North Cascades - Whidbey Island - Hood Canal

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Hominid, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,660
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    loving the report wetrider57!!!

    :clap

    Shane
    #21
  2. PassengerPrincess

    PassengerPrincess always up 4 the trip

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2
    Diablo Lake is phenomenal! Love that glacial runoff- where ya goin' next? :wink:
    #22
  3. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Pugetopolis
    yeah, the report's taking a little longer than anticipated. :shog

    took a ride down to the Nisqually Delta yesterday then came home and watched the Husky football game while I worked on a killer batch of pasta sauce. :thumb

    Checked out DR650 prices while at the dealer today. $5,700 plus tax, license, and that infamous document fee. :deal

    Those craigslist prices are a great deal. Especially for almost new bikes. :nod

    Back on the Rider Report tonight. Day 3 - 2nd half coming up. :1drink
    #23
  4. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
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    Pugetopolis
    Thanks for checking in Shaggie.
    More to follow :D
    #24
  5. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

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    Jun 20, 2010
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    Pugetopolis
    Slim's working on ideas for a trip around Vancuover Island. :*sip*

    Long term plans include a trip from Alaska back to Seattle :nod
    #25
  6. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Pugetopolis
    Slim and I head West on 20 toward <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Deception</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Pass.</st1:placeType></st1:place> Our plan is to stop at the state park there and check out the area. We debated the idea of spending the night on Whidbey Island, but felt we would have better luck avoiding the weather in the rain shadow along <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Hood</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Canal</st1:placeType></st1:place>. The ultimate destination is Seal Rock campground near Brinnon via the Port Townsend Ferry.

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    Seal Rock Campground – Milepost 305 Highway 101 – 104 miles



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    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Deception</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Pass</st1:placeType></st1:place> is pretty and the state park looks to have some pretty nice camps spots. Probably need to make reservations to get a spot on a summer weekend, though. It’s a very popular destination.

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    We tour the campground then head down to the beach. Along the way we spot a P-3 Orion flying into the nearby Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. Apparently they were practicing touch n go’s as we saw the airplane circle by several times while at the beach.

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    Clouds off Whidbey



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    As we’re standing at the beach a ranger comes cruising up from nowhere on his bicycle. He stops next us so we say hi, being the friendly guys we are. He hangs out for about a minute surveying the beach then pedals off to wherever he came from. Apparently he just wanted to make sure the scruffy bikers weren’t troublemakers? Maybe he just wanted to show off his sidearm?
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    Next up – Port Townsend Ferry. We know when the next boat leaves and we’re cutting things a little close so we hustle down the road. Timing is perfect as we make it to the dock with about 10 minutes to spare. Luck o’ the Irish is with us again.
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    We meet up with another Vstrom rider waiting in line and have some fun comparing accessories. He’s got a custom seat made by Rich’s Custom Seats that I definitely am thinking about adding to my bike. Turns out Rich is a local guy who makes about 50 seats a month. I’m going to have to look him up.
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    Time to get on the boat.

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    Port Townsend Ferry



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    As we’re standing there a guy comes up behind us and ask us if we want him to take a picture of Slim and I together. I hand him my camera and he takes a couple of shots. Nice guy. We stand around chatting a bit about we’re we’ve been and where we’re headed. Funny thing about having a couple of loaded up bikes. They seem to attract a lot of folks who are curious about the adventure at hand. It’s fun talking with them.

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    Mutt and Jeff - which one's Mutt?


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    Port Townsend Ferry



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    Port Townsend Ferry



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    Port Towsend Ferry



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    As we’re heading upstairs the captain comes over the PA to tell motorcycle riders to return to the deck to stay next to their bikes because we have some rough water ahead and a cruise ship wake to cross. I take a second to grab a quick shot from the deck and figure I have time to run to bathroom for a quick pit stop since things look smooth at the moment. Apparently I was wrong.

