I've been in the area before, but I explored further this time.
I started at about 05:00 per the norm, heading straight up the big hill, then along Linden Avenue
The folks at "Shag Interurban" thought it'd be a great idea to block the Linden Cycletrack with their signs. #seabikes— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 4, 2014
It's funny how they try to make themselves seem bicycle-friendly, but then go and block the main bicycle route in the area.
Rather than taking the Interurban Trail into Snohomish County, I left it and took the Shoreline portion of Fremont Avenue, then cut over to 8th Avenue NW/100th Avenue W to get to the ferry terminal. This was very similar to an earlier ride.
When I got downtown Edmonds, I noticed that Google Maps told me to take a little side road. This road doesn't actually provide access to the ferries, since it bypasses the ticket booths (it's blocked off for that reason). I had to backtrack along a sidewalk to pay my fare.
The waiting area has an odd setup there: there are ferry waiting areas for cars on both the dock and the road leading up to it, but the lanes on the dock were blocked off. As a cyclist, I had to go around the waiting area off the dock, make a left around the red light for the ferry which normally only turns green when loading, and only then was I able to get to the end of the dock.
Kitsap, Jefferson, and Clallam
There was an inordinate number of Jeep Wranglers all in a group earlier.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 4, 2014
I first saw some on the ferry, then I saw even more of them once in Kingston and on SR-104.
My route took me to Port Gamble, which I've photographed before.
Then the Hood Canal Bridge.
And the familiar climb over the first two hills of SR-104 west of it. I turned right onto SR-19 to head up to the alternate route over the Quimper Peninsula.
The route involves taking Larson Lake Road and Eaglemount Road.
The Eaglemount Winery, which is present at my local farmers' market, is located out along Eaglemount Road.
I'll have to dig up old photos from previous rides in the area since I skipped some things this time.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 4, 2014
Following that came the rapid descent along SR-20 to US 101 at Discovery Bay. Things like this really make me glad that I learned how to use my drop bars! (There are issues with responding with the controls quickly enough at those high speeds.)
And that old abandoned restaurant from before.
The old switcher at the front had something about "San Francisco Bay R.R." painted on its side, at least I think that's what it said.
I rode the highway for a bit until my route went on some old roads, some of them very narrow.
The bridge above claims to have been built in 1999. I guess wood is still a useful construction material even in this modern day and age!
I eventually reached the easternmost portion of the separately graded Olympic Discovery Trail.
But it still wasn't complete in Blyn.
The trail reformed a bit further west, using old pavement from a road that had since been closed to cars.
I'm at Sequim http://t.co/FTMFqrNk8k— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 4, 2014
I didn't stay for much beyond photography at this point. However, unlike last time, I continued into the actual downtown.
I turned north there, heading toward the Dungeness Spit.
Nash's Organic Produce has quite the presence at my local farmers' market.
The below building is a Muslim art center.
I wasn't able to access the actual spit, unfortunately.
No access to the spit.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 4, 2014
Google Maps intended to send me through private property instead of via the wildlife refuge. Since I didn't really have time to check out the refuge, I didn't really stick around. I did get this photo of Dungeness Bay, though.
From there, I started heading back to Sequim.
Google Maps had me divert from the main road for a fairly short distance, only to go back to it after.
I didn't really follow the route after that, instead following roads parallel to that portion of the Olympic Discovery Trail to downtown Sequim. Part of this involved riding on the earlier routing of US 101 through the populated area (the current US 101 is a limited-access bypass of Sequim as is typical in the US) I did manage to capture this gem there, though:
Once downtown, I stopped for some hot chocolate at a little cafe, but not before snapping a photo of this old Texaco.
I stopped at this lovely cafe in Sequin for some hot chocolate. It was so small that it didn't even accept cards as payment.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 5, 2014
The owner was a very nice old lady.
The hot chocolate was just melted bittersweet chocolate chips and milk.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 5, 2014
Her formulation of the hot chocolate was something of a pride point of hers, but she said folks could add sugar if desired. It was just fine as it was.
