Day #1 6/18/17 Bellingham to Rasar State Park
Start in the rain with a friendly send off, ride familiar roads, soggy Sedro Woolley, flat wet pretty ride to Rasar State park and dinner delivered. It’s a beautiful spot!
Elevation Gain: 1300 (about)
Start Time: 7:45am End Time: 2:50pm
Tip of the Day: 5 things you can do with Air hand driers (are for so much more)
Wish we had: matches
With last final check and double check of our house, we left the last minute notes for our friend Jeff who will stay there while we are gone (coincidentally, his house is undergoing renovations so this is a total win-win), gave our cat a hug, and mounted our steeds for the beginning of the journey into the Pacific Northwest drizzle. It’s June, what should we expect?
We pedaled first to the Club (Bellingham Training & Tennis Club) for a send off. Even though it was raining, a few hearty souls said a farewell and then joined us at the Community Boating center where Drue (Robinson) read us a blessing/limerick that made us all chuckle.
“There once was a couple with grit,
Who decided for a month they would sit
On bicycles loaded
No, they were not goaded
They were simply incredibly fit!
We dipped our tires in Bellingham Bay (part of the Pacific Ocean) and we were off! Joined by our friends Harold & Darcee, Bob & Cheryl, and Jeff. Elizabeth was out for a ride and turned to ride with us for a while too. We rode out by Lake Samish and by the turn to Alger our friends had waved us on - so fun to have good company and conversation at the start!.
The road through Alger to Friday Creek road was a familiar one. We had a snack at Friday Creek Park where Doug showed me his impressive snack bar (an assortment of energy bars, gels)in his front bag. I knew I was hanging with the right guy.
We crossed highway 9 to Prarie road, then took Grip road - beautiful and quiet with a long hill. Good practice for what is to come. We missed a turn, but got directions from another cyclist for a road that pretty much avoided Hwy 9 and dropped us right into Sedro Woolley.
Lunch at the “Hometown Cafe” was long (1 ½ hours), but delicious. I opted for the Father’s Day buffet breakfast and Doug’s pancakes & eggs took a very long time. We had delightful conversation with locals who thought we were nuts. A quick in and out at the Woolley Market for breakfast supplies and we were back on the road….in the rain with a headwind.
We took side roads that paralled Hwy 20 - got some great directions from a woman outside a pub in Hamilton who sent us up the back road to Rasar State Park. We thought about renting a cabin (we were pretty wet) but went for a campsite instead. A hot shower for $0.50 warmed me up.
Air Hand Dryers: Very useful!
Hands, of course
Wet hair, but you have to crouch
Soggy bike gloves - to take the soggy out
Soaked booties - didn’t dry them but at least they weren’t drippy
My towel - definitely not like a clothes drier, but better than nothing.
Ready for an afternoon cup of coffee, we break out the stove and realize neither of us packed the lighter. Ruth-Roh. Doesn't. Ode well for our morning egg scramble. So I go about the campground begging for matches and find a mom on a scooter with her two sons on bikes who say “sure, we can help” - soon we have new friends, we oiled the boys’ chains, I adjusted their helmet straps, and we had enough matches for breakfast.
Ready for a hot cup of coffee - but no matches for the stove. Doh! I go in search and beg from a car leaving, no. Ask a kid on his bike and his mom was just behind on a scooter.. She said “yes, we can help” and in no time she and her two boys were at our camp. We oiled the boys’ bike chains and adjusted their bike helmet straps (that’s just one of my things) told them where we were going and they approved. Another campground friendship!
Our friends Denise and Hart drove over and brought us a delicious dinner of ribs, potato salad, coleslaw, beer, and chocolate for dessert. We are spoiled. Now sitting in front of a fire in the community shelter feeling like this was a terrific first day.
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