Beautiful day with lots of hills

9/14/22

Wow, it’s been a while since I did so much climbing! And I feel silly saying so, because it was only a total of 20 miles of riding, with 554 feet of elevation gain! Tomorrow I’ve got 27 miles to do, with twice that much elevation. Then a similar day the next day. Oof… at least the scenery is beautiful.

I said goodbye to my host Lillian and her cat George this morning, and pedaled down the hill to the Olympic Discovery Trail, heading east toward Sequim. (If you’re not from this region, you may not have known that the E is silent in that town’s name; if so, now you do!)

The trail was beautiful, along the ocean, for the first few miles.

Then it turned inland, and was beautiful in a more wooded way. Such gorgeous forests in this part of the world.

Some of those inclines on either side of various creeks, though, were pretty brutal with 16” wheels and a 72-pound trailer. I walked up a couple of hills today.

Sadly, the rail bridge along the trail was closed for repairs. Finding signage for a detour was pretty much impossible, but I used Google Maps and asked a local, and made my way. One unexpected bonus from the detour: encountering a pair of emus in someone’s yard! I was definitely not expecting that. I spent some time chatting with them, and admiring their amazing plumage.

Then I got onto Highway 101, which was pretty unpleasant. I had to wait about five minutes at the intersection (with a car behind me) to make the left turn onto the busy thoroughfare, and then riding on the (thankfully wide) shoulder was not very pleasant, especially after all the quiet scenery earlier in the ride.

Eventually I made it to Sequim, and stopped for lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Then I made my way over to the cute little transit center, and waited to board my bus to Port Townsend. The bus saved me an additional 31 miles and 1,263 more feet of climbing, and amazingly, it was a fare-free bus! The downside was that the driver seemed rather grumpy about my bringing my rig on board. He did not say a word to me, but glared and sighed several times as I cheerfully said I was hoping I could get it all on board, and asked him to extend the ramp for me on the kneeling bus. (When I thanked him for his help at the end of the ride, he still did not offer a single word of acknowledgment.) He did take the time to secure the trailer, which was good because we went around a number of turns that could have otherwise been unsafe.

After I disembarked, I made my way to the wonderful co-op near my Warmshowers hosts’ place, to pick up some dinner. As I parked the bike, another co-op patron remarked on the Brompton, saying that she had had one years ago, and remembered it fondly.

There was one more steep hill to scale after that, in the final mile to my destination. I trudged most of it.

To my extreme surprise, shortly after my arrival I got a comment on a Facebook post from my friend Denise, whom I had known for years in Portland, and then stayed with in Arizona back in October of last year. (She even drove me a long and very mountainous distance then, from just south of Sedona to her then-home in Chino Valley, north of Prescott.) It turns out she is in Port Townsend right now, too! If our sleeping and traveling schedules line up in the morning, we will meet for a breakfast chat tomorrow, before I board the ferry to Whidbey Island.

What a small world.

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