Aug 23: Willaby Campground at Lake Quinalt to Twin Harbors State Park in Westport (66.1 miles)

I somehow forgot to include a few photos in yesterday’s blog: after dinner I went on a trail walk from the campground. This area is a old-growth forest that I believe has never been logged. There is a trail system from the campground and meanders through for miles. I just went in a quarter mile or so and had views of beautiful waterfalls

Huge trees

And some very large plants (my hand for scale)

This place is awesome- definitely on the return to here list.

Overnight the smoke gave way to coastal clouds (fog) and I was awakened by tree-rain: fog accumulation on leaves and dripping to the ground. I had to put the rain fly on my tent for the first time this trip.

When I awoke and went down to the lake shore I could see the smoke was gone

My ride today is on US 101 to Aberdeen, then Hwy 105 to Westport

Along the way I witnessed creative ways of dealing with old propane tanks:

And also saw someone’s tribute to the Geoduck Clam (that is a 8 ft or so chainsaw carving).

The whole day has been breezy but clear. No smoke out this way! I lunched in Aberdeen, the birthplace of Kurt Cobain.

I rode into a headwind the final 10 miles or so, but made it to Westport. The beach is very pretty

And my campsite was well way from the others, very quiet

and bordered by bountiful Huckleberry bushes

Thanks for reading!

Aug 22: Bogachiel State Park to Willaby Campground at Lake Quinalt (66.6 miles)

Despite lots of bathroom interruptions in the evening, I slept really well! One time when I awoke I saw a few stars! That is a first in a while!

I got up early (my neighbors we’re already watching videos), ate breakfast and headed out.

The fog thickened as I passed the Hoh Rain Forest turn off – not on this trip. After about mile 20 I smelled the ocean and soon heard the crashing waves from Hwy 101, but even at the turnout for Ruby Beach (a big descent, so I skipped it) I could only see white fog. Better than smoke, though!

At last I saw the Pacific!

I arrived at my 30-mile rode destination, Kalaloch, by 9:30am! It turns out the campground does take in hiker/bikers, so I can stay here if needed.

I had “second breakfast” and met other bikers, Bob and Rita, who were headed to the next campground also – they had reserved a site and offered to let me join them if needed.

That was all I needed to commit to another 30+ miles to Willaby Campground on Lake Quinalt.

Heres my days route

Bob and Rita have been bike touring for years, and it started when their kids were young and wanted to go to Disneyland. They decided to bike there from Seattle! They’ve been biking ever since.

As I biked inland along the Quinalt river the air turned from fog to smoke. I arrived before Bob and Rita and checked out their site. It would be possible for me to cowboy camp on a slope or in the gravely parking spot, but would not be ideal.

There is no campground host on duty and the overflow area is for RV’s only! That just seems wrong! Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers!

While hanging out I met another couple from Seattle, Bob and Catherine, who are van camping and they offered to take me in! Here the are in front of the massive Cedar in their camp.

They reserved a lake front spot too! Sweet!

Not only that, but they are day tripping on electric bikes, so I got to recharge my electronics on their power cord

Bob and Catherine have most recently been working on building a school in tiny town at 12,000 feet elevation in north Ethiopia. Bob is a bricklayer by trade and, with the help of other volunteers, taught the locals how to quarry rock and mortar it into a building. Local eucalyptus was used for the joists. It took three years and everyone is quite pleased!

Tomorrow is another 65 mile day to Westhaven State Park in Westport, where I will again have to seek out bike friendly ranger policies or find friendly campers who will let me join them.

Aug 21: Fairborn Campground (Olympic National Park) to Bogachiel State Park (38.2 miles)

It was unfortunate that my campsite was near the lights and sound of the campground restroom, but it was a dry, flat place to sleep.

My route today will be a sorry one: I was scheduled for a 65 mile day to a campsite that, according to my guide book, does not have special accommodations for hikers/bikers, so I may have trouble finding a spot for the night. If I did bike the 65 miles and was turned away, I might be in a bit of a pickle.

Instead, I plan to bike half of the original plan, to a hiker/biker friendly Bogachiel State Park. Hiker/biker friendly means they understand it is difficult for a biker to keep a schedule and so if you show up, they will find a place for you to camp. Yay!

I packed up early and headed out to first climb a bit and then descend a lot! There was still a heavy smoke haze overhead, but I rarely actually smelled smoke.

I passed an interesting museum along the way

And got to camp early enough to grab my site: a tiny hiker/Biker site, sigh, right next to the restrooms. I did get a nice and much needed shower and had time to lounge by the river

While at the river I saw a Caddis Fly larva shell made of stones

This part of Washington is a rain forest, and although it has not rained in over a week, it is still pretty lush

There are also lots of berries, some edible, like the ubiquitous Blackberry

The Salmonberry

And a few that I don’t think are edible, like Salal

And this white berry whose name is unknown to me

I have also seen a group of beetles I did not recognize

While eating dinner I was joined by a decent sized frog that quickly hopped through my campsite, and the joined by an inchworm who dropped onto the table from the canopy above

Later in the evening, Bob and ??? rolled. The campground host placed them into a picnic spot since all the others were full. It is interesting to compare/contrast that couple in the adjacent campsite: my neighbors have been watching videos all day (and late into the night I would soon learn). No walking that I’ve noticed. Well, perhaps they are physical trainers on vacation?

So, here’s my spot for the night, note the use of tent as a drying rack for my tee shirt!

Aug 20: Dungeness Campground (Sequim) to Fairborn Campground (Olympic National Park) (52.6 miles)

First an update on on the CBD- it worked! I had no shoulder pain all night. I’ll try a placebo treatment to verify sometime.

