Once again, I got an early start. Since this was my last day, it was best to cook the last cup of noodles for breakfast and use up all my remaining stove fuel in the process. I had already used up my Bic lighter, but luckily the folks in the adjacent campsite had one. They had come out from Portland for the weekend to camp, and this was the only campground on the coast they could find a spot last minute.
Just after I sent out yesterday’s update, Martin returned to camp. He started in Vancouver and is headed to San Francisco. He got some advice from his Vancouver friend to take the train out as far as he could and then start riding from there. (Why didn’t my Vancouver friends tell me that? Oh yeah, I didn’t ask…) Then he crossed the border at Blaine, then took a route through Port Townsend and on the east side of the Olympic Peninsula. Meanwhile, I had used a route on the west side of the peninsula, and so our routes have merged as we both head south.
I started off the day with a short morning run along the lakeside trail. One of my friends asked me how I can still run even on a bike trip like this. I said it’s easy – the birds wake me up at 5, I finally roll out of my sleeping bag at 5:30, pack a little bit, go for a run at 6, then at 6:30 pack the rest of my stuff, and then I’m at the cafe for breakfast at 7 when it opens!
Since I’m camping, I woke up with the sun around 5:30, as is typical for me. I went for the morning run, just a couple of miles, almost all the way to the beach and back. Running in my cycling clothes isn’t bad, that’s kind of like being a triathlete I guess. The problem is that the cell phone and wallet bounce up and down like – oh, never mind. The easy solution is to just carry them in my hands, that’s good enough for such a short run.
Before starting today, there was the route dilemma: use 101 as recommended by Kirkendall and Spring in the “Bicycling the Pacific Coast” book, or 112/113 as recommended by Adventure Cycling. The former uses a busy shoulderless section of 101, while the latter is ten miles longer. K&S seem inconsistent in their recommendations: they will often take an alternate route if it means less traffic, but they do not consistently do so. Whereas I find that AC is a little more consistent in their approach. I went with the AC route, figuring if I’m already going 70 miles today, then what’s another 10 miles?
The Coast hotel near Vancouver airport worked well for this one night stay. Then, aside from some navigational challenges to get to the bike path on the Alex Fraser Bridge, it was 30 miles of uneventful riding through the Vancouver suburbs and farms in order to get to the ferry in Tsawassen.
First, some developments from the past few days of preparation.
Unlike most of these trips, I may be doing enough camping to make a stove worthwhile. I dusted off my old stove, and while it still works, it seemed like a bit overkill for this trip.
Another bike trip is coming this summer. Soon I fly with my bike to Vancouver, British Columbia. Then, via a combination of ferries and riding, I will end up in Port Angeles, Washington, which will be the “real” beginning of the trip. From there, I will ride around the Olympic Peninsula and down the coast (as much as it is possible in Washington state) to Astoria, Oregon, where I started my Oregon Coast tour last year.