August 25, 2010

Eddied out on Schooner Suva out of Port Townsend

8/24/10


Well 10 days have passed since we last blogged and you might ask yourself; where the hell are they, whats goin on etc… well rest assured we are alive and well and in Seattle.

Beer Trials
First off ; We want to give a big shout out to the people who have left comments: Yo, Yo, Yo, Steve. Where you at Bitch!!! And to Mr. Cooney; The coffee is quite good, but, thanks for the offer, We actually don’t talk much, we just get into that meditative groove that is cycling. The music is in the soul, and just say no to I pods. At least when riding. Very important to hear those menacing cars approaching. And to Pimpy A’s friend; glad you are following us and that you are enjoying the ride!
Cool Painting in brewery




Bob buys us a Beer. Thanks


Before having left Bellingham, which is a sweet place, we encountered some good old fashioned hospitality. Bellingham has a very large farmers market that we visited. But , our visit was short lived due to the fact that there was a micro brew pub called Boundary Bay right across the street. We entered, ordered a sample platter o’beer and invited our selves to sit down next to a guy named Bob Hollister. An elderly gentleman whom like a lot of folks up here in the N. West is a bike guy. Bob was kind enough to buy us a round of Beer. Thanks Bob.

Cool Mural
Teri and Charlie our hosts in Bellingham have a friend John who co-owns a 28’ catalina sailboat and he took us out for a sunset booze crooze, so to speak. It seems that though the intentions are there, actually consuming mass or even moderate quantities of beer or booze just doesn’t seem to happen. A lack of appetite I suppose. Any how it was a beautiful evening, with live music next to the water, and a waxing crescent moon!! Thanks John.

A BIG THANKS again to Teri and Charlie..our wonderful and gracious hosts! And for showing us what a great place

Sun set booze crooze in Bellingham
Bellingham is! We will miss the trains…and those kooky “turns” that make that squawk like noise….AND vanilla ice cream with wild blackberries….YUM!

Bellingham to Deception pass State park [Terri and Gregs Big Adventure Grooviness factor 1-5] is a 4 . T&GBAD [Difficulty factor 1-5] is a 3 Mileage for the day----55, Max speed----.33.

Crescant D' Lune
Le Conner w/ Mt Baker
Deception Pass Note the Eddie boil coming off the bridge pilon
Good Sailin w/ Cpt. Lloyd and first mate of the kithen Alisha at the helm!
Sooo after 5 days of chillin in Bellingham we finally hit the road. That days ride was the best yet. Heading south out of Bellingham is a road they call Chuckanut drive. It wends and winds it’s way through dense wet forest cut right out of the cliffs above the ocean. It offered nice climbs and great descents with awesome views of Bellingham bay. The ride then dropped us out on the flats with wind at our back and so for the first time in 300 plus miles we were able to maintain a healthy 14 mph speed for several miles. I have to tell you that to be able to roll along like that was invigorating. Taking a break at a small country store we met a kid on a nice carbon fiber bike and when I say kid I mean 18 to 22 years old who must of weighed well over 300 pounds. Anyway this kid is on the tail end of a 60 mile ride and has a permanent shit eatin grin and having noticed us looking at the map, decides to give us some route advice. Man did he guide us right. I have to admit that I am still surprised that we were taking advice from this hugely over weight kid but, he obviously knew his way around as a cyclist, cause his suggested route was right on. The highlights  beside Chuckanut drive was the berry barn, [homemade pies, icecream etc…., a small town named Le Conner, and Deception pass; that is a water channel that feeds a huge inlet and the current flowing through looks like a river. Complete with boiling eddies, waves etc..

Deception pass to Port Townsend [Terri and Gregs Big Adventure Grooviness factor 1-5] is a 3 . T&GBAD [Difficulty factor 1-5] is a 2. Mileage for the day----37.5, Max speed---32.4.

