I've never done the non-monogamy relationship thing before. Ever. My relationship history has been very traditional (minus the whole marrying a woman, but even that was traditional by most standards.) But recently, in the last 6 months, I've ventured into new territory by dating an awesome dude and it's been refreshingly fun, low anxiety and guilt, and something that I think I could get behind.
I have no idea if this is something I want to do long term, but for now, (and the last 6 months), it's definitely been working. No guilt if I kiss somebody else, no expectation that I'm going to call/text/Facebook him all the time. It's wonderful. And, it could be that he doesn't have social media or a cell phone, but this is like no other relationship I've ever been in before, and it's A+.
We recently went bike camping at Kanasket-Palmer State Park. This was our 5th bike camping trip together, and our 2nd one with just the two of us. Our first was a group trip to Elkhorn Campground, followed by a solo trip to Manchester State Park in June, another group trip to Green Mountain Horse Camp, another group trip to Manchester, and finally, this fall trip to Kenasket-Palmer.
Besides Elkhorn, this would be our longest ride together, and we were set to ride after work on a Friday afternoon. We knew it would probably get dark before getting to the campground, as it was routed to be 37 miles from his shop to camp. The route was supposed to take us mainly on trails, after we got out of Georgetown.
Friday afternoon proved to be absolutely gorgeous, with afternoon highs as we started riding in the low 70s, and the sun dipping low into the sky. As expected, as the miles wore on and the roads switched from pavement to gravel, the skys turned quickly to twilight to dusk to dark. We both run Dynamo light setups, so lights were no problem and riding and trails we didn't worry about cars. About 8 miles out from camp, we made a turn which put us onto one last highway which would carry us into camp. Not too concerned, as there was wide highway, my spirits were high as I was excited to spend a night in the woods with this man that I have really come to enjoy the company of.
Soon, however, my high spirits came crashing down, as 3 cars in a row made me question my life choices to travel by bicycle. The first truck practically buzzed us, roaring by us at a ridiculously high speed on a narrow turn. WHY?!!!???? Not necessary. The second encounter was a gigantic jeep. The passenger leaned out and yelled "Go back to Seattle Faggot." Uh, ok. Sure. The third car threw beer cans at us.
Come on Maple Valley! You're only 35 miles from Seattle. Not that far. And we weren't even impeding your travel. We were on the shoulder, are we THAT threatening?!?!
We finally made it to camp safely, made a fire, and settled in. There were some not so friendly raccoon visitors, but the boy made quick work of them (or so he thought) with some rocks thrown at them. They did come back to visit us later in the night. Snuggling up by the fire was wonderful after a summer of no fire camping with the burn ban. I sure hope we get enough rain this winter and spring to be able to have fires all next summer. Please oh please.
The next morning we slept in longer than I've ever slept in while camping (11am!), packed up camp, and made our way back to Seattle. On the way back, I decided to turn on Strava, as it definitely felt like more than 36 miles. Sure enough, it was a solid 41 miles. Google- you lied to us. But it was a beautiful lie. Auburn leaves, crunchy gravel, car-free trails. I'll take it. Especially with a man who rides bikes to empty campgrounds with me on any given Friday.