Our Pacific Coast Bicycling Adventure – Reflections on Days 1-3

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?

Bridge over Deception Pass
Bridge over Deception Pass
Padilla Bay Shore Trail, estuary on one side, mud flats on the other
Padilla Bay Shore Trail, estuary on one side, mud flats on the other

We have navigated large cities and small villages, hills and valleys, and many diverse terrains and environments.

Nice flat road with good shoulder after the curvy up and down of the Chuckanut Mountains in the background.
Nice flat road with good shoulder after the curvy up and down of the Chuckanut Mountains in the background.

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.

The hawk flew away before Bill could get his camera focused.
The hawk flew away before Bill could get his camera focused.

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!”

Farm to Market Bakery, Edison, Washington
Farm to Market Bakery, Edison, Washington

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.

Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island
Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island