The Martha a 125 yr. old Schooner out of Port Townsend
sailing along side Suva
Nice riding along the shore, rolling roads, nice quaint towns, lots of cyclists, not much traffic. Nothing about this ride stands out other than it was Idyllic. Port Townsend on the other hand is Cool, from a water/sailors point of view. It is a Sailors town. They have a wooden boat festival there every September but you don’t have to go there then to see wooden boats. And so begins the story as to why we haven’t blogged for awhile.

On the Main Sail Hallyard
Who is that girl. I'd like to Marry her!
Time for a swim
First Mate Micheal
Al and Kim and the crew
Farewell Suva and it's crew. You will be missed!
As we un boarded the ferry into Port Townsend we had one agenda. Find the brewery. To do that we road down what is the main drag of town which emptied us out to a marina full of old wooden boats that for us was a treat to see. Such a treat that it became alluring. After taking a slew of photos….. We were about to enter the Twilight Zone. Or should I say the Twilight “BOAT” Zone! After a few phone calls over yummy beer at the Port Townsend Brewery we hopped on a sailboat called “The SUVA”http://schoonersuva.com/ the next morning with 5 other folks…the SUVA is a 64 foot sailboat complete with Captain Lloyd Baldwin, first mate Michael, Cook/Galleys first Lady Alisha and room enough for 7 people to eat, sleep and play sailors! The other couple that came besides us were Al (retired military that flew B52 Bombers) and Kim (retired school teacher)from Spokane WA, both very sweet and liked to have fun! And so we embark on a 5 day tour….filled with mostly great weather (we did have a bit of a challenging first day!), wind for sailing (we buried the rails a few times), starry/moon filled nights (Greg and I chose to sleep outside up top on deck!), fun little harbors, other cool sailboats (including the hippie types with the skull and crossbone flags!), lots of great stories , awesome food (thanks Alisha! We all wanted to take her home with us!) lovely company, a fun captain (cut the sheets!!!) and some good sailing instruction (we all got to be at the “helm”!)…We have to sum it up to a 5 day laugh fest (great for the soul!!) & just being on the water in a sailboat is next to heaven!

If you want a good, old fashioned , unpretentious sailing on a super sweet all teak wood boat Chinese built in 1925, then you want to sail on Schooner Suva, and Cpt. Loyd will treat you right.

After our sail fest First mate Michael put us up for a few days to get our feet back on the ground. Thank YOU Michael for your kindness & opening your home to us! We like sailing. That could be a next life., and the temptation of being eddied out in Port Townsend on a long term basis was hard to resist. But, backcountry rule #101 prevails.----stick to plan A until it completely and utterly fails, and then, and only then, go to plan B. And plan A has always been to ride from Vancouver to San Diego. We have Kids & Grand Kids there!



Port Townsend to Seattle Via Bainbridge Island

[Terri and Greg’s Big Adventure Grooviness factor 1-5] is a 2 . T&GBAD [Difficulty factor 1-5] is a 2. Mileage for the day----53, Max speed---38.5.

A nice Ride through rural farm land and dense forest. The roads had good shoulders except for the part where I decided to go for a more rural route where we rode for ten miles or so with no shoulder. All in all though the traffic was light and the roads friendly. More Good riding with nice weather! Getting off the ferry [our 12th] in Seattle was like being at the starting line of the Tour De France with over 100 commuting cyclists rushing to get out in front of traffic. Intimidating. Riding through Seattle is nice, aside from the hills. Bike lanes and paths are well laid out, and like everywhere we have been so far drivers are very patient and polite.

Before crossing the bridge to Bainbridge we sat to eat blackberries and lunch when rolling along came a tandem couple that are riding the Pan American Highway from the very most northern part of Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina. They have finished the northern section and were just beginning to head south out of Seattle via the West side of the Olympic Penninsula. We hope to meet with them when we get to the coast. if you want to check out their seen go to http://2totango.net./2totango.net

Hello Seattle
We are now being treated with Seattle hospitality by Kara and Jeff Stone who are sharing their home and showing us their hood. Thanks.

