Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A move, cycling adventures, and a lot more on this catch up blog!

Finally setup my computer so I'm going to try and catch up here!
Lots of adventures to cover so get ready:

For the month of September Alexis and I moved most of our stuff out to Port Townsend.
I stayed behind at my friend's Zeb to finish out my government contract out there.
Which BTW Zeb, thank you, you're a great host and better friend!

Towards the end of September the smoke cleared for a few days and the Hyak tunnel was still open.
Figured it was good circumstance for one huge day on the bike!

Left from Zeb's at 3:00am (pictured above)

I picked up too much caffiene at the Thorp AM/PM
and had a really anxiety inducing borderline pukey ride through the dark ride until about Easton.
Once the sun came up I felt a lot better. Riding in the dark is weird, but a little fear makes you faster.

So many more creatures out on the trail in the morning!

Unlike the 15 hours of rain/wind i endured last year when I tried this conditions were perfect!

Last year's attempt I only made it to Duvall and it took 15 hours. This was a lot more fun.

Super cold in the morning but I was able to put together a decent last minute kit.
The night before I went to the goodwill, picked up some extra base layers
some wool socks, and a flannel, and ~6 hours later got to test them on this very ride.

Lake Kachess from the other side!

Since we moved our stuff to the westside I didn't have a lot of my bikepacking bags
Bags are really useful to carry food/layers so i just zip-tied my messenger bag 
to the cockpit and it worked for the whole 135 mile trip.
Carried an ipad, extra layers, flip flops, and some civies in that bag.

First dusting I saw on the pass since we had all that snow earlier

I can not tell you how incredible the vegetarian transformation has been for every aspect of my life.
My body feels honestly better than ever, but my mind is also in a much lighter position.
Trying to align my beliefs with my deep love of nature/animals is really hard to quantify.
It's an all encompassing thing though, I think we get really bent out of shape because we forget
that we too are animals. Spending time in nature corrects that I think.
I also enjoy being a silly, uninhibited, singing, burrito-munching, plus-bike rider!!

Truthfully I wish I could take everyone here!
Taking pictures and bringing them to you is as close as I can get for now.
It is also a big reason this will remain an Ad free place.
There are no ad's in nature and I don't want them on this blog.

Earlier in the year during XWA Shawn, Bob, and I had lunch here.
We gazed at some geese. 
I had hashbrowns with extra salt/ketchup out of a plastic bag with my hands that day.
They were delicious.

Finally coming down the mountain!
Empowering to bike over a mountain pass on burritos and last minute goodwill finds.
Didn't have to pay 200 bucks for aid stations or a bib number.
Serious, events are wildly expensive these days!
Except for bikepacking, it is grass roots and awesome.

"on your left!"

If you do this ride, you can feel how impersonal it gets when you get over the pass.
Riders stop waving, drivers stop waving, it's really weird!
People are so frozen out there I don't get it.

If you take the SVT 

It gets kind of confusing once you hit the falls. 
I dipped in there to ask what's the easiest way to get back on the SVT.
Lady told me to go up the parking lot up a steep hill and follow this path.

I ended up on a little trail loop before going back on the trail
it was really pleasant, you can see that on the map below!

I love gravel trails!!

Met up with this Olympic Gazelle on XWA and he decided to join me on my way to everett!
Thank you Cody! Made the last leg as fast as I could muster thanks to your tempo.
Can't wait till we ride again!

So much fun!

Broke a couple of superlatives that day too including:

Longest single off-road ride in one day
Fastest 135 miles on my goose ever!
No mechanicals either, was a truly blessed ride.


Then a couple days later Adrian and I explored Skagit County
had brunch and dunch, it was really just a funny/sunny first day of fall!

Farmer's Market in Mt. Vernon

Salmon Sculpture and Adrian being sassy!

Obligatory La Connor pano w/bridge

I'd drive it! (pictured outside of La Connor)


For the past ~week I have been in Port Townsend!

I had some trepidations at first, but this town is incredible!

My friend Bob Heim's awesome bus!!

Didn't think I would become neighbors with Bob.
I first met him by chance during XWA and we saw some gnarly stuff together.
He's been the best PT bike path ambassador!

Wood-stove is my favorite, just beautiful!

