you a call sometime and we could do something"

"Yeah, that sounds good." [Yes, let's pretend to be nice, but I don't need to hang out with you.]

"Okay. Great, I'll see you around. Enjoy you're camping."

"Thanks, have a good bike ride."

"Which campsite are you at?"

"Camp #p" [Why do you want to know that? Please don't come visit.]

"Camp #p. Okay"

"Alright, good to see you."

Meanwhile, Chi had run over to my friends and told them what was going on. She vaguely recognized him from the picture I had shared with her when I first met him. Everyone got a good laugh out of it considering they all knew the stories behind his strange behavior and trying to use me to meet people.

Tim didn't say anything. I could only wonder if he cared or felt at all jealous. He showed no reaction to anyone's comments. Most of the time, people joked and apologized about encouraging me to give KT another chance those months ago. They laughed about being wrong. It was all in good spirits.

The rest of the weekend was great. We snapped plenty of pictures of the water views and visited some of the abandoned buildings. I wouldn't say we did much strenuous hiking, it was more of a leisurely stroll about the island. We even sat at the little beach for a time and wiggled our feet in the pristine sand.

For dinner we had a FEAST. I'm talking a bowl of mashed potatoes, 15 vegetable kabobs, two pounds of boneless chicken breast, and a 1.5 pound flank steak. The scary thing is that we ate it all. To top it off, Bear made some awesome smores. I guess the extra weight was worth carrying in.

At sunset, we made a climb up to the highest peak on the island (all 800 ft.). We reached it just in time to observe the sunlight reflect off the clouds. The upper atmosphere was first this pink color. A whispy streak of white made for a buffer between sky and sea. Contrasted against the blue waters, I felt like I was looking at layers of cotton candy. As the angle of the sun went lower, the clouds took on a golden-orange hue. The little popcorn clouds looked like an amber necklace with those colors reflected upon them. In another part of the sky, the bright crescent moon shined among a sea of pink clouds against a misty blue sky. We could have stayed up there all day to savor the views.

Even though we were there for just over 24 hours, it felt like we had taken a three-day vacation. Our tents had views of the water, and we had ample space. We didn't encounter any rodents, just your occasional yellow jacket. The trip gave us exercise, a history lesson, and bonding time. What more could you ask for?


Anna May Won't said...

sounds awesome! makes me want to go camping.

your asides while talking to KT were hilarious. :)

Pandax said...

Thanks, Doris. Guys like KT make it easy. ;)