Tuesday, May 31, 2016

38: Memorial Day was no picnic

First, let me salute those men and women of our armed forces who have given their lives in service to our nation. It was easy to see that this was a holiday: the streets were empty, there were flags out, preparations were underway for celebrations. If you lost a family member or other loved one, my heart goes out to you, and I appreciate the sacrifice you and your service member made. I hope the day brought you some comfort.
Lake Washington in the sunshine

It was the kind of day that would make you move to Seattle. The lake was sparkling, the sky blue - everything was scrubbed bright and fresh and the air was crisp and you could easily think "I want to live here!" - unless, of course, you remembered the past week, when it rained every day. Ah, fickle Seattle, how you flirt with us!

This was not a very long day, but it was another very UP and DOWN day. The city is very hilly, and they are not long sloping hills, but short and steep ones that prove very taxing for us. Descents are similarly short and sometimes steep, and since we are riding city streets we must be prepared to stop quickly.  Thus, we never really get a rhythm, or enjoy a nice long downhill. It tends to feel like up, up, up - then DOWN fast and again up, up, up. Over and over we do this drill. In 24 miles, we climb 1600 feet, but we never get above 400 feet in elevation. Back home in Redlands, we might climb more than that when we ride out to Yucaipa, but then we turn around and have a 15 mile downhill back home!

Our ride was broken into two parts: through Seattle to the ferry landing at Mukilteo, and then up Whidbey Island to Coupeville. I have always loved ferries. Puget Sound has dozens of ferries going all over, and our plan was to ride up Whidbey to Anacortes the following day to take another ferry to San Juan Island to visit our friends Jeff and Gail.

Roger exploring the fort
Olympic peninsula in the background behind the fort
We camped at Fort Casey State Park. This is an old fort built in the 1890s to protect Puget Sound. There are great views of the mountains on the Olympic Peninsula, and it was fun to walk around the old structures that remain on the site. The campground had some sites reserved for hikers and bikers, which was great.

We enjoyed having a little "hydrotherapy" treatment for our legs in the cold waters, and then ate a holiday-appropriate meal of friend chicken, corn on the cob and macaroni and cheese, counted our blessings, and hit the sack.

Brrr! But great treatment for our legs
The day's report:  Seattle to Coupeville, 56 miles, 1819 to date

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