August 14, 2010

The Riviera of British Columbia. The wrap up!

8/14/10 Belling ham The B.C. wrap up.


The locals around here call this whole area the Riviera of Canada/U.S. And it really does have that kind of atmosphere. We love it but were told as sun lovers that we probably wouldn’t like the winters. I Trust em. All and all this whole north west experience has been more than we expected. I mean, it has far exceeded our expectations. If we even had any.

The overall grooviness factor was certainly at the top of the scale. Great food, fresh produce, lots of recreational opportunity, water and mountains. Yea pretty groovy. The difficulty matched the grooviness factor; steep short climbs with steep short descents. Lots of shifting and no real breaks. Having said that there certainly were some great spin days. But basically we are carrying too much weight. So with regret we are sending the instruments home, as well as our extra tarp and a few other items.

Terri and I would love to come back up here and spend more time and do some serious water exploring.

Here is a little story I’ve been wanting to tell since we left Parkville before getting to the sunshine coast…..When we were camping at the Parkville campground a fellow tourer camped near us, who had come from whence we were headed, and looking at our rig I suppose he deemed us inexperienced novice tourers or something. Maybe he had a point! So he proceeded to tell us how experienced he was and that he carried tools for every occasion etc.etc… Just as I was getting my tools out to tune up the shifting on the Mule. In the mean time he began to tell us how brutal the hills were on the Sunshine coast and that he encountered hills that were more than 14% grade and proceeded to question our ability to conquer them. We assured him that our Mule was of the mountain breed and after I got my tools out and started working on the rear derailer he excused himself and walked away. I waited to tell this story until after we rode those monstrous grades so as not to jinx myself but having been there I assure you that though the hills are steep and the riding hard, there are no 14% grades on the sunshine coast road. If you want long and steep I mean very steep I would recommend riding in the Gila mountains north of Silver City New Mexico! Those are the steepest, Longest grades I / we have ever encountered. Wouldn’t you say Steve.?

Total miles for the B.C. Loop starting in Sequim WA.--- 351. Time spent in B.C. 2 weeks. Avg. miles per day--- 25.
<>
A Fun Guy
Victoria Street Sculpture
Leaving Victoria
light house in the san Juan Islands
Gin and Tonic
In the fish bowl. Literally
the man with over 600 kites. 65 are up now.
Happy as pigs in s!@#t on the bike path to Victoria
Market in China Town
Finnally real beer. Terri quafing a scotch ail. We allmost miss the ferry.
T & G Leaving B.C.
The San Juan Islands
Local wild life....we didnt see any Orcas.
Bellingham

Charlies Art.
























































August 13, 2010

A tale of more Ferry's, And a Brewery

8/11-8/13/10 Bellingham

Card board art

Just chillin on shamu G/ with our hosts
Charlie Teri and Shamu


Just chillin. Our hosts Teri and Charlie have been very gracious and hospitable. We have our own bed and bath and since Charlie’s retired and Teri’s on sabbatical they have been able to give us a grand tour of what seems to be a very nice town. Victorian and craftsmen style architecture abound and the weather is once again just perfect. Gardens/Greenery/apple trees/blackberry bushes EVERYWHERE!! The envy, no doubt of us Colorado folks! & WATER!!!!!! The view from Teri and Charlies is also envious…of Bellingham Bay! The other lovely thing is hearing sounds you don’t normally hear where we live….ferry horns, train whistles and sea gulls! LOVE IT! It looks as though we may stay here through Sunday the 15th as a friend of Charlies is going to look into taking us sailing on Sunday. Cross your fingers. Or I’ll at least cross mine. Just can’t be around all this water and deny an overwhelming desire to get intimate with it. Tomorrow, Saturday, We hope to get in a kayak. We’ll see.!!



Groovy art car. Eat your heart out Steve
8/9/10 T&GBAG [Terri and Gregs Big Adventure Grooviness factor 1-5] is a 4 . T&GBAD [Difficulty factor 1-5] is a 1 Mileage for the day----28.5, Max speed---???. Taswasswen to Victoria via a 2 hr ferry ride back from the main land to Vancouver Island.

