You know how you say “that was fun” when you finish something? Yesterday, I was reminded that “fun” is a strange thing. For some time now, I’ve recognized that there are varieties of fun – you can have what we call Type I fun (fun while you’re doing it), Type I I fun (fun when it’s over), or some other types which I won’t mention here. But even that doesn’t quite capture the many varieties of fun possible.
Yesterday, Dean and I rode up Hurricane Ridge. This is a climb that starts at the waterfront in Port Angeles and goes uphill for 20 miles, more or less. It’s about 17 miles from park headquarters, also more or less. In both cases, the more or less refers to the miles part not the uphill part. In this climb, there is no downhill. Ever. Was it fun? Yes, but more on that in a minute.
Bruce and Helen joined us to the entrance of the park (5 miles uphill from the park headquarters), where we mooched off Helen’s national park pass to get in for free. Thank you for remembering to bring it, Helen!
Past the park entrance, the grade eases off a bit, although it’s still uphill. Nothing too steep, so progress was steady if slow. That’s ok. I like hills. Truly. You just put your head down and pedal, and pretty soon you’re there. Past the tunnels, I found myself looking for the mile markers, counting them off. By mile 15, I was counting the corners.
Somewhere after mile 16, I realized that when I got to the top, my future self would claim that the ride wasn’t that bad, that it was no big deal. But, as I pedaled along and considered what my future self was going to do, I decided that my future self would be wrong. It was hard, and no matter what I’d say after the fact, Hurricane Ridge is a big deal. Was it fun? You bet, and not just Type I I fun either. But it was still a big deal.
By mile 17, my intermediate goals had gone from mile markers to corners to the next clump of trees 100 yards up the road. And still the road went on. Finally, at 17.8 miles from the park headquarters, we reached the top. And I remembered my prediction. It’s a good thing to know that it’s possible to have fun even when you’re counting pedal strokes between landmarks…