This was my first ride in PT

Trails are a lot steeper, but not as long, descents are more technical for sure!

Also, this town is built on a series of trails, pavement is totally optional!

This young Cooper's Hawk was serious!!

It's been so much fun to apply all these new skills to some new geography!
Wouldn't have been able to ride my bike that far, identify this bird, or capture it with my camera
prior to life in Ellensburg.

Looped back to the bus, talked about bikes, love of life, etc


Next day got an early start and decided to just explore with no predefined agenda
So many of my favorite rides have started with no preset plan, just lets ride!
I also don't think there is a better way to get to know a place than by a bike.

Weird seeing the mountain from this side

this blue heron was flying about

then stopped to do some Tai chi?

Couldn't get the colors right, so I removed them, light fog on the mountains.

Larry Scott Trail

Needed to see how 29x3 does on the sand out here!
Really well, this bike is a beach monster.

Sun was rising, i was riding in the beach, it was so much fun,
tire width opens possibilities in every direction!

Paper mill reminds me of Everett
The rural flavors sparse populations remind me of Ellensburg

So far Port Townsend has presented itself as the best of both communities.

Shiner perch and Anemones
Going to need a 5mm neoprene suit, a paddleboard, a waterproof SLR housing
dive-light and my full-face snorkel mask

 Met a local sax player who told me there's a special cactus around here.
Being in a sunbelt this place actually doesn't get much rain.

Kelp Crab on a Bull Kelp no less
Tried to grab him for a picture but he slid off

So by riding on the beach you can make a water front loop
that ends at the light house and takes you directly to Fort Warden.

It's my favorite loop so far, mileage or elevation isn't a lot still challenging though!
There are some really steep short climbs, totally different type of workout really enjoying it.

This picture right here really reminds how dynamic and beautiful this state is.
(Strait of Juan De Fuca in the background)


Another loop with fellow bikepacker/seeker/neighbor Bob Heim!

Bob's 29x3 Surly Krampus
It's really snappy, sweet bike for sure!

"You're still taking pictures brah?" hahah

We always manage to hike a bike for some reason


Another day, and more exploration by bike, solo this time

The deer out here let you get pretty close

Every single time I go out I enjoy this place a little bit more.

Port Townsend from Fort Townsend

didn't bring my wildlife lens, just my 50mm prime on this ride
and boom, sea otter! That always happens, eventually I'm going with a two body set up.

34t oval and an 11-40 casette
So far, I think this is all I need gearing wise
this is my favorite drivetrain of all time!

I'm ready for takeoff! 
(plane in background)

Sat downtown and listened to this guy while I ate a bean/rice burrito.
That was such a pleasant lunch.

even at pretty high tire pressures this bike does really well on PNW beach

I did not write Daniel up there, but I got a little chuckle when I saw it.

Some sand is also super fast!

So I'm pulling up off the beach and this is going on?

This guys sculpture was my favorite, blasting through an amp was alice in chains!

Rules were: had to be pedal-powered and amphibious
So many things going on that I just really really really enjoy!

Nuclear Submarine, a serious piece of engineering.

50mm pano at the lighthouse

Rode up the hill later, and saw the rooster folks again

Any of you chronic list takers? For me, it has worked well.

Leftover veggie bowl for dinner.
Tabbouleh, frozen green beans, corn, onion/parsnip/black bean chili
Red/orange peppers, romaine, blueberries
and a scoop of guac and hummus for fat.

This food works, and works so well.


Leftover beers we decided to pack

Riding 3 deep today, with PCT hiker/saxman Tim!

Classic Bob Mash format!

Lot of thistles out here

Scouting the powerlines for an all offroad route to Disco Bay/101


Powerlines offer some arduous terrain.

This was a really fun ride, new territory for everyone
talked with Tim about Jazz for a little bit, he showed us his off-grid cabin

Lot of bushwacking though!

This photo is by Bob, lot more blackberries out here.
This is an old railroad. . .

At the end Bob's Wife Jenn rescued us because it got dark and we ended up on Hwy 20.
We did make it to Disco Bay though, which is great because that links to the 
Olympic Discovery Trail towards Port Angeles. 
Totally forged some new ground!

So far Port Townsend has been awesome, no complaints, maybe less blackberries.

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