When No Plan Is the Best Plan: An Olympic Peninsula Adventure
by KEEN Ambassador Zeppelin Zeerip
The next time you travel, don’t check the weather. Don’t look at Instagram hashtags, definitely don’t watch any videos from those who have gone before you, and absolutely do not Google the area. The next time you travel, leave a little bit of the trip up to chance.
Leave a little to the unexpected. Don’t reserve a campsite. Pack food, but not enough to slow you down. Have a destination, but not an itinerary. This is supposed to be an adventure, right?
Go. Just go. Talk to the locals. Ask them to camp in their backyards. Pick up a hitchhiker. Pick up another one. Slow down, this isn’t a race to get somewhere. In a day and age where we often arrive at a national park or a city with a photo or ‘shot’ already in mind, it leaves little to the imagination.
When my sister invited me to bike tour through the Olympic peninsula of Washington with her in August, I opted to do as little research as possible. We chose a start and a finish, calculated the miles between the two, and hit the road. Neither of us knew where we were sleeping, where our next Instagram photo would be, or whom we would meet along the way.
We slept wherever we could find a place for our tent. We met Indians on vacation, Koreans on work trips, construction workers that surf the Baja, Canadian bicyclists, and the guys that make Lib-Tech snowboards. We got flat tires, hitchhiked, ate copious amounts of candy, and stopped at every opportunity for milkshakes. We laughed a lot, argued a little, and sweated the entire way.
Traveling without a plan is a great plan. Traveling without any semblance of one is even better.
KEEN Ambassador Zeppelin Zeerip’s current film project has him driving his F-250 adventure rig throughout the West documenting America’s relationship with public lands and finding adventure between diesel fill-ups. You can follow Zep on Instagram at @zeppelinzeerip.