You can’t be in a hurry when Island living. Especially when you are dependent on ferries. That might explain why every one in western BC is so mellow. , and so liberal. Vancouver Island to me seems to be very sustainable. They provide almost all their own meats, dairy, produce etc.. as well as the arts, crafts, and trades. Everyone that we have talked to loves our President Obama. They are mostly glad to see the Bush Dynasty….OUT TA THERE!!!!!……

Charlies Stained glass




Any hoo Our ride back to Victoria was the same ride we did 2 weeks earlier only backwards. A beautiful 20 mile spin thru farm land (cute PIGS wallowing in the mud,too), and ritzy neighborhoods all on a well laid out bike path that eventually leads you into downtown Victoria.

The bike trail into victoria
Our host in Victoria Mike and his home
Daphne, Mike's Wife
Our new friends Mike and his wife Daphne live only a few blocks away from the youth hostel we had stayed at earlier and a short walk to downtown Victoria. Which was nice cause we already knew the lay of the land. One of the best parts about our connection with Mike & Daphne is that they knew where the Micro Brew Pub was!! YEA! Swans!. Home of a beautifully crafted 8% Scotch ale and IPA. Delish! Perfecto! So after an evening of brew snobbing (some live music), a great breakfast, a walk about, we ended up in the brewery again where it was 4 dollar pint Tuesdays featuring the 8% Scotch Ale., And that nearly made us late for the three hour evening ferry to Bellingham including an all you can eat Salmon buffet as you ferry through the San Juan Islands. Not a bad way to get to the States. Oh and did I mention that we still had a bunch of Canadian loonies and toonies (I think we need to give nick names to our coins too…maybe we could “coin” the quarter “the GEORGIE”??) to unload that resulted in buying a few rounds of gin and tonics. We arrive in Bellingham at 8:pm and our friends Charlie and Teri meet us with only a short walk to their home, over looking the Bay, where we will lick our wounds, rub the mule down, do our laundry and just chill for a few days. And maybe, just maybe get on the water.







Charlie And Teri's Home

August 12, 2010

Getting from there to here. A tale of 3 ferries. Sort of. And were not here yet.

8/12/10


Hello to all and thanks for the blog support. Sorry we haven’t updated in awhile but I got a little frustrated with the process and needed to take a break. So… to bring you and I up to date: Currently I am writing to you from the comfort of a desk overlooking Bellingham bay where we are staying with former Salida residents Charlie and Teri. Like all of these north pacific towns we have encountered; Bellingham is quaint and beautiful. So far we have yet to see a town or spot we didn’t like.

Horseshoe Bay and the end of the not so Sunshine Coast
8/6/10 T&GBAG [Terri and Gregs Big Adventure Grooviness factor 1-5] is a 4 . T&GBAD [Difficulty factor 1-5] is a 3-4. Mileage for the day----34, Max speed---39. Mederia Bay on the Sunshine coast To Sechelt and the Porpoise Bay Campground. The riding continued to be more of the same; longer sometimes steep climbs with nice curvy descents, thus the max speed of 39 mph. However for every mile we get closer to Vancouver the more the traffic, as we are encountering more and more towns. The traffic still ebbs and flows with the ferries but now more local traffic as well. Still the riding is nice and we can still find that peace when we are the only thing on the road. Man that is nice. When the last car passes and the noises cease, a feeling overcomes that could nearly be described as bliss. But, when the sound of a car begins---- the spell is broken. Sometimes shattered. Part of this “bliss” has definitely been eating the WILD BLACKBERRIES that are growing all along the roadside…two words to describe…”frickin YUMMY!!…how can one resist! Yes, like kids in a candy shop we eat them…if I was a BEAR I’d live hereJ

The town of Sechelt was our goal for the day and as we entered town we could tell this was a special place. The town itself sits on a flat, only about a mile wide that separates the Georgia Straight from the Sechelt inlet where our campground layed. So there was water on both the front and back side of this town. The campground was only a couple of miles from town and an easy, nice ride to get there and back.

