Cycle Across Canada goes to the USA – San Juan and Beyond!

Not far from this house is the Lavender Farm which was in full bloom:


The Lavender Farm on San Juan

It being a fine sunny day, Dave was put to work doing some groundwork!: bbDavePlows.JPG

Dave at the plough!

From Friday Harbor we took the Ferry to Orcas Island, where we stayed at The Inn on Orcas a great B&B in Deer Harbor. The owners had spent several years collecting artwork hoping one day to be able to open a B&B where it could all be displayed. We certainly recommend this B&B:


This is just one room, but they are all filled with pieces from their collection!

We cycled across the Island through Orcas Village to Moran State Park with the intention of riding up Mt. Constitution, but the clouds descended, so not being able to see the mountain, we went back to our B&B


Cloud and rain at Cascade Lake

Our next Ferry ride took us to Lopez Island where we cycled all the way across the Island to our final B&B in Mackaye Harbor:


Sunset over Mackaye Harbor

We spent several hours on the beach here collecting “Beach Glass”, but at the nearby Agate Beach, some detailed searching failed to produce any agates – but others nearby were successful! We cycled the Island once again back to the Ferry Terminal where we left the Islands and went to Anacortes.

From Anacortes, Maxine had to ferry back to Vancouver Island and return to work, but Dave headed east to cross the Cascade Mountain range. Leaving Anacortes at 3pm, he followed Hwy 20 along the Skagit River as far as Concrete and camped for the night. Next day was sunny and very hot but the first sign encountered warned:


Wind warning in the Skagit Valley

There then followed hours and hours of steady climbing in a temperature of 32°C (88°F) with lots of great views:


Looking back over Diablo Lake

Lots more climbing until finally at the Pass after 12 hours of riding!


Washington Pass – for info, bike plus load weighs 50kgs (110 lbs)!

Needless to say, the ride down the other side to Mazama took only 40 minutes at speeds around 60 kph (37 mph) and on a loaded bike weighing 45 kgs (100 lbs) luckily nothing got in the way on that descent! Next morning took in Winthrop with its Old West style buildings, and then I met up with Peggy and Jerry from Fulsom CA who were also cycling to Pateros where we camped by the Lake:


A campsite with a view!

Next day, we went our separate ways, and I discovered that the road to Grand Coulee was without shade – and again hot and sunny at 34°C (92°F) all day!


No shade in sight in any direction!

Spent the night at a campsite in Grand Coulee, where I was politely advised I “must be crazy” to ride out and up the “Wilbur Hill” in that hot weather! Well, crazy or not, I had to ride the hill next day, and the 6kms (4 miles) took me a full hour!


Looking back to Grand Coulee from the Wilbur Hill

The next leg of the ride took me through the wheat growing area of this part of Washington State, and once again, no shade!


It is a long road travelled!

All that wheat reminded me of earlier rides through the Canadian Prairies: mWheat.JPG

Wheat all the way to the horizon

Finally made it to Spokane where I caught up with family friends I had not seen since Dubai days some 20 years ago! It was great to visit with them and catch up on family news, and a promise to meet again in a lot less than 20 years! Rather than retrace my steps back to the coast, I took the advice of Peggy and Jerry (met earlier at Pateros) and used Amtrak to get back to Edmonds. Thanks here to Randy at Novelis who helped me make a box and pack my bike – which needed 2 ½ standard bicycle boxes – and to my friend Bob who took me to Spokane Station at midnight!


Un-packing and re-assembling the bike at Edmonds Station

From Edmonds I took the ferry over to Kingston, and headed west along the Olympic Penninsula. Much of this route was traffic free along the Discovery Trail:


The Discovery Trail across an old railway bridge

While on the ferry to Kingston, I met Pat and Jack, a motorcycle touring couple who later passed me on the road, and invited me back for pizza on their 60ft boat in Sequim Marina! It was already late, and I was beginning to wonder where I would find dinner, so this invite was very welcome! Next day I reached Port Angeles, took the Victoria Express to downtown Victoria, cycled up Island to Brentwood Bay and ferry again to Mill Bay where Maxine met me, and we drove home.

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