Today’s ride is due west across Washington’s northern coast, the border with Canada ‘s Victoria Island.

It was a smoky morning. I left the campground around 8am and caught up with the Olympic Discovery Trail, the same hiker/biker trail I rode yesterday, and followed it to Port Angeles. It’s a rural route through farms

And green tunnels

Along the way I spotted someone’s troll garden

It was even bigger than I thought because when I started biking away I saw more.

I returned to the ocean (the Straight of Juan de Fuca) just east of Port Angeles.

The smell of the ocean was very refreshing and temporarily displaced the smell of smoke.

I passed over the Elwha River

I was able to get to my destination, the campground on the west end of Lake Crescent using low traffic roads and hiker/biker trails.

I arrived at the east end of the lake to find it smoky as well. Luckily there is a breeze.

The “trail” turns into a true hiker trail that required some caution escorting my bike.

I made it to camp at the same time a bicycle touring couple was arriving.

Donna and Bob left Prosperity, South Carolina in May, toured the South then headed north to Montana then west to Washington. They’ve logged 4,537 miles so far. They are on their third tent, Bob is on his second bike and they’ve had tube, tire, wheel and chain issues, but they’re still pedaling!

I found my campsite and am ready for dinner and bed

Thanks for reading!

Aug 19: Fort Warden, Port Townsend to Dungeness County Campground, Sequim (48.9 miles)

Last night I toured the campsite and found the huge, complex abandoned cement battery at the end of the campground. I would have loved this place as a kid: it has multiple levels connected by stairs and ladders(!). It has dark passageways, tunnels and steel doors that can be opened and shut. The interiors were very dark and it was a fun exercise to try and figure out what each chamber’s purpose! What fun!

I slept great, and soundly, only waking up to remove pressure from the recurring arthritis in my left shoulder.

I decided overnight, and reaffirmed this morning, to proceed as planned west around the Olympic Peninsula. As the weather people projected, the winds have shifted bringing the heavy smoke into the Puget Sound area. The orange sunrise helped me diced to continue west and get as much costal air as I can.

The route today is to exit Port Townsend and follow a series of highways, roads and a lot of fantastic bike trails to the town of Sequim, Wa. There I will load up with a few days of food and proceed to Dungeness County Campground, on the bay just north of Sequim.

As typical for me, it took a lot longer to get out of the city than it should. I decided to follow some direction markets painted on the road that I have been following for a few days now. I should have just followed the printed map I am carrying: the marks led me to the Port Townsend fairgrounds, but ended there when the roads turned to dirt. I used Google maps, but kept missing that I was supposed to enter an overgrown, unsaved walkway. Once I figured all that out I rid the gauntlet being snagged from both sides by wild blackberry bushes. I complain, but the berries taste great! I was finally on the west end of town, where the paper mill was fully operational

I rode intermittently on Wa Hwy 20 and Interstate 101, both of which had decent shoulders, but the majority of the ride was on bike trails or seldom used side roads. This was a special day of riding that I will need to recall while being buzzed by Winnebago’s on shoulder-less roads. I found an awesome looking volunteer Fire Dept

Speaking of shoulders, I decided to visit one of Washington’s ubiquitous Cannabis shops to try a CBD cream for my shoulder. Don’t judge me(!), this is legal science in action. Besides, I heard about CBD on NPR, so there! I plan on trying it out tonight and will post the updates. I do have to say that I felt guilty going into the shop and noticed I am the only one in the store without a tattoo…

I did not have many great views today because of the trees, but you will have to trust me that the Sequim Bay is in the background of this photo

While the bike trails were fantastic, there was one sketchy bit- seems heavy rains undercut the trail supports!

It was simple enough to get around.

I ate lunch on a bench in front of the Gardiner City Community Center. There was a road to the beach, which was probably great, but it looked pretty steep.

I arrived in Sequim and found it to be a bigger city than I expected. I bought meals for today and tomorrow and loaded them into my packs. The ride to Dungeness County Campground was mostly on a bike trail and as is the custom, hiker/biker campsites are drop in (not reservable) and separated from the other spots. Again, I have the site to myself. Oh, and this place has hot showers for only 50 cents!

Thanks for reading!

Aug 18: Back in the saddle! From La Conner to Port Townsend (46.8 miles)

I slept in a bit while Jack prepared a breakfast of bacon, fresh blueberries from René’s garden and a Dutch Baby (puffy pancake)

After a big meal, it was time for me to resume biking south. It was very hard to leave La Conner after all the hospitality I received here!

Today I’ll be biking over the Deception Pass Bridge onto Whidby Island, south to Coupeville/Keystone where I’ll catch a ferry to Port Townsend and camp ay Fort Watson State Park

I biked across the Deception Pass bridge, the same one I cruised under a few nights back.

It did not take long to find myself riding with a large group of bicyclers that were participating in the “Tour de Whidby” event. I stopped at a refresh booth and they were happy to give me some of their goods! Such friendly people.

The route passed along West Beach Rd. Which really needs to be renamed to West Bluff Rd. Due to all the hills. I survived them though and stopped for lunch at the “Knead and Feed Bakery” in Coupeville.

Before I knew it I rounded s corner and was at the just arriving ferry from Port Townsend.

It was a nice ride across the Admiralty Inlet to Port Townsend, which is a really cool looking town.

On my way through the city I found the street market in full swing with crafts, food and live music. I had an early dinner of homemade grilled sausages and headed over to the Fort Worden State Park. I snagged a bicycle only campsite with trees and a picnic table. Sweet!

The beach next to me looks out towards the southern end of Whidby Island.

Tomorrow I will decide if I am heading south through Bremerton or west around the Olympic Peninsula. There are trade offs I have to think about.