We changed our mind about taking a day off and left Poulsbo this morning while the sun was still shining. We took a little detour through the downtown area with its Scandinavian theme. Poulsbo was settled by Norwegian immigrants in the 1880’s and is also famous for Poulsbo Bread – taken from a 1970’s recipe inspired by Ezekiel 4:9. Naturally we had to discover the Sluys Poulsbo Bakery and partake of their products.
Since a full loaf of bread wouldn’t fit in our pannier bags, we settled on a Swedish Almond Pastry and a Cinnamon Twist.
The pastries were great fuel after climbing a long hill as we cycled towards Silverdale.
We attempted to reach our hotel by using the Clear Creek Trail only to discover that there was a detour onto the road due to “bridge construction”. Seems they had to stop construction for awhile due to the Salmon spawning.
This mirrors work stoppage at home when deer season opens.
We are settled in Silverdale for the day and possibly tomorrow if the projected thunderstorms occur. Time for a movie!
Overcast, cloudy, gray skies, and a few drops of rain misted through the air as we left Oak Harbor this morning. The misty rain did not soak through as we cycled around Penn Cove towards Coupeville. Traveling along Madrona Way we commented on how much the area reminded us of our cycle trip along the southern peninsulas in Ireland. The cool breezes, the fresh air, the green fields, and the views of the water were vivid reminders of our Irish cycle trip.
We arrived at the ferry terminal near Fort Casey State Park in time to catch the 11:45 ferry to Port Townsend. While we waited, a couple came up to us and said they had seen us the day before as we traveled across the Deception Pass bridge and commented that we were making “good time” – even though we took time to “stop and smell the…” lilacs!
Continuing on through Port Townsend, we took to the Larry Scott Bike Trail which bypassed a steep climb and gave us views of Port Townsend Bay and the Port Townsend Paper plant.
As we left Port Townsend, we passed a unique bicycle shop/art gallery.
We continued towards Port Hadlock and as it started to rain, checked out the Hadlock Motel, right next to the Joy Luck restaurant. Since it was only slightly raining (think Irish rain) and the motel was not my “cup of tea”, we continued on another few miles(17), crossing another bridge over the Hood Canal (yes, another bridge)
to Poulsbo, an interesting town of Norwegian background. With 55 miles total today, we are thinking of taking a break tomorrow, especially with a weather forecast of heavier rain. Might check out the Sluys Poulsbo bakery, the original bakers of Ezekiel bread!
Traveling to Vancouver by train to start our Pacific Coast Bicycle Adventure took 3 hours. 3 days later we are almost back where we started, just farther west separated by “Possession Sound”. We have traveled 136 miles south from Vancouver over bridges, on paved trails, a few miles of gravel trails, highways and byways, did I mention the bridges?
We have navigated large cities and small villages, hills and valleys, and many diverse terrains and environments.
While our train ride gave us a glimpse of the countryside as we passed through, our cycling adventures allow us to experience the sounds, smells, and sights in a more absorbable way. The senses are on alert, whether its the sight of a hawk perched on a telephone line, the scent of lilacs warmed by the sun, or the sound of children at an elementary school.
Traveling at the breakneck speed of 4 miles an hour uphill on grades of 14% always guarantees a honk and a thumbs up from passing vehicles. Stopping for refreshments in eateries (with our bikes parked outside) will always spark conversations with the locals; “Where you from? – Virginia”, “Where you going? – Mexico”. These questions open up all types of discussions many of which end with “Wish I were going with you!”
Tonight at the end of our third day on the road, we are falling asleep to the sounds of freedom in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island in Washington, home of the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. As we cycled into Oak Harbor this afternoon, we witnessed our Naval Aviators practicing contour flight, as they skimmed the treetops alongside our route. As Navy brats who call Norfolk home, we were impressed with their skill and ability. Blessings to them and their families.
Our daughter gifted us with the book, “Cycling the Pacific Coast” and thus planted the seed for our next adventure.
Driving our RV across the US, we stopped in various states to cycle their trails as part of our training plan. Plus, it gave us a break in the middle of the day from the driving.
We arrived in Seattle and found an RV park in Everett where we could store the RV for the 2+ months that we think it will take us to cycle the Pacific Coast. Our Adventure Cycling Maps indicate that we should start the route in Vancouver, British Columbia.
We did a practice run from the RV park to the Everett train station to be sure we could make the trip in plenty of time to board the 8:30 AM train for Vancouver.
On April 19th, we rose at 5:30 eager to get started on this adventure. An hour later, the RV was stored, pannier bags secured on the bikes and we were ready to go. We traveled the 10 miles to the station in plenty of time to have a cup of coffee and breakfast sandwich while we waited. Once the bikes were loaded in the baggage car along with our panniers, packed in Ikea bags, we settled in for the three hour trip to Vancouver. The scenery was beautiful as we traveled along the various sounds and waterways.
Arriving in Vancouver, we deboarded, picked up the bikes, made our way through customs and exited the train station to look for the Seaside Bicycle Route. This route travels next to False Creek, emptying into English Bay. Along the route we passed through Vanier Park where we were to start the Adventure Cycling mapped route. We dipped our back wheels in the “Pacific” and headed south.
Next post – Days 1-3 – or cycling back to where we started!
While traveling to California to cheer on our kids in a 1/2 Ironman in Guerneville, we stopped in Monterey and took to the Coastal Biking Trail.
“Winding along the Pacific coast, the Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail (a.k.a. the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail and Monterey Bay Coastal Bike Trail) offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and a great way to tour the city while enjoying the outdoors. This wonderful coastal rail-trail currently extends 18 miles from Pacific Grove to Castroville and is regarded as one of the most scenic long trails in California.
The trail follows the former Southern Pacific Railroad line, which was once used to transfer goods between the historic fishing town of Monterey and the rest of northern California. Beginning in Pacific Grove at the Lovers Point Park (the southern end of the trail), you will want to take a picture of the beautiful rocky shoreline to the west. But don’t put your camera away yet—the beautiful views continue, and there are many photo opportunities along the trail of beach scenes, otters, boats, kayakers and more.”
We parked at the southern end of the trail and cycled the 18 miles to Castroville, the Artichoke Capital of the World, where we stopped for lunch. We returned to Monterey after completing the 36 miles of beautiful trail with gorgeous views of the Pacific.