All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel!
2 Corinthians 1:3
Yesterday the weather gave us a break in the form of one of those rare, perfect Seattle summer days. They don’t come often, at least not in June, but when they come it’s glorious. Fortunately, Dad had already planned on taking the day off, so we decided to seize our opportunity and do a bike ride somewhere we never usually ride. We decided to ride from Kingston to Port Townsend and back, a route that looks like this:
We didn’t really rush to leave super early in the morning, because it wasn’t that long of a ride and we started fairly close to home. Actually, a little more rushing would probably have worked out a bit better, since we ended up arriving just in time for the 9:30 ferry. Our original plan called for parking in Edmonds and walking our bikes on the ferry, a much cheaper proposition than driving on. But we arrived in time to purchase our car passage onto the ferry and then drive on, one of the last two or three cars on board. If we’d parked, we would have had to wait for the 10:40 ferry. It worked.
On this trip, I tried out my phone’s camera, and it’s okay. Not great, and I learned that I should never zoom in. Zoom is pure digital, and as it gets “bigger” the image just degrades. I can crop for size after the fact if I want less in the image. Without further ado, here’s what we saw.
Once off the ferry, we parked (another hassle of having the car) and got rolling fairly quickly. It was a gorgeous day, sunny, warm, and only very lightly breezy, hardly any wind for being on the water. Part of our route took us across the Hood Canal Bridge, which had a nice wide shoulder suitable for biking. The only downside was that periodically the cement paving was broken by ridged metal grates, which had been covered over in a 2-foot-wide section along the edge for bikes. I’m glad it was dry. In wet weather, I would’ve felt downright nervous about riding across that long expanse of slick metal. But on this day, the views from the bridge were spectacular.
We avoided the highway as much as possible, sticking to side roads. Mostly that worked fine, and we had minimal traffic on the way out to Port Townsend. Along the way we went through Port Ludlow, a bizarre planned community that seemed like Suburbia West. No retail or anywhere to work, just extremely large, expensive homes in planned developments for retirees nestled around the bay. It kind of creeped me out, in a way.
The view from the dock itself was spectacular, and my phone does have the very neat “panorama” feature that let me capture it, at least a bit (zoomed in, the quality is rather poor, but it still gets the point across).
We took our time and split a pretty decent mini-sized pizza at a place that had country music playing, car racing on TV, and bikes hanging from the ceiling. The mini pizza was 8″, four slices, and we agreed that even not on a bike ride, I couldn’t imagine wanting more than half of that anyway.
This was an out and back ride, so the good news is we knew where we were going on the way home. The bad news is that we had a spectacularly exciting, and fortunately totally bloodless, encounter with a large (70 to 80 pounds, I’m estimating) dog that liked chasing bicycles. The summary story is that we rode by a house and saw a dog come streaking out at us. It dashed perpendicularly into the road right in front of Dad, who actually hit it with his front wheel. I was behind Dad and off to the side, already slowing down because upon seeing the dog, I immediately predicted it would do that very thing. So Dad hit it, but in a demonstration of excellent bike handling skills, he managed to swerve and stay upright. The dog, when hit, pivoted on its rear legs and streaked back to the safety of its yard, fortunately away from the direction of Dad’s swerve. I was far enough back that I was never in any danger. To add to the excitement, a car going the opposite direction slammed on its brakes so hard that it filled the air with blue burned rubber and that exciting squealing noise. We didn’t even stop to see what happened once Dad regained his balance, but just kept on going. I think Dad wanted to give the dog’s owner a piece of his mind, but it was better to keep moving on. For all we know the owner could’ve been mad at us for hitting his dog.
After that, Dad got his heart back into his chest and the ride resumed its more normal, uneventful pace. By the end I think we both felt fairly tired of the short, moderately steep rolling hills that characterize the Olympic Peninsula. Overall, though, we had fun riding somewhere different, not for speed or intensity, but for simple enjoyment.
We arrived in Kingston in time to get ice cream, walk around a bit, and join the queue for the 5:30 ferry home. Here’s the ferry pulling into the dock. By the time we arrived back at our car, some clouds had started moving in, foreshadowing the drizzly weekend to come. However, rain held off and the temperature remained comfortable for eating post-ride ice cream.
When I pulled it out, it turns out half the thing was actually embedded in there.
Boy, I’m sure lucky I made it back to the car yesterday. I must’ve run it over just before we finished. I was starting to feel like my rear tire was a bit squishy, but I figured it was probably just that end-of-ride fatigue. Hah! Of course, now I have to wrestle with the darn tire to change the flat.