Northbound once again

06Mar13

On September, 13th after an enjoyable break on Vashon, WA we left the house and headed to the north end of the island on out bikes and caught the ferry to downtown Seattle to begin riding north to British Columbia. The ride on the island was brisk and a little foggy. The daily bustle in early morning in Seattle was exciting. We watched a lot of commuters come in on ferries. There were pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, plenty of cars and trucks pouring into the city. We waited  for the next available ferry to Bainbridge Island. They ferry ride was short and after we got off we immediately found a park and had a breakfast snack. While eating we watched a woman’s crew team practice in the harbor. The main road we took on Bainbridge Island was big and wide and at times fairly busy. Just across an old, rickety bridge over the Agate Passage on the north end of the island we decided to have a big lunch at a big buffet at the Suqaumish Clearwater Casino. After lunch, we explored the grounds, casino and hotel and waterfront area as we tried to digest a mountain of food. Slowly, we hit the road with full tanks and could barely get going. The riding north of Suquamish was tight and the drivers were generally speeding and miserable. Bursts of ferry traffic from Edmonds, WA made riding exhausting. We had intentions of riding into Kingston, Wa to check out the Classic Cycle with its museum but due to the traffic situation we bailed. We took a short stop in Port Gamble to regain our composure and watch some tourists wobble around after being let out of a big tour bus. Later that day we crossed the Hood Canal on a floating bridge that connects the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas. It is the third longest floating bridge in the world. The tides fluctuate as much as 18 feet in this salt water tidal basin. Cool bridge with heavy traffic. There seems to be heavy traffic all through this region. That night we camped out down an old logging road at a quiet spot in the woods near Shine, WA.

Downtown Seattle form near Pier 50

Seattle Fire Department boats docked downtown

Ferry to Bainbridge Island

Marvin Olivers’ Facing You constructed out of cast glass

Marvin Oliver’s contemporary glass work representing the sun and the moon

Amazing art on display in the Hotel at the Clearwater Casino

Totem looking out on the Agate Passage

The next morning we slept in a bit and let the morning roar of traffic subside. This has been a technique we have been using as we have traveled around the country – we share the road – just at different times. We try hard to avoid rush hours, lunch hours and Fridays all together if practical. A slight shift in our ride times in order to make the riding a bit more enjoyable and safe! We wound our way up through the Chimacum Valley to Port Hadlock, WA to try and stop in and see our friends Brad and Eva who we met in Montrose, CO earlier in the summer. You can read about their neck of the woods in this older post. Once in Port Hadlock we weren’t able to connect and decided to head off for Port Townsend that night. Passing through Irondale, WA , Bryan was right hooked by a woman turning into a bank drive-up window. What a bummer. Debi was actually able to catch up to her at the window and informed her that she almost killed her husband. The woman said she had the right away. So sad. We have found that a lot of drivers don’t fully understand Right of Way for safe road usage. We watch people pass on the right, make hard right hand turns (the right hook) in front of cyclists, tail gate  and drive aggressively and distracted. It is an awfully scary situation to be in and often goes without the driver knowing of any wrong. Today, in Irondale, WA was the day we decided that this would be our last big bicycle tour on the roads shared with motorists. We have been in thousands of situations involving motor vehicle traffic and have had our fill and then some. That is OK because there is plenty of other riding out there to be had. Check out another fellow cyclist, Cass Gilbert who we met in Mexico, he has  an exceptional site of touring through the Americas on everything but paved roads. Thanks Cass for keeping it as real as it gets!

As the afternoon calmed down we found ourselves heading over to Aldama Beach on Discovery Bay which is off the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Here we picked up the Larry Scott Memorial Trail. This turned out to be a nice quiet trail that helped us get our mind off the early part of the day. The trail brought us right into Port Townsend, WA .

Coming into Port Townsend on the Larry Scott Memorial Trail

Port Townsend Paper plant along the Larry Scott Memorial Trail

The trail brings you right into the shipyard and marina area of Port Townsend. Coll area  – lots to look at. We made our way down the  main street and settled into Pope Park and cooked up some zucchini and hot dogs. After lunch we headed up and over to Fort Worden State Park on the north end of town.The park is located on Wilson Point jutting out into the Admiral Inlet on the Puget Sound. Here we found a $14 hiker-biker site that suited our needs perfectly. As we were getting ready to cook some dinner a Law enforcement officer came down the trail and verified who we were and if we would like to receive some visitors! Brad and Eva had found us. We had left a message at their marina of travel plans. They were out for the day but decided to come find us. We all headed out into Port Townsend and found an Indian restaurant for dinner. So great to see you both again!

Tall Ship in dry dock in Port Townsend, WA

Blue skies and big boats

An old, rusty beater

Rose Theater in Port Townsend

On Saturday, September 15th we woke up, had breakfast and spent the day riding our bike s around Fort Worden. There are trails all over the park and the area has old batteries that used to house large cannons. Back in the 1890’s this was the first line of defense against nautical attacks to cities like Seattle and Tacoma not to mention the Naval yard in Bremerton. The Fort was closed in 1953 and was turned into a park in 1955.

Fort Worden State Park

View from a high point in Fort Worden State Park

Large Nest – Eagle?

Andre the Giant stencil on an old Battery in Fort Worden State Park

Tomorrow, we head out and on toward Sequim, WA on the Olympic Discovery Trail.

See you there,

B+D

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