- Day 2 of the Anacortes to Port Angeles, WA bike trip
- Distance biked: 44 kilometres
- Location: Whidbey Island, WA
- Route: Oak Harbor to Greenbank, and Rhododendron Park campground to Coupeville & return
May 4th (Straight from the journal): This morning we went & found a coffee shop from our motel. It was raining and we were slow-moving. Came back & packed our stuff up, went & filled our water bottles at a stand we saw earlier, and we were out.
Beautiful ride again, lots of hills again. The ocean and mudflats were on our left, and properties on our right. My favourite was a beautiful wooden house with lawn and trees; that sounds like everywhere but it really was gorgeous. Up and down, up and down. Fun downhills, douglas fir trees, ocean on the left, getting warmer, getting humid, took our raincoats off. We planned to bike a big loop to check out Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, but when we climbed a big hill following a sign, we could see the whole route and it was all prairie. We decided not to do that sidetrack.
We were aiming for Meerkerk Gardens, to see the rhododendrons. I really wanted to go! But we both started fading around 1:30, and hadn’t had lunch, and we decided to look for a beach access. We were going all along a bluff, and everything was private property. Asked someone in a little neighbourhood, & they pointed to a road but said it was really steep. It was really steep! But turned out to be the only beach access, and I’m glad we stopped there. We got to the beach, ate lunch. An old guy in a truck was there and there was a big block of wood he’d come down to take off the beach. You could tell he wanted help with it. We talked a bunch, and he recommended Rhododendron County Park over Fort Casey State Park for a place to camp. We were exploring south of Coupeville but returning later that day to camp near the ferry, so we could get over to Port Townsend the next day.
We ended up helping him move the wood on his industrial cart, from way down the beach, lifting it over logs and branches and waiting while he hammered the huge nails to the side, and then helping him lift it into the truck. He had left after we first saw him, and we both had a brief nap on the beach, and then he came back, with a bike rack attached! We thought he was just going to help us get up that crazy hill, but then he took us all the way to the campground.
We set up our tent at Rhododendron County Park, about a 15-minute bike ride from Coupeville. I put my sleeping bag and Thermarest in there, and we took everything else with us. Came in, checked out the town, had a pub dinner (pint of draft craft and burger & fries), and then we were looping through the rest of town when we came across the library. I can never resist a library. So we stopped there and did some writing.
- All the pink rhododendron bushes among the salal and doug fir at the campground. Just beautiful.
- Picking salmonberries with Sibylla at the roadside, midway up a hill. First of the year!
- Meeting Curtis, who has many interests. He had found an old map based on local ethnographies, and used it to find one end of a traditional canoe portage, among other sites.