Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Through Washington

It's been a week now without internet, and the wind has blown me through Washington quite fast.
I left Victoria and took the beautiful bike path again, up to Sidney where the ferry departs to the USA. I had decided to take a detour across San Juan Island and the ferry departs only once a day, at 6 pm. It arrived on the island at 7:20 pm and I had to rush to get to the campground before it got dark. After three people on the ferry had recommended me to take the first campground and not the one on the other side of the island, I believed them and stopped at the first one at 8 pm, and could just pitch the tent before darkness. It was a good idea to go here. The next day I explored the island. There are two historical places, the English and the American Camp, where settlers lived some time ago until the San Juan Islands were taken by the Americans. That was pretty interesting, as some of the old houses were still standing there. On a whale watching point I watched for whales, but didn't see any. The island was beautiful. Blackberries all over the place.
I headed to back the ferry dock where another ferry took me to Anacortes on the almost mainland of Washington. This day and the next one were relaxing and not too much happened. Since I'm in the States, the nights are extremely cold, but during the day I can warm up in the sun.
On Friday the tail wind started. I made 125 km this day and was just pushed across the freeway without doing much. That was cool. I got used to all the traffic by now, and these really big freeways are rather rare. I think despite the traffic it might even be safer that a narrow winding road, because the freeways have a wide shoulder, like a bike lane just for me!
And since then I'm eventually meeting other cyclists. It started with a very-long-distance-cyclist on the hiker/biker site on Twin Harbors State Park Campground who is on the bike since 4 month. As we were heading in the same direction, we decided to ride together the next day. And this day was very fast. We got up early and made it to Cape Disappointment Campground, 130 km, yeah. It was exhausting, but a very cool day. No tail wind, though. The hiker/biker site there was very communicative, no separate spaces, just a big meadow. There we met two other cyclists on their way down the coast. We lit a fire and had some very american grilled marshmallows.
The two others took the next day off, Ross and me headed on to Astoria, where he had a place to stay at some 'warm shower people'. This is something like couchsurfing, but just for cyclists. He called them and asked if he can bring another person, and it was no problem. This day was quite short and we had plenty of time in the morning to hike a short trail to a lighthouse at Cape Disappointment. The name comes from the disappointed sailors who had a hard time entering the strait a long time ago, which apparently made them disappointed.
Around two weeks ago I had met two german cyclists when I was around two days north of Vancouver. They came from the ferry when I went on it and we just had a short time to exchange some informaton. They are on their way to Argentina. And as the world is small, we met them again today! Had some more time today to talk and for the next couple of kilometers to Oregon, we were four. A tunnel came and it felt like in Norway! There is a button in front of tunnels that cyclists can press, then a light warns the car drivers that there are cyclists in the tunnel. This is great.
We crossed a very long bridge and entered the first city of Oregon, Astoria. The other two continued south while we pushed the bikes up a very steep hill to the 'warm showers'. Had a great warm shower there!
Today, our routes separate, as Ross is heading towards Portland, I'm curious about who of all the cyclists I'll meet again at the coast. After three long more-than-100-km-days in Washington, I'll slow down in Oregon. Hopefully I can upload some pictures soon.


  1. Wow! "Fast Andi on the Road" I would say. Hopefully it will not become too cold in the night. Going more south will help. Meanwhile 2 extra pairs of stockings will do. All the best for you.

  2. Hey Andrea, die du bist ja echt schnell :) Und die Tunnel-Sache find ich ne suuuper Idee :)