Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Going to Where Nothing Happens: Molokai and Lopez Island

In the last month, I’ve run into two couples who had visited Molokai and another couple who plans to go in September. Everyone who went says they had a wonderful time; the couple who are getting ready to go said they were going because it was a place where nothing happens.

Maybe there’s something in our modern life that makes some of us seek out places where “nothing happens.”

When I asked what that “nothing” felt like, one returning visitor said, “It's when you are just happy to be where you are - like floating in ocean water.”

I’ve been to Molokai — once — in the ‘80s and half a day and a night were about enough of where “nothing happens” for me.

Closer to home, my island of Lopez has been again “discovered” by the news media, this time by the Seattle Times in The laid-back pleasures of Lopez Island

Travel section staffer Brian Cantwell wrote:

"Have you heard, they call it Slow-pez?" a Seattle friend with a Lopez vacation home asked before I left the city.

“Some people call the islanders Slow-pezians," said John Warsen, my Long Island, N.Y.-bred host, when I checked in at Lopez Farm Cottages.

“Everybody calls it Slow-pez," I heard again as I rented a bike at the local cycling shop.

I guess it's unanimous: Welcome to life in the slow lane.
OK, sometime I live in the city as a Bellinghamster and sometimes I live in the country as a Lopezian but who wants to be known as a “Slow-pezian”?

When I’m a Lopezian, things are anything but slow:

We’re still working to get President Obama to permanently protect about 1000 acres of Bureau of Land Management lands in the islands by proclaiming the lands a national monument.

We’re hosting a re-election fundraiser on August 20 at the Clam Farm for 40th District Senator Kevin Ranker.

I just learned that islander Tracey Cottingham is celebrating next week the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Baker by organizing a joint sea voyage with the Lummi Tribe into Puget Sound to Lopez Island and on to Bellingham, then climbing together to the top of the mountain.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll have two grandchildren running around, visiting. Slow-pez? Gimme a break.

But I still want to hear the stories of what it feels like when “nothing happens.”

--Mike Sato

1 comment:

  1. I love Lopez. Such a beautiful place.

    I'd love to feature this post on our Northwest-based site. Email me for details.

    shondra (at) dwellable (dot) com



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