Friday June 15 2018. I had a great sleep on the beach! The only annoying thing as I got up and was packing inside the tent was the sound of a vehicle clearly forwarding and reversing for literally 25 minutes! I zipped open the tent and saw a fellow trying to find the PERFECT spot for his tent trailer right next to me. As I exited the tent he said “sorry if I woke you”. The blade was quickly sheathed. He was clearly claiming a spot for the upcoming weekend and after unhooking the trailer drove off.
I packed up and started on my way. The plan was to get to Port Townsend and have breakfast there a distance of about 13 miles. I made only my second mistake (remember Elwha RV Park?) on the way back. The directions on my map seemed to suggest I turn right soon out of my campground onto Highway 116 Flagler Road. I did not realize that Oak Bay Road I was on was Highway 116 and a short stretch of it was also Flagler Road (makes perfect sense right?) so I had a nice 6 mile return tour around Indian Head Naval Base when I sensed this way could not be correct. Sigh….! It was a very hilly 6 miles.
I got back on track and found the correct road out of Port Hadlock and got back to Highway 19 the end of my true loop for the Olympic Peninsula! I did a little fist pump but was a bit behind so I had little time to celebrate. I moved on and got back on the route I had come out on originally. It put me back on the Olympic Discovery Trail and off the highway. As you recall this section is called the Larry Scott Trail.
I arrived in Port Townsend again and stopped for breakfast at my favourite dockside cafe. I celebrated with a small piece of strawberry shortcake (perfect breakfast fare), a pot pie and a latte.
I got on the ferry, got some nice photos of Port Townsend and before I knew it I was back in Fort Casey State Park. This final section was familiar to me but done in reverse which is still a new experience.
On the way back I noted that I had missed a section through Coupeville on my way out. In my haste to initially get to Fort Casey Park, I had taken the highway and not the recommended Madrona Way. This was an opportunity to rectify that situation. I am glad I did. The town of Coupeville is charming full of restored older homes as B&B’s and quaint churches. The port side was picturesque as well.
I got back on hilly West Beach Road and enjoyed watching two huge military jet fighters circling Ault Field Naval Base.
Deception Pass Bridge soon appeared and I stopped to hydrate and have a snack. There was a much better vantage point on the opposite side coming back for photos of this dramatic bridge. I also just cycled across it this time which felt amazing with cars whizzing by.
A bit more climbing and then a nice downhill to get back on the Tommy Thompson Trail and a photo of that causeway with broken clamshells just waiting for a bike tire!
I arrived back in Anacortes with the main cycling part of my adventure over. There was a much bigger fist pump as I got back to the Majestic Inn. What an accomplishment. I was really happy with the tour and myself.
I knew I would get back early and had planned to just overnight here in Athens Washington State City Park and then would cycle 76 miles into the North Cascades, spend two nights there and then cycle back. Honestly, this just seemed like burning time. It would be a huge cycle and an out and back. My bum was a bit sore and I had noted a bit of medial right knee pain so I decided on a plan change. I was able to cancel my reservation at Newhalem Campground online and the Majestic Inn had a nice room for two nights at a reasonable price starting tomorrow. The deal was sealed!
I had a lovely celebratory dinner at the 5th Street Bistro and then cycled to Washington City Campground for a final camping evening. The campground was quite full and a bit noisy. I went for a short hike to Sunset Beach and was blessed with a most beautiful sunset.
I slept well that night knowing I could sleep in the next morning and would not have to cycle that 76 miles. My right knee said thank you!