Thursday, June 27, 2013

MicroAdventure: Fay Bainbridge Park

You do not have to go far or be gone very long to have adventures. Take, for example, Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Christine and I both work in retail, we work on weekends. Wednesday and Thursdays form our virtual weekend. The first part of the adventure was not very exciting, Christine had to go into Seattle to get a new crown for one of her royal teeth. This was the final fitting, a routine half-hour appointment. We took our bikes, loaded with gear for a camping trip. I guarded the bikes on the mean streets of Seattle (you never know when some latte swilling hipster may attempt to abscond with your velocipede) while Christine got her new crown.

After the dentist we made our way to the waterfront and caught the ferry to Bainbridge Island. The ferry offers an excellent view of the Seattle waterfront, including the giant Ferris Wheel. Thanks to Stephen King, I shall forever refer to the Ferris Wheel as a Chump Hoister.

Did I mention that the weather is a mix of clouds, rain and blah? Hey, it's June in the Pacific Northwest. If I was writing this report about going to France, I wouldn't spend a whole lot of time pointing out that people were speaking French. We had weather on this trip and sometimes it wasn't raining.

The Puget Sound ferry system is pretty nice. Bainbridge Island is a quick ferry ride across the sound from Seattle.

I think the shine on the deck will give you a good clue as to the weather when we docked at Bainbridge Island. Rather than roll right out, we stopped and had breakfast for lunch at the Streamliner Diner. After a huge breakfast that would be a great preparation for a nap instead of seven hilly miles of pedalling, we headed off for Fay Bainbridge Park.

Much of the route we are on today is part of the Chilly Hilly bike route. It's not very chilly today, but it still is hilly.

Most of the roads on Bainbridge Island are not very wide, but all the drivers we meet or who pass us are courteous. And the scenery on the island is wonderful.

This little section of Manitou Beach Road is a one way road for drivers with a little counterflow path for cyclists and pedestrians.

Yep, more hills.

The little sign on the pole says "TAKE YOUR TIME." Good advice for this steep section.

The sun is shining when we roll into the park.

We find a nice place and pitch our tent. Cyclists pay $5 per person per night for camping here.

We unpack the rest of our gear and spend the afternoon walking along the beach and curled up in the tent when the showers come (which they do now and then).

The wood is damp so the Kelly Kettle is a bit smoky, but it gets the job done of heating water for dinner.

Fine silverware is not our style, we have titanium sporks.

In the evening, the tide rolls in.

The clouds turn orange.

A bit after 9:00 PM, my pal Mark Canizaro and some of his Bike Works pals roll in. Danny and Robyn are doing this ride as a bit of shakedown trip for their big bike tour which starts on July 5th. Mark and the rest are here for moral support and what the heck, it's a good excuse to go camping.

It rains quite a bit during the night. Christine and I were snug as bugs in our tent under the trees. Mark had moved his bivy at some point in the night to the picnic shelter. But not before a slug had decided to seek shelter from the storm in his bivy. As one of his fellow campers noted, "I'd been considering a bivy until now, but this convinces me a tent is worth the weight."

Even after a very wet night, I find a few twigs dry enough to fuel the Kelly Kettle.

Breakfast is smoked trout, bagels, granola bars, tea and hot chocolate.

A nifty twig fueled camp stove.

A camping pour-over coffee set-up.

Packed up and ready to roll.

Back at the ferry.

And back to Seattle. We loaded the bikes on the bus and headed for home.

This wasn't quite a sub-24 hour overnight as we were gone for a bit more than 24 hours. Just a quick trip, a ferry ride and a few bike miles from Seattle.

Keep 'em rolling,

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah, WA USA