Today I woke up around 4:45 for some reason. I have been wanting to do a road trip and the closer the weekend got the weather looked fantastic so I decided to take a bike ride this morning – destination unknown. I took out from here about 7:15 AM and hit the road.
I stopped and got gas (yes, I remembered) in Port Angeles, then got on the open road and rode west on 101 along the shores of the turquoise waters of Lake Crescent. It is such a beautiful place (I posted pictures of it previously on my Neah Bay road trip). As I drove along I thought “Maybe I will just go around the block!”, meaning down to Aberdeen, then east, then back north to home. I wonder how long that would take?
The day was beautiful… warm and sunny. For a little while, that is. Highway 101 started to turn south toward Forks and that is when the fog rolled in. Luckily, it stayed in the trees so it was more like clouds but I saw it as I was going down the road. Needless to say, the temp dropped when the sun went away. My new mesh jacket was not keeping me warm even with the liner so I had to pull over and put on the rain shell to stop the wind and put on my riding pants while I was at it. Ahh… that was better.
I went past the exits for the rainforests because this day was all about riding. I also don’t want to haul my hiking gear on my bike just yet. I came up to a sign for Ruby Beach so I made the turn to have a look since I had not been there before. This is what greeted me:
I was making my way back to the trail to head back up and I ran into someone I knew… always happens in the strangest of places. It was a family from Tennessee who visited the refuge a few days ago! We recognized each other and chatted for a few, bid one another “Happy Trails!”, and I went to the parking lot as they continued on the beach.
I got back on my bike and went onwards. As I was going down the highway a squirrel ran out in front of me and just kept on going without slowing or stopping. I thought to myself “Oh shit… I wonder how bad THIS is going to end up?”. I was waiting for a bump and then the aftermath, but I had slowed down to about 45 and there was no bump OR aftermath. It seems as though the little fella timed it perfectly and he ran BETWEEN my tires right under my feet.
I continued on and soon the sun came out and it warmed up again. I stopped and took off the riding pants and the outer shell and ended up in Aberdeen, the furthest point of my journey. I stopped and topped of the tank, had a mediocre burger, and went on.
I went to highway 12, then 8, then 118, then finally back onto 101. US 101 is odd in Washington in that it splits and goes two different directions. Not sure how that came about, but it did. It really started to warm up on this leg of the trip, and it was almost hot even on the bike going down the road next to the water. As I got closer to Sequim, however, it cooled off. The wind had picked up near Shelton and when I got into the open areas you could really feel it against the bike. I got back, out the bike away, and came down to my cabin.
It was a great ride. Beautiful scenery, sun for most of the trip (and even the cloudy part was great!), warm temps, and 45-50 MPG for a road trip and I did not have to own a Prius! The total trip was 407 miles. I was gone about 10 hours door-to-door. The bike ran great and is a little more comfy after I adjusted the suspension and made it a little softer.
This is the longest ride I have ever done, and it was a good ride. I had a lot of fun even being a little saddlesore after the fact.
Planning very little is the best way to go on a trip. Go with the wind and see where it takes you!