With the reputation the Seattle area has for rain and gloom, a lot of people don’t realize that we also have periods of really nice weather. Today happened to be one of them. Polly and I had been hoping it would be nice this weekend so we could get in a good ride. When I woke up this morning there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the forecast called for sun all day with temperatures in the upper 60’s. It wasn’t just going to be a good day, it was going to be a great day for a ride.
We had planned to start out around 9 or 10 in the morning. Well, things never work out as planned. We ended up stay up late watching TV, and so we slept in a bit. We didn’t get on the road until 11 or so. We headed north to the Hood Canal bridge and took a popular route for riding, the “Hood Canal Loop”. The western leg of this loop follows US Highway 101 through portions of the Olympic National Forest, as well as along miles of the Hood Canal coastline (geoduck, anyone?)
As we headed south, we figured we’d hit some back roads. We ran across a road labeled Lords Lake Loop Road. My experience with “loops” is that they generally leave the highway for a bit, then come back to it after a while. This road held the promise of a lake along the way, as well. As you might expect (with my normal run of luck), this road neither looped back NOR did it have a lake on it (well, it had a small pond labeled Quilcene Watershed or some such, but definitely not what I would call a lake). What’s more, about the time we go to this “lake”, the road turned to gravel. Fortunately the ground was still a bit moist and the gravel road wasn’t dusty, so we continued along it a while, figuring we’d eventually come back out on 101. Well, using my highly tuned sense of direction, noting the sun’s angle and position, and the time of day, I finally figured we were headed northwest, rather than the southwest direction we wanted to be going. Okay, okay, I looked at my GPS. How I figured out isn’t important, what is important is that we were definitely not headed where we wanted to go. So, we turned around and got back on track.
We got back to highway 101, and it was about time for lunch, so we hit a little Mom and Pop joint in Quilcene. Good food, and a lot better than a standard fast food restaurant. But then, these little spots always are good, or they don’t stay around long.
A little further down the road was a view point I remembered from years back when I first took this ride on my old bike, Mount Walker. We went from an altitude of 200 feet to over 2800 feet on a gravel road full of switchbacks, but the view was worth it.
Views from Mount Walker (WHOA – How’d that last one get in there?)
The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, apart from having to make several stops to rest our backs and butts. It’s been a while since either of us took such a long ride, so the rests were definitely necessary. As we finally started on the last leg up through Belfair it started to cloud up. We finished up back home to fully cloudy skies, but at least no rain.
All in all, a very nice trip. I will be taking a few aspirins this evening, though. The body isn’t as young as it used to be 🙂
Have fun and ride safe,