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    Slim’s holding down the fort



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    As I head to the head the captain comes back on the PA. “Rider with the yellow motorcycle – return to the car deck! Your bike is about to fall over and if does it’s your dime!” First of all – my bike was not about to fall over. Slim was there keeping watch and a friendly and helpful deck hand was there as well. Secondly, I think the guy was just being an a$$ and took some pleasure in calling me out in front of a whole boat load of people. But hey, he’s the captain – it’s his boat. :jerko I hustle back to the car deck and the deck hand says “no problem we got it.” Like I said…

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    Dreaded cruise ship



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    Cruise ship with silhouette


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    The cruise ship wake was pretty impressive. We all got splashed with salt water as we plowed through it. Still, I don’t know that any of the bikes would have tipped over given that we were parked in first gear. We held onto the bikes just in case, though.

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    I’m glad they have a plan



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    Slim hangs onto his bike



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    En route



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    As we cross I spot something breach the water in the distance. At first I think maybe a seal, but it didn’t look right. Too small to be an orca. The wife of the guy who took our picture comes up and says something about dolphins. Sure enough – we start spotting them left and right. I see about a dozen breaches as we sail on.

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    Port Townsend Ferry dock – large building is the PT Post Office



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    It’s getting late now so we hustle down the road. One problem – I didn’t get to use the bathroom on the ferry. At first I’m thinking I can make it to the campground - not a chance. I have to pee so bad I can’t stand it. Really makes riding safely difficult, ya know? I find a spot in the road to pull over – what the heck we’re out in the country, right? Unfortunately, there’s no good place for me to hide, but I gotta go NOW and the coast looks clear. No sooner do I get started than traffic picks up. Car after car flies by while mikey is hanging out for all to see. I can hear Slim cackling with glee in the background. :lol3

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    Business taken care of, we fly to Seal Rock, keeping an eye out for deer since it’s starting to get dark. Site number 36, right next to the water, is available so we pull in to claim it. I quickly empty my Pelican cases and buzz into town to pick up some firewood, instructing Slim to get us registered. Afterwards we set up our tents and get a fire going. It feels good to be in camp after a 270 mile day.

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    Drinks are mixed, dinner is cooked and we hang out enjoying the quiet campground. Quiet except for our rambling, of course. :freaky A raccoon wanders into camp, apparently attracted by the smell of food. He’s shy about coming too close, though. We burn down our most excellent fire, finish off our drinks, and I put all of the food and dishes into my side bags for safe keeping. We crash into our tents for a well earned night of sleep.

    Wildlife spotted
    Hawks
    Eagles
    Deer
    Dolphins
    Camp Raccoon
    River rafter in Burlington who thought I looked mean :lol3

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    Day 4 – the last day - to follow.
    #26
  7. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Pugetopolis
    Last day on the road. I get up about dawn to answer nature’s call and snap a quick pic before crawling back into my tent for a couple more hours of sleep. :snore
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    Dawn on <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Hood</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Canal</st1:placeType></st1:place>
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    Getting up later I leave Slim to sleep in as I go for a photo walk around Seal Rock Campground.
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    Seal Rock Campsite



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    Trees at Seal Rock



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    Driftwood



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    Driftwood



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    Driftwood



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    Driftwood



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    Driftwood



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    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Hood</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Canal</st1:placeType></st1:place> Morning



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    DR650 with campsite #36 in background



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    Seal Rock has a number of nice campsites. The spots by the water are especially good. They have parking space for RV’s and can also be used by tent campers. The tent, campfire, and picnic table areas are a short walk into the trees. Site # 36 is completely private with visual separation from the rest of the sites when sitting around the fire. It's definitely one of the best spots there. :nod

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    Typical morning after chaos


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    We’re late getting on the road today as both of us are moving kind of slow. :gerg

    I let Slim lead the way – I’m content to trail behind. Our path leads us back to the Port Orchard area.
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    Seal Rock to Port Orchard – 65 miles



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    We stop in Hoodsport on the way for a famous bacon cheeseburger at the Hoodsport burger shack. If you’re in the area one of these burgers is a requirement! A bit pricey, but they make for excellent road food. They also make a good milkshake. This place does non-stop business on summer weekends with lots of riders stopping in for a break and sustenance. :dg

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    Hoodsport burger shack - at the turnoff to Lake Cushman


    The road takes us back toward Port Orchard and when Slim leads me through town I’m wondering where the heck are we going? This isn’t the way to his house. He has a tendency to take the scenic route. He led me along the water with a good view of the <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Bremerton</st1:place></st1:City> shipyard across the bay. It was actually nice, if a bit unexpected. He leads me on to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Manchester</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">State Park</st1:placeType></st1:place>, which I’d never heard of before.
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    Port Orchard to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Manchester</st1:place></st1:City> and Southworth Ferry



