Any Road Tour: Day 53 – Off the map to Camano Island

You really didn’t think I’d stop riding, did you.

A spaghetti dinner, another pale ale, and a restful sleep I awoke somewhat energized. A delicious breakfast at the Calico Cupboard Cafe put me in a good mood.

I loaded up the bike and headed west, to the park beyond the ferry terminal at the end of the Northern Tier Route. The clerk at the hotel suggested that the loop ride ad through the park would be a great capstone to the ride.

She was right. There were views of the islands and, I think the northwestern edge of the Olympic Peninsula. It was blue, the trees were green, and the air was fresh. The loop road was steep in parts so my granny gear got a bit of a work out.

Some nice people took my picture with The Mule.

After the loop road I doubled back to Anacortes and headed east off Fidalgo Island. I was headed south to Camano Island and the home of Tim Jones, a high school classmate, and his wife, Michele Rushworth.

I had to rely on The Google. Got a whole the ride was super easy; I was pushed along flat farm roads by a north wind. The crops were varied from potatoes to corn to cherries to rhubarb to squash to winter wheat and many more. I know because the farms put up signs for city slickers like me. There was a beautiful fine green grain that swayed in the breeze. No sign indicated what it was but my money’s on rice.

When the route neared a traffic circle, The Google went haywire. It told me to go through a small town and turn around. I stopped and checked the route. The traffic circle connects to a busy two lane highway going straight south. Looks okay to me. And so I played with the big metal things for an hour.

The road to Camano Island was blocked by a two-car crash do I followed a detour. It was a mix of farms and wooded areas. Not a bad little ride.

In Camano itself The Google decided to go into Mountains of Misery mode. It took me on side roads to avoid the main drag down the island. Theses were the kind of abrupt ups and downs I hated in east Ohio.

I hit 35 mph on a descent after grinding up a hill in my granny gear.

The last bit was incredibly steep. Right up to the house I was weaving across the road in my smallest gear and standing to make it to the top. The nastiest bit of climbing so far in the tour!

Tim and Michele had previous plans for dinner so I took over their deck for the evening. That’s Mount Baker in the distance. Not a bad place for a day off tomorrow.

Miles: 55.5

Tour Miles: 5,796

Any Road Tour: Day 52 – Going to the end of the line

I camped of the Skagit River in a surprising nice town park in Rockport Washington. I awoke at 4 sore in every joint and every vertebra in my body. Vitamin I to the rescue.

On the road by 6:20 and up a short steep hill to discover the town gas station was closed. No gas station breakfast for me. Sad face.

I rode 9 miles to Concrete. The Google directed me to a specialty bakery in town. I ordered hash and got a skillet. It was okay but not the gut bomb the day required.

Luckily the day required nothing but riding on a pool table into a sight headwind. I should have taken the highway and it’s smooth pavement but I followed my maps and endured chip seal for 30 miles.

As I approached my first salt waters, I saw big hills ahead. Anacortes has a little in common with San Francisco, I’m afraid.

Luckily the route maps took me around the hills and into downtown. I spent 45 minutes riding out to the ferry terminal just to say I rode to the end of the line. Vancouver Island and the San Juans will have to wait.

I am pooped!

Fortunately my high school classmate Tim Jones lives about 50 miles from here and has offered me some R&R.

A very large mountain (Rainer, I think) looms over this place and makes me feel like a poser. Damn, it’s big.

I rode back up town for food and a celebratory drink. Road Trip pale ale was on tap.

Now it’s time to find a room.

Miles: 66

Trip Miles: 3,740.5