Day 7: Deception Pass State Park to Old Fort Townsend State Park
Distance: 32 miles.
Average Speed: 11.8.
I took it easy today, until the point at which I had to get a move on. I spent the morning re-packing the bags and ensuring the bike was running ok. I pedalled along to the end of the road. There was a nice beach with fantastic views west towards the Olympic mountains – and north – back towards Deception Pass. It felt like such a rarity to get a chance to take in some of the beautiful landscapes I’ve been passing through.
Finally, setting off an hour after the campsite checkout time of 1 o’clock, I blazed along the highway. Whidbey Island has a privileged position, sandwiched between the outer reaches of the US mainland, with the Cascade mountains in the east and the Olympic mountains in the west.
My first port of call was Oak Harbour (not recommended), a long chain of fast food stores and supermarkets. The Burger King was passable, and T-mobile did furnish me with a shiny new SIM card, however.
Back on the road, I skirted the edge of a sea inlet on Madrona Way, soon to reach the quaint historic town of Coupeville, where a local mountain biker stopped by to pass on route knowledge and mention his own long-distance cycling exploits.
A short sprint later and I had made my last ferry crossing for a while, the 6 o’clock sailing between Fort Casey and Port Townsend. Another cyclist recommended a pizza place in town, I headed along to find them closed for cleaning, so I opted for elsewhere.
It was half 7 now, and I had 5 miles to go before reaching camp, at Old Fort Townsend State Park. So, I climbed out of town before inevitably flying off back down a side-road to the campground.
After setting up camp I had time for a walk before nightfall. Returning to camp, I heard ‘Michael is that you’ from a late arrival at the site. It was Tim from New Mexico who I’d met on the ferry from Orcas Island yesterday. He should have been here yesterday?
It turned out that 5 minutes after I had seen him last, his rear-derailleur had collapsed, forcing him to go miles off route to find the only bike shop in the vicinity that was open on a Sunday (other than the one I visited in Orcas Island). So when I was at Deception Pass yesterday, thinking he was miles ahead, he was actually 20 miles back in a completely different direction! He’d done well to make up the distance.