While there, I met another long-distance cyclist that prefers steel and leather over carbon fiber, aluminum, and plastic.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 5, 2014
This guy really knew what he was talking about despite his being around my age, from the routes/roads in over the Olympic Peninsula and Puget Sound, to equipment, and even to the kind of pacing typical for laden riding. A lot of folks I see who know this sort of stuff are much older, perhaps even past retirement age, so this was rather refreshing. He even had a Brooks B17 (though not without the cutout) on his bike.
As it was getting long in the day, I started to hurry back. I just rode US 101 all the way back to Discovery Bay. This ride was faster than the trail for a number of reasons: less stopping for car traffic, the drafting provided by cars, and the softer grades. Again, what I love about highway riding versus trail riding in general.
Getting whatever coffee I can. (@ Fat Smitty's) http://t.co/rCr4k2NsWI— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 5, 2014
I ended up finishing the pot (four cups were left) since the guy serving coffee was going to throw out the last cup's worth otherwise. The place itself was quite the sight indoors despite looking rather simple outside (well, aside from the sculptures and trees for sale). The folks there were rather nice, too. Notably, one of my coworkers told me a long while back that he had heard about Fat Smitty's from a television show.
Once done there, I proceeded to climb up the big hill comprising the westernmost portion of SR-104. It was almost night at this point, with only a little light in the sky. Unfortunately, drivers often don't think to switch to low beams when there are oncoming cyclists.
The high beams of oncoming cars in the dark make me sad. The drivers don't care about how they blind me.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 5, 2014
I stuck to SR-104 all the way to SR-3, then headed south along it. I didn't want to deal with the lack of shoulders and lower number of street lights in Big Valley, though, despite it being in my original plan.
The ride was becoming increasingly difficult, but I wasn't able to figure out why. When there were street lights, I glanced down at my rear wheel to see if I had gotten a flat, but it wasn't flat. I didn't bother to give it a "pinch test" until after I had gotten to Poulsbo.
One of my tires got a slow leak somewhere on SR-3 which made riding very difficult.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 5, 2014
Fighting a partially deflated tube isn't my idea of fun. It didn't look low so I kept putting off checking it with a squeeze for too long.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 5, 2014
I was on a sidewalk at a major freeway exit/intersection on the western, upper side of SR-3 for an hour (the total wasted time was much greater than that due to the under-inflated tube). I was really stressed out as I wanted to go home, but I managed to fix it…after snapping a tube's valve stem in half.
I fixed it, but not before destroying another tube's valve stem while trying to fill it.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 5, 2014
A bunch of people asked if I needed help, which was refreshing.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 5, 2014
The stem was crooked when I had gotten the second tube in, but it seemed solid so I rode off. The frame-mounted pump seems to stress the valves and stems more, as the previous tube had likely given out due to how the core was kind of screwed up (I replaced that tube after I had gotten a flat on my way to Aberdeen and used the same pump to fill it) and there were no punctures in it (the bike shop found nothing in the tire the next day). I found this as something for me to pack on future rides:
I gunned it all the way back to the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal, stopping only to eat and whatnot. I was shivering like crazy until the heat of the exercise brought my body temperature up again.
I'm at Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal (Bainbridge Island, WA) http://t.co/qdikRUD0Le— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 5, 2014
There was frost on many of the walkways at the ferry terminal and it was cold.
Waiting for the ferry to dock on the car deck got me shivering again, but I warmed up quickly thanks to the Seattle hills. My mind was all cloudy still, though, and I ended up riding up Yesler without realizing where I was headed. I had to go make left, then a right onto 5th, go under the bridge, then get to 4th via Washington.
From there, I just took the normal route home.
This ended up a sad day.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 5, 2014
Despite the adversity, I managed to Mame it home well enough.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 5, 2014
I was completely burned out after all that. (I meant to type 'make' in the tweet.)