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    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Manchester</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">State Park</st1:placeType></st1:place> is an interesting place. Established as a military outpost before WWII it has a building that was used for torpedo storage. It was meant to protect against submarines, but I don’t know if it was ever utilized as such.
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    Torpedo storage building



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    Arched windows



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    Command bunker



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    Command bunker



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    Command bunker



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    The command bunker, comprised of three crude rooms, housed a command center, communications room, and what was supposed to be a barracks room. I wouldn’t have wanted to sleep here.
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    Exploration done, I request to be led to the Southworth ferry. Slim takes the scenic route, of course. This is where we part ways at the end of a fun journey. A good time was had by all. :clap

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    Closing comments and pics from the ferry to follow.
    #27
  8. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Pugetopolis
    I queue up for the Fauntleroy Ferry to head back to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Seattle</st1:place></st1:City> area. Slim heads home. The trip was great fun, but it felt good to be heading home to the comfort of my own bed. Here are a few pics from the ferry for your viewing pleasure. :lurk

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    Beestrom at the Fauntleroy ferry dock



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    Ferry dock



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    Safely on board – no cruise ships to worry about here



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    Ferry pic



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    Fauntleroy ferry



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    Ferry Issaquah in the distance



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    Ferry deck



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    The Issaquah



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    The Issaquah



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    Upper deck seats



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    Beestrom parked next to older Suzuki



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    I got onto the ferry right after a kid riding an older Suzuki. He had to keep revving the engine on his rig just to keep it running. He mentioned needing some shorts because it was getting pretty warm out. I was thinking he had bigger concerns.

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    Bridge of the Klahowya



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    Hope we don’t need to use this



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    Car deck fire station



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    Car deck fire station



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    Ferry arrives at the Fauntleroy dock and I make my way home. I make it to my driveway at 7pm – whew. Felt fantastic to take a shower and then sink into my recliner to watch a movie.

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    Total trip length by my odometer was 697 miles. I enjoyed just about every mile of that. The only exception was on day one when I was suffering from the cold heading up to Stevens Pass. That was my fault. I’ll know to be better equipped next time.
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    Thanks to Slim and Shadowman for being such excellent ride partners. Flexibility and good humor are a must as I’m sure all would agree. They both get high marks in those areas. :thumb

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    As mentioned at the start, all of the destinations we visited could be broken into day trips or overnighters.

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    <st1:City w:st="on">Leavenworth</st1:City> – nice day trip or overnighter from <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Seattle</st1:place></st1:City> – camp at Tumwater
    Diablo and <st1:placeName w:st="on">Ross</st1:placeName> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Lakes</st1:placeName> – decent overnight trip from <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Seattle</st1:place></st1:City> if camping
    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Hood</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Canal</st1:placeType></st1:place> – easy day trip from Seattle or South end.
    Port Townsend – pretty place to visit and easy trip from a lot of places.
    <st1:placeName w:st="on">Deception</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Pass</st1:placeType> – a must visit for <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Seattle</st1:place></st1:City> area adventurers

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    One note – the North Cascades highway is best travelled from June to September. It’s typically closed between November and May due to snow, ice, and avalanche danger. Ride it when it’s warm – it has fantastic sweeping twisties that are a ton of fun when it’s dry and warm!
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    Thanks to all those who tuned in and those who replied to my first ride report.
    #28
  9. PassengerPrincess

    PassengerPrincess always up 4 the trip

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2
    VERY nice pics!! give us more :D
    #29
  10. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Pugetopolis
    I'll be loading the rest of my pics on photobucket for those who want to see.
    :lurk
    #30
  11. Ladybug0048

    Ladybug0048 Bug Sister

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    11,456
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    Excellent first ride report, I hope we see many more in the future. :thumb
    #31
  12. Hominid

    Hominid Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    255
    Location:
    Pugetopolis
    Thanks Ladybug - next time I think I'll try to be a little less wordy and a little more selective with the photos. :ear

    It was a nice ride and camping trip.
    #32