Two years ago, Brenda and I pulled into a hotel parking lot on our bikes in Mitchell, South Dakota. A couple ran straight over to us and asked where we were going. We told them of the cycle-a-continent-sized peace sign project. Within five minutes, Ann and Mike Nolan invited us to stay with them in Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula when we cycled the final leg of the peace sign. Today was the day we would all fulfill that imagination.
We launched from Poulsbo toward the Olympic Peninsula. This involved crossing a floating bridge over the Hood Canal. Interested in this marvel of bridge engineering, we stopped in a pullout that said No Trespassing and No Loitering. Instantly, a patrol boat with flashing bright blue lights whirred toward us, leaving a beautiful curved wake. We acted as if we hadn’t noticed the menacing threat and leisurely pulled back out onto the bridge’s bike lane.
Mary met us on the far side of the bridge and conveyed a message from Jeff Selby, who is on the board of the Peninsula Trails Coalition. He recommended a change of route that would put us on big smooth roads with wide shoulders up to Discovery Bay where he would meet us. But first we had to Shine. That is, we had a small climb followed by a super steep descent with perfect visibility and no traffic to the community of Shine. Kurt hit 40 mph.
Here’s a Relive video of our ride over Hood Canal Bridge and into Shine: https://www.relive.cc/view/v1vj1ZZZGJq
About ten miles later, after a 500 foot descent on the main highway, we reached Discovery Bay where Jeff was waiting for us. He guided us along the medley of connected roads and trail pieces by the shore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca that make up the Olympic Discovery Trail.
The trail took us past the Jamestown S’Klallam Community Center, part of a complex constructed by a highly successful Native American tribe.
The Olympic Discovery Trail is a work in progress but it’s far enough along both to become the cover story of the Adventure Cycling Association magazine and to be in need of maintenance in some places. Jeff led us to one particular crevasse in hopes we could squeeze by. No luck but we met a young couple contemplating the same problem. They decided to carry their gear on the one foot of trail that remained, then go back and carry their bikes across. Jeff took us back up to the highway for a short ride on the shoulder past the hole to a hill full of stickers back down to the trail. We went back to check on Piper and Kolter, but they were long gone. The trail had every surface and difficulty, from utterly flat and smooth through Sequim (pronounced like swim with a q in it) to deep steep switchbacks on gravel.
We’ve been having technical problems with our cameras and external hard drive where I want to store our video clips. During the ride, we talked of hiring Geek Squad to help us out.
We crossed the Dungeness River Bridge about the same time as Piper and Kolter. Then they passed us while we changed the other Lynn’s second flat of the day in a light rain. When we reached the beginning of the Port Angeles Waterfront Trail, there were Piper and Kolter again. Waves crashed against the shore making a strange grinding noise as they receded. I had never heard that noise before. I asked out loud, “What is that noise?” Kolter explained that the waves were rolling rocks against each other as they receded.
Piper and Kolter were planning to camp somewhere. It was cold and damp and night was coming. We were about to be picked up by Mike Nolan. He was driving us up to his and Ann’s house called Cloud 9. I took a chance and asked them if Piper and Kolter could pitch their tent in their yard. Sure, was Ann’s reply. With a new granddaughter, her only criteria was that they were vaccinated. In the end, Ann and Mike put up seven almost strangers in their amazing house 1200 feet above sea level and fed us all an exquisite dinner.
The technical problems came up again in dinner conversation. It turns out we were leapfrogging with Geek Squad all afternoon. Piper was a computer science major. In the morning, she and Kolter fixed all of our technical issues. I’ll be able to film from my bike again.
On our rest day, Mike and Ann took us for a picnic hike to Hurricane Hill above Hurricane Ridge. I had been there two years before and it was fully fogged in. This time, the sun chased the fog banks away for some beautiful views. Mike is the picnic guy. Not only did he prepare sandwiches for each of us, he hauled them up the steep trail along with two bottles of wine, chips, and Roca candy made in Tacoma at a factory we cycled by.
Start: Poulsbo WA
End: Port Angeles WA
Distance: 66.7 miles
Elevation gain: 3209 feet
Cumulative distance: 329.9 miles
Poulsbo to Shine: https://www.relive.cc/view/v1vj1ZZZGJq
The Olympic Discovery Trail to Port Angeles: https://www.relive.cc/view/vNOPYzzzJ26
© 2021 Lynnea C Salvo