I love the seasons. As a biker, I revel in the differences nature presents. I like it when it’s hot, I embrace it when it’s cold. But nothing beats the pleasant shock of flying from the deep freeze of Washington in January to the paradise that is the U.S. Virgin Islands, especially on the invitation of our good and generous friend Sally to her home way from home, Points of View, on the East End of St. John. It took about a second to adjust, from the 25-degree morning at home to the 85-degree afternoon on the tarmac on St. Thomas. (Links to the photostreams are embedded in the text.)
As we told our waiter at dinner on the stopover night in Charlotte-Amalie, ice is not only what you put in a glass of rum, it’s the stuff they wash off the plane so it can fly to the Caribbean.
After taking the 25-minute ferry from Red Hood to Cruz Bay, we drove from the west side of St. John over the volcano to the East End. Two years ago, the first time I was charged with playing chauffeur for our party of four with friends Bob and Lavona, I was drained from the harrowing experience of driving at the edge of a cliff on the left side, even though all the cars are U.S.-style, left-side steering. This time I had adjusted, with the little help from my passengers occasionally admonishing, “Left side, left side.”
My highlight was a morning 10-mile hike from POV to the village of Coral Bay and back. I have imagined biking the 10 hills, some pitched at up to 30 percent. I’ve seen a couple of bikers do it, including a guy with long white hair and beard. But I was satisfied to walk/jog the twisting road, stopping to take pictures and memorize the views.
Otherwise, our daily agenda was wake, eat, snorkel, read, nap, cook, sleep, repeat. We traveled no farther from base than the national park on the north side of the island and the coves in between in search of good snorkeling.
We could get used to this. I’d settle for a week every January.