Milestone, Nature ride and “It’s because you are a COUG!”

This was a the perfect weekend for a long ride.  The weather was still cloudy and cool. It is 3 weeks until the RAMROD and the Manchild was not up this weekend.  Plus, once again Michelle was telling me YES you will ride!  Add it all together, it was the perfect day for to catch a ferry and do a century (100 miles) to Sequim and back.

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I have done this ride many times before, and blogged about it more than once.  So I won’t bore you with all the details again.  But, as always, the route did not disappoint for a nature geek like myself. Sadly, for reasons that will become evident, I didn’t get as many photos as normal, and the quality of those I did get didn’t do it for me.

Nature put on a show before the ride even started.  As I was waiting for the Walla Walla (pictured above) to dock, I noticed a blue heron hanging out in the shallows.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, an osprey swooped down and plucked a fish from the sound!  Very cool!

Neither the osprey, nor the ferry coming into dock seemed to bug the heron, so as soon as I got on board (bikes go first!) I went straight to the back to snap a picture.  Of course, he was gone by then!  OK maybe next time.

I sat in a window and waited for the trip to start just in time to see a kingfisher jet by!  Love taking our ferries.  I kept the camera next to me just in case I saw a whale! (no such luck)

When the boat docked and just as I got on the road, it did something it hasn’t done in months!  It rained!!  I didn’t ever care that I didn’t have rain gear, it just felt good.  It only lasted a couple a minutes, just long enough to put on the helmet cover.  I took it off a mile later when it got too warm.

In past trips, I stuck to the freeway, 101, and its wide shoulder to get where I was going quickly.  This time, I took every side road I could find.  And I am glad I did.  I saw some new sites!

First, I learned the TRUE meaning of low tide:

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I learned that not ALL of those who live along this great bike route are that friendly!

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I swear I also heard someone from this house yell “You damn kids get OFF my lawn!”

Then, further down the road, I found an entrance to the discovery trail I hadn’t seen before.  I have to tell you with all the sun and severe lack of rain I was surprised to see it so mossy.

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I made it into Sequim no problem at all, and decided to go further along the Discovery Trail.  Looking at the map I saw a “shortcut route” to the trail.” I have to tell you, this shortcut took me through the biggest damn trailer park I have ever seen!  It went on for miles!

Soon though I was back on the trail and spotted these two just hanging out

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I really wasn’t happy with the iPhone on this shot, so I went rifling through the bag for my Canon SX160IS point and shoot.  This baby has a 64X digital zoom! (Cue Tim Allen for the appropriate grunts! MORE POWER!)

Editors note: truly this is Michelle’s camera, but I think she has resigned herself to the fact I use it more often…  

However, no matter where I looked I could NOT find the damn thing!  I checked pockets, the coat, anywhere I could think of, 4 times!  Where the hell is it.  I know I had it with me, I took it on the boat and it was sitting next to me…

Ever get that really crappy feeling in your gut when you KNOW you screwed up?  That was me, cuz the only place it could be was on the boat I forgot it. (I will not share the words that came out of my mouth at that point.)

Well, I still hadn’t hit the 50 mile turn around, so there was only one thing to do.  Keep going, then beeline back and get on the same boat.  Luckily:

  1. I always look to see which boat I am on
  2. There are only 2 so I had a 50/50 chance…

I made it to Trestle park, and luckily I had just hit 50 when I had no choice but to turn around.

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Nope not the safest bridge! I was shooting the picture through the gate on my side.  Couldn’t cross here if I had to!

On the way back, I was mad at myself for forgetting the camera.  Almost every shot I have gotten comments on here on the blog, on Facebook and Instagram (search for Moutainstroh) have been taken with that camera! So I was pushing it to get back and hoping it was waiting for me!

Nature didn’t stop though.  At one point on the trail, I locked up the brakes and just stared at a doe and her fawn, who stared right back!  I reached for the phone for the snap shot, but they bolted. I also passed no less than 6 older folks on recombinant tricycles.  They looked liked a biker gang!

My second brake lockage occurred when I spotted this on the side of the road.

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This is the biggest anthill I have ever seen, the perspective is hard here, but (no lie) it is 5 ft tall, and 3 ft wide, no idea how deep and there were a million ants scurrying hither and yon on the surface.  I took this one to help with the size.

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The last stop (not counting water refills and snacks) came when I reached a new milestone.  Yep, 20,000 miles since I started riding in 2008.  Plus I have doubled my miles since the beginning of this blog 2 years ago.

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From here on, except for another osprey landing just across the bridge from me, the rest of the ride was pretty dull.

Well, except for when I saw the long ling of cars waiting for the ferry (1.5 miles long).  Walking along the line were to girls and their dad.  Dad was wheeling a giant cooler, while the girls had a sign that said Ice cold soft drinks and (OMG) Otter Pops!!  The sun had come out, it was getting warm, I was tired and I immediately wanted one!

“OTTER POP!!!” I shouted and came to a stop.  Dad asked, “What color?” “DON”T care! Whatever is on top!”  That two feet of ice-cold goodness carried me the last mile.  I pulled up and saw the WALLA WALLA!  Already boarding!!

Now I’ve said time and again, bikes get on first and are up in front.  Unless we get there after boarding, then we are dead last and ride in the back, and this time that is right where I was.

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I asked the deckhand where lost and found was, and he directed me to the 2nd Mates office. (I wonder if the 1st mate gets to hit him with HIS hat like skipper does to Gilligan).  I was sitting there waiting when he showed up and sure as hell there it was!!

Editors note:  I have a theory that most dirtbags that would just steal the camera just don’t get up early enough to grab the 7 AM ferry.  It was mostly families on the boat with me that morning, and someone turned it in!

I turned to the lady behind me and said “WOW there are honest people!” and she replied, “I think its because you are a COUG (I had the WSU Jersey on!)  We COUGS are just good people and good things happen to us!” I can’t complain there.

I went back to the bike and tested it quickly to make sure nothing had happened to it.

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And as you can see, I was MUCH happier now!

imageThanks for reading!

 

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7 Responses to Milestone, Nature ride and “It’s because you are a COUG!”

  1. Wot, no pics of the escapee camera? We have big anthills here as well – they are so impressive.

  2. Wow, what a relief to get the camera back – whew. And you give good descriptions here of the various hazards along the way — everything from anthills to broken bridges to trailside warning signs!

    • I was VERY lucky to have the boat I was came over on be there when I got to the dock AND that someone turned it in. Sometimes you get lucky!

      That ant hill was huge. I wish there had been a way to the get the bike close to it for perspective, but then I would’ve felt like I literally had ants in my pants for the next 30 miles

      • Don’t go there, the ant hill photo was close enough! You will ride to Sequim again sometime and now you are prepared for some other photos of places you couldn’t capture this time. Your writing was very descriptive and the anticipation of retrieving the lost camera added dramatic tension!

  3. sarburch says:

    Dude — you had me sitting on the edge of my seat while reading your entire post! But, yeah, a happy ending — I like those! (What I don’t like is that sign about trespassing earning you a free trip to a funeral home. Some people are just poop heads!)

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