For the first time in a LONG time the stars aligned correctly! It was Saturday, there was nothing planned (I had to let the brother-in-law know that we would NOT be moving boxes to Mums house on the nicest day of the weekend (we will be doing that today)) and the kid was not up for the weekend. (I feel guilty leaving him (he’s 15) for more than 3 hours when he visits as he’s only up every other weekend.
Yep yesterday was a day for a longer bike ride. The question was, how long? I am not ready for 100 miles yet, but my normal 40 mile route just wasn’t what I was looking for. I decided it was time for my favorite 70 mile route. I would take the Edmonds – Kingston ferry (which loads 10 minutes from our house) Once off the ferry I would ride to Port Townsend and back. It’s a small touristy town on the Olympic Peninsula right on Puget Sound.
A quick aside, if you ever get a chance to go, especially with a significant other, I HIGHLY recommend the Morgan Hill Loft! It’s a great place, and not too expensive, my wife and I love it!
However, today was just a there and back! I would head there, get a hotdog and ride back!
Got up early, made a quick run to Starbucks for my wife still snuggled in bed (Venti black iced tea with 4 pumps vanilla) then had my favorite pre bike breakfast, a giant ham and cheese bagel sandwich, then headed for the ferry.
I remembered very quickly why I normally hit the Peninsula on Sundays. I had to PAY for parking! (HATE THAT) Monday thru Saturday, street parking in Edmonds is limited to 3 hours!
Oh well, got to Kingston and it was COLD and FOGGY. At some points it was foggy enough that water was dripping off my nose! Glad I layered up!
Got to Port Townsend in almost exactly 3 hours. Not bad as there was a bit of headwind near the end, and I was taking it easy since this was the longest ride since last summer. When i got there, I found out why the saying “The best laid plans often go astray!” My hotdog place was being torn down (or repaired, it was hard to tell!)
Aside #2 Not sure why, but honestly the only time I buy hotdogs from a stand (aside from a Mariners game) is when I bike longer routes. They help me finish my rides! I needed a Plan B! I had eaten one PB&J (the ultimate ride food) on the way out, and I had another for the way back. But I wanted something hot! Then I found Nifty Fifty Soda Fountain. It looks like something out of “Happy Days” (the TV show from the 70s). They make a killer grilled cheese and fries and a root beer for $8! Hit the spot!
By the time I finished my meal, the sun started to come out! That, plus a tail wind let me shuck a layer and make good time on the way back. It also let me see what I missed in the fog on the way out!
First off, even the road has a lot of hills (which is why I use it) it travels next to a pastureland valley for about 10 miles. I saw the normal sheep, cows and horses, but when I saw this I had to stop!
This is NOT what you see every day!
I was very happy the fog had lifted when I made it to the Hood Canal bridge. This is a mile long, mostly floating, bridge that spans (as you might think) Hood Canal. Sorry for the bad picture, the view point was over grown
Every time I cross this bridge though, I think back to 1979 when the damn thing SANK in a big storm (our bridges in Washington have a bad habit of doing that! Look up this one, the I 90 bridge and Galloping Gertie) back in 1979. It did not stop me from stopping (something you do NOT do in a car!) and taking these:
On the other side of the bridge is a tiny town call Port Gamble.
its one claim to fame seems to be a place where people get married (there were two wedding parties there when I went through) I stopped to get a Powerade at the only store in town. Nope no dice. I had a choice of over priced water or pop. Since my last bottle was approaching empty, I bought the water, but I did give a Diet Mountain Dew a LONG hard look.
The last 8 miles were HARD. More rolling hills between me and the ferry home! I kept going, but had to stop to take a picture of the biggest garden gnome I had ever seen!
I also decided I deserved a reward for biking strong for such a long distance, so I stopped at the last bakery before the ferry and had the biggest and best (except for mom’s of course) brownie I have ever had. I feel bad I didn’t catch the name of the place, but I will the next time I go!
I made it to the ferry after 5.5 hours (not counting the lunch) and 71 miles. One of the things I like about rides that involve ferries is that it forces you to sit and relax for 30 minutes to an hour after the ride. I spent the time reading Joe Kurmaskie’s book “Metal Cowboy: Ten Years Further Down the Road Less Traveled”. It was the perfect pre and post ride book. Anyone that could make me want to get back on the bike after an early season 70 is one helluva writer! I may need to dedicate a post to him soon.
The other thing I like is that the scenery where I live, especially from the water, is worth seeing!
All in all, aside from the cold and fog (but hey it is still winter) it was a great day and a great ride! I am making progress earlier this year than ever before!
- Rewarding Yourself for Riding (mountainstroh.wordpress.com)
- Hood Canal Bridge work will aid bicyclists (kitsapsun.com)