So far this is our favorite campground. What a great spot. This place had a biker only camp area and though the campground was full as it was a Saturday, the bike area was empty. The sites are nestled in trees and very private yet there were Flush toilets, hot showers, a sandy beach and kayak rentals literally steps away. Terri and I planned to spend several days here as we had ridden 3 days of hard climbing and was ready for a rest and this seemed to be the perfect place.

That night, in town for dinner, a man named Mike had been admiring our bike so he sought us out to talk cycling.

He lived in Victoria and offered to give us shelter if we were to find ourselves back in Victoria and then proceeded to try to talk us out of riding through Vancouver and getting back to the states via Victoria as Vancouver is a million people and 3 million with outlying areas and that it would be very stressful to try to coax the mule thru the maze. Our reply. We’ll think about it.



8/7/10 T&GBAG [Terri and Gregs Big Adventure Grooviness factor 1-5] is a 3. T&GBAD [Difficulty factor 1-5] is a 4. Mileage for the day----17, Max speed---???. Porpoise Bay campground to Horseshoe Bay and ferry terminal.

Well, for the first time since we’ve arrived----- it’s raining.!! And according to the locals it’s going to rain for day’s. So much for a rest day, we’re movin on. Might as well ride in the rain then sit around in it.

On our way out of Sechelt we had a long and busy climb and in the thick of it our new friend Mike came by, parked on the side of the road, walked down to meet us and walked and talked with us up the hill.[ Kinda gives you an idea of how fast were riding or how steep the hill is]. He asks us if we had decided whether we were going to Bellingham via Vancouver or Victoria and we told him that we had decided on Vancouver and he wished us luck. We rode on in the rain to the ferry that would take us to another cool place called Horseshoe Bay where from there one begins to ride into Vancouver or get on a 2 hr. ferry to B.C. There is no camping, were wet, and tonight we stay in the last hotel room available in Horseshoe Bay, and it’s a nice room.



8/8/10 T&GBAG [Terri and Gregs Big Adventure Grooviness factor 1-5] is a 4 [because of the ferry rides, and the misty mountain hop, to quote our favorite band. T&GBAD [Difficulty factor 1-5] is a 1. Milage for the day----20, Max speed---not worth mentioning. A Ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo B.C., an easy 10 mile ride to another 2 hour ferry back to The Vancouver side of the world to a town named Tsawwassen and a 10 mile ride to a motel to catch another 2 hr. ferry the next day to Victoria. Wow !!

Misty Mountain Ferry Hop
Ok, Ok. Mike had a point. We were tired mentally and physically and after talking to a lot of folks who ride we decided not to go to or through Vancouver and that the ride from Vancouver back into the States and Bellingham would not be fun. So we have chosen to do the 4 ferry ride, misty mountain hop, in or should I say out of the rain, path to Bellingham and the U.S.A. Being land locked we like ferries. Ferries are neat. So were riding ferries, for 3 days. We have our ferry wings now!! As our friend Teri would say.

The best part of this day ; besides the ferries, is we have still gotten in 20 miles of riding on flat easy terrain and therefore workin out the kinks that started to form in our knees.
A Light house on a Ferry crossing


August 6, 2010

Heading North to San-Diego???

Old growth duglass fir with my wife and the mule

<>
<><>
Greg entered a logging competition!!

Well i am Still trying to figure out the best way to load this blog and it's been a pain in the arse.
8/6/10 T&GBAG [Terri and Gregs Big Adventure Grooviness factor 1-5] is a 4 [because of the ferry rides, the misty mountain hop, to quote our favorite band; and the road. T&GBAD [Difficulty factor 1-5] is a 3-4. Milage for the day----34.29, Max speed---36.5. Comox. Airforce campground (TeePee Park) to Mediera Bay on the Sunshine coast.


