Changed the air in my head

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by wetwider, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. wetwider

    wetwider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    Oddometer:
    128
    Location:
    northwest
    At last there came a perfectly warm, sunny day in the Pacific Northwest, something so rare for the last nine months it could not possibly be spent indoors, quarantined, starting to smell. There was nothing, absolutely nothing more worthwhile to do than to take a ride. The question: Where-to? The easiest and one of few road-runs from the northeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula is “Tour-A" - a romp over the hill and down U.S. 101 along the Hood Canal, a big, long north-south leg of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains to the west.

    A world away from Seattle, called in these parts “the dark side,” the first town to by-pass is Hadlock on Hwy. 19, where there’s this I.Q. test:
    upload_2020-7-16_16-22-36.jpeg

    Doing Tour-A well requires a hitch from Hadlock from Hwy. 19 over a couple miles to Hwy 20 along Discovery Bay to catch a few flowing twists up and over Eaglemount, a heights from which if you look fast you can see the bay's waters through the trees on the right. The trick is to hit that stretch without traffic ahead to slow you down and this day, partly thanks to the pandemic, I was living right - no motorhomes, no Priuses ahead, no members of the Anti-Destination League.

    (There's a good bit more to this report I've put a fair amount of effort into, but to hell with it - the process of adding words and photos here is a goat copulation - too much for this old guy. Don't understand how a site put up by a digital guru can be so difficult, but then I may simply be too stupid to grasp what's required.)

    WAIT, keep reading. If ya want.
    #1
    N-Id-Jim likes this.
  2. dammitdave

    dammitdave Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,675
    Location:
    Port Townsend, WA
    I think they might be "Friendly Goats" so I'll finish the post for Wetwider.

    ....
    At U.S. 101, I ran south past farms & fields to Lake Leland, a friendly little county lake with a campground and a launch-ramp where there were a few campsites available! That’s rare this July, in case you haven’t tried to find one.
    Lake Leland:
    [​IMG]
    They stock this lake with fish, but best to me is it’s long enough and generally empty enough to row a fast boat without hitting anything, and it’s only about twenty minutes from my house.

    On down the highway on a Wednesday, traffic still light, the next treat to look forward to is over Mt. Walker, a bigger series of smooth-pavement sweepers the that grow tighter as you descend to run south along Hood Canal, water on your left, mountains on the right:
    [​IMG]

    A few more miles and a baker’s dozen good curves after the settlement called Brinnon, a paved road I’d never taken meanders west into the Olympic range, Duckabush Road:
    [​IMG]

    By calling this warm, sunny Wednesday a playday time was no problem; I hung a right and road easy inland past small farms, modest vacation homes, gardens and and folks who wave, then into a tunnel through big trees:

    [​IMG]


    The surrounding nature and the nature of the road, a ribbon tar & stone chips that’s full of lumps & hollows from the glacial till under the pavement moving over time, invites one to slowly putt rather than scamper, resulting in something that feels like a horseback ride undulating along to the soundtrack of a loafing 360-detree twin. But such good things come to and end, and Duckabush did for my Bonny when it suddenly turned to dirt with suspension-bottoming potholes hard to see with bright sun flashing through the foliage canopy. Reluctantly, I came about and eased back the way I came to U.S. 101 and the blue, blue waters of Hood Canal:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #2
    9Realms and N-Id-Jim like this.
  3. dammitdave

    dammitdave Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,675
    Location:
    Port Townsend, WA
    ...

    That stretch of highway passes over numerous creeks carrying spring water and snow runoff from the Olympic's heights to the canal, which really isn’t a canal. It was created by the receding glaciers of a long-ago ice-age, not anything man did. A number of early stressed-concrete bridges carry the highway over creeks and wetlands:
    [​IMG]

    A few miles further, these pilings in a broad cove intrigue newcomers and of course they have a history, but I had to check with my friend, ADVrider DammitDave, to be sure what it was. First they were planted to secure log-booms, great lose-log rafts of timbers harvested from the region’s bountiful evergreen forests, principally Douglas fir & cedar. DammitDave surmised a small railroad ran down to this cove in Northwest logging’s early days, later powerful trucks brought the timber and dumped it into the water to be secured by men with long pike poles working from small, maneuverable “logbronc” boats or walking on the logs themselves - work for the rugged with the balance of ballerinas - if they’re to survive long: A rolling log can put a man in the drink in a minute and if neighboring logs then come together right there, he’s gonna be compacted.