I don’t know if you are all aware but apparently BC is having one of its driest summers ever and there are a lot of forest fires around here. Consequently the sky has had this overcast foggy look to it but it is all smoke. Otherwise the weather has been perfect. What would be bluebird days, and no wind, bordering on almost too hot and muggy but not quite . Therefore the views which are cool are hazy and barely in view.

Todays ride was another picture perfect idealic road riders dream. We are on the so called sunshine coast and have therefore entererd into to the coastal mountain range so the road is hilly. Were back in the mountains. On the coast.


The climbs are chlanging but not menacing and the downhils curvy and swift and fortunately very little trafic [knock on wood} as the shoulders are almost non-existant. The trafic flows with the ferries. Of wich we rode two for a total of 2.5 hours. Nice. Any hoo the trafic is almost nill untill one of those ferries dock and then woosh; a but load of traffic comes all at once and then; the sound of the rubber on the road and meditation of your breath. Perfect. This whole area is definatly the Aspen of bc or maybe of Canada for that matter. So the realestate is $$$$$ and so is everything else. But it definatly is beautifull country and would be great to explorer further , especially by boat or kayak.



8/4/10 TGBAG [Terri and Gregs Big Adventure Grooviness factor 1-5] is a 3 T&GBAD [Difficulty factor 1-5] is a 2. Milage for the day----57.32, Max speed---33.5. Parksville [Rathtrever beach Provincial Park] to Comox.

We have now reached the northern most part of our trip. Todays riding was DREAMY. Slow easy climbs, Long big gear descents. The road followed closely to the shore and passed thru many quite, beachside communities. Little traffic, nice shoulder. Exactly what you want in a road ride. Today was a bench mark in a few ways. 1] we broke our 30 mile barrior. 2] We finally found a bike shop that was open and was able to check the pressure in our tires. Well, after coming from 7000 ft with full pressure and dropping down to sea level we lost ½ of our tire pressure. So now at the end of todays ride we have full pressure. Golly gee what a difference. I have a feeling our mile per hour average is going to go up. And the last 10 miles no longer felt like we were riding in sand, and the bike handled so much better. What a dumb ass. Anyway the difference made the bike feel so much lighter and for that I am grateful.

So, to recap today’s ride. Todays ride was one for the sprinters. With lots of small town sprints all the big sprinters occupied the front of the peloton for most the ride. With only one category 1 climb at the end of the day the peloton was able to stay together for the duration. For all the GC riders, today was mostly a rest days, staying near the end of the pack and out of harms way.



8/2-8/3/10 T&GAG [Terri and Gregs Big Adventure Grooviness factor 1-5] is a 2 T&GBAD [Difficulty factor 1-5] is a 3. Milage for the day----29.6, Max speed---33. Nanaimo to Parksville [Rathtrever beach Provincial Park]

Not much to say about this ride. We had a nice casual first 10 miles out Nanaimo on a bike path. The next 10 on the shoulder of a 4 laner. Not so bad untill the last couple of miles up a slow busy climb. There are two things that really piss me off. R.Vers who are afraid of the middle of the road so therefore give no quarter. The other; loud motorcycles.!@#$%^&*!@#$%. how can riding with that sound do anything but make you mad or crazy.! I mean, what is the point. O.K O.K. I feel better now. Not better than James brown. Just better. The park is a big family destination because the tidal flats go out for 100’s of yards where the water is shallow and warm. But also because they show kidie movies in a little apmhitheter. We couldn’t figure out what all the comotion was about . So after a little investigation we found the outdoor theater and was entertained by??? [Whose my hero----BOLT’S my hero??] cute. Parksville by the way, is a one bar town!

We have met some real nice folks here.



The Star of today. the Sun






Where the f!@#$%^&* our we






I think we finnaly figured it out. South to San Diego!!




the mule takes a ride on the ferrie....can you see it??




Look honey



Misty Mountain Hop