    Before logging slowed, the highways were built strong enough for heavy loads and powerful logging trucks proliferated. Log-booms became relatively scarce in the lower 48, so now old piling mazes here & there support oyster-farming. Underwater cages full of oysters are suspended between the pilings.
    [​IMG]

    Near this cove is a commercial oyster operation with a wealth of calcium in oyster shells:
    [​IMG]

    There are better oysters to be had in my opinion from Willipa Bay where the water’s cleaner & colder - I’ve gotten sick more than once on raw oysters from Hood Canal but love `em from Willapa Bay out on the coast where the water’s cleaner & colder, but then I’m a glutton who eats a dozen or more raw in a sitting. (Once on the Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay I beat my dad in an oyster eating contest by two oysters. He only ate 38.)
    Of course I wonder who the hell was goofy or desperate enough, to eat the first raw oyster.


    Meandering on south along the canal are straightaways with views of the water on one side, snow-capped peaks on the other, through several good curvy sections including two peg-dragging U-curves with blinking yellow caution signs, and the road climbed through a wooded stretch below which hides Pleasant Harbor:
    [​IMG]


    Hood Canal is a beautiful but fairly boring body of water to just go out on in a boat for no particular reason. Do that once or twice and many say ‘been there, done that.’ It’s not bad for fishing or a little kayaking, but for cruising sailors or powerboat folk, this harbor is remote from the good islands of the San Juans and further north, or South Puget Sound, but it’s very protected - a great place to park a boat long-term between longer voyages.

    Another bunch of miles south - I lost track - is an area called Lilliwaup and the magnetic Eagle Creek Saloon, a first-class funky country bar & burger joint on the west side of the highway out in a broad patch of packed dirt where there’s often an interesting collection of bikes, good hot-rods, dirty pickum-ups and friendly folk. The burgers are big & juicy, beer’s cold, pool table’s pretty level and the view outside plenty good. If Cessna pilots have favorite airport cafes for their $100 hamburgers, this is the motorcyclists’ version on the east side of the Olympic Peninsula.

    I meant to take a photo before I rode on of a mighty fine Model A two-door sedan with a Mercury flathead for all to see, two Rochesters on top, but I plumb forgot the pictures. I got carried away checking the thing out, then jumped on the Triumph and headed north for home, by then pretty much one with my machine, flowing over the road and through the twisties singing a song. There was one more stop for a photo I’ve been meaning to take for years on Center Road near the settlement of Chimicum - a farmer’s sculpture out by the road using an ancient steam shovel and equally antique dumbstruck:
    [​IMG]

    The ride worked. ‘Got home in time for dinner with new air in my head!
    #3
    9Realms and N-Id-Jim like this.
  4. wetwider

    wetwider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    Oddometer:
    128
    Location:
    northwest
    #4
  5. wetwider

    wetwider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    Oddometer:
    128
    Location:
    northwest
    Campsites available!

    Reports have had all campgrounds on the Olympic Peninsula packed, no vacancies, reservations needed a year in advance.

    After this ride down Hood Canal, past campgrounds with "FULL" signs,, SWMBO & I ran out along the Straits of Juan de Fuca and took a chance on a favorite county campground, figuring to arrive within minutes of check-out time on a Monday. It worked. We camped a night at Salt Creek, next to Crescent Beach. The county park is big and well-kept with plenty of sites, close but plenty of foliage between each gives enough privacy. If more than one night's wanted, no problem when we were there. Next I may try Lake Quinalt on a weekday. Both are pretty good spots for making camp to do loop rides.

    Onward!
    #5
  6. N-Id-Jim

    N-Id-Jim Long timer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,124
    Location:
    where elephants roam
    Looks like fun !
    #6
  7. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,061
    Location:
    Central Minn.
    Neat bike Dave.
    Enjoyable pictorials and such.

    Ride safe ok!~
    #7
  8. dammitdave

    dammitdave Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,675
    Location:
    Port Townsend, WA
    9Realms, That is wetrider's bike, I just posted his write-up for him. dd
    #8