Posted by: fergy1008 | April 19, 2011

Whidbey Island Get Around

Yesterday Angela and I visited roads we’ve never before ridden which is always a welcome experience for us. We had scheduled a full day of riding encompassing a ride event, the pursuit of a dam and another 2 WingWA’s which ended up with us driving quite a bit of the lovely island of Whidbey. We left the house just after 7am and headed straight up I-5. We usually avoid such a route, but on a Sunday morning it was fast, easy and we needed to get where we were going.Our first stop was La Conner – well, actually that was our 4th stop. The first was for gas, the second for donning rain gear due to the ominous looking clouds facing us the further we traveled north, and the 3rd for breakfast at Mickey Ds. Our first “official” stop was at the La Conner Marina for a bonus Wing Washington photo.

                                                          First WingWashington Photo of the day LaConner WA.

We took our pictures and got right back on the bike as the ride event we were participating in was starting in about an hour and a half and it was going to take an hour to get there. La Conner seemed a nice little place with boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants. And although not busy this day, I’m sure it gets pretty crowded once the tulip fields are blooming.

(Angela would like to give a shout out to the town of La Conner for their clean public restroom facilities located on Main Street). After leaving La Conner we traveled through some nice fertile farmland, including a few fields full of daffodils.

We drove over the bridge at Deception Pass – insert photo here – oh wait I can’t because I didn’t charge the camera battery the night before DOH! I mentioned to Angela that I definitely want to travel this area again if only to stop and take a picture from this breathtaking vista. We arrived at the “Rally at the Alley” in plenty of time, registered, and greeted fellow chapter members who were also participating.

(Since I was at least smart enough to have another camera on the bike I was able to continue taking pictures)

The event was a fun, modified poker run. There were three legs to the event, all of varied length but all starting and ending at the staging area of the Ebey Bowling Alley. The first leg was fairly short – just a little over 7 miles. The second one took us down along Coupeville’s cute little Front Street with small cafes and shops as well as through neighborhoods with some beautiful homes.

The third leg was the longest and most memorable as we got to see sweeping views of beautiful green farmland and shining blue water edged by a striking beach of rocks and driftwood.

We returned for the final time to the bowling alley where we completed the other portion of the event – bowling! We each had to bowl one ball with our right hand, one ball with our left and then one with both hands bowled from between our legs, then our scores were tallied. Prizes were handed out (Angela won a funky door prize which we will be giving away) and then we all went our own way.

By this time the early morning gray and drizzle (and hail for some riders) had worn off and sunny skies, greeted us though it was still chilly. We were going to go south to Whidbey Pies for lunch and, obviously, pie, but we got turned around on our directions…we were instructed to go south but the signs say East /West – go figure. The GPS wasn’t working and so we ended up having to bail on that idea. After a few false starts and some controlled tempers we headed north for the dam. The dam was easy enough to find and the valley where the dam was located was right out of a postcard though just barely a ¼ mile off a major freeway.

                                                    (See, that’s why you take back roads when you can!)

The dam divided two diverse scenes – the valley floor with rich green land, dotted with cows and a fresh water lake while on the other side there was a salt water coast line reflecting the wide open sky. With our moods much improved we took our pictures, and even stopped to listen to the croaking frogs.

                                                         The picture below is of beautiful Dugualla Bay

 Remembering there was a nearby Geocache, we went searching for the treasure. There was one just feet away from the dam that was an easy find. Funny thing, as I was signing the log with Angela standing nearby watching, a car came to a stop on the road. The smiling older lady inside rolled down the window and asked Angela ‘geocaching?’. We both laughed and said yep and she volunteered that there were a few more just down the road, so off we went. Although there were two in the area we, being amateurs or just not too observant, couldn’t find the first one. Our third cache, after a bit of fun searching, yielded us another find.

      

       As we returned to our bike we spotted the sparkle of chrome on the dam we had just visited. Excitedly we realized there were other DT riders out! As we donned our gear the two bikes drove past and we all waved. Angela said “hey, was that…I think I recognized…nah. Couldn’t be.” But sure enough, the bikes suddenly swung around and, lo and behold, it was a smiling DamDan! He and another rider, Fred, were out snagging dams and Dan had recognized us. We all chatted for a few minutes about our days adventures (they had met hail several times in an earlier dam pursuit that morning) then waved as we went our own ways. Now starving, we pointed the bike towards Oak Harbor to try a restaurant I had seen on the way to the dam named Island Diner, advertising themselves as a “family restaurant”. We ate a late lunch, then, with belly’s full and moods upbeat, we went south again in search of our last item for the day, the Wing Washington location Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens.

Tired of traveling Hwy 20 up and down the island, I noticed a side road that seemed promising. We took the detour and it certainly delivered. We were rewarded with a beautiful beachside view of the Straits of Juan De Fuca.

After marveling at the sights we headed out, eventually meeting up with 20 again. As we entered the town of Greenbank, home of Meerkerk Gardens and Whidbey Pies (now closed for the day, dammit!) I said to Angela “I don’t think I should speed through here”. I just had that ‘speed trap’ feeling. Wise man if I say so myself. Next curve we came around, sure enough, we spotted a Sheriff patrol car with an officer watching traffic. After gingerly making our way through Greenbank and driving a few minutes more, we arrived at the gardens. They were also closed by now but we only needed a picture in front of their sign in order to prove we were there for the Wing Washington folks. Luckily the sign is located just outside of the closed gate. We took our official photos, then a few more of the flowers and trees. We also stood still and shared in listening to something most of us city dwellers don’t get – the quiet.

                                                       Second WingWashington of the day Greenbank WA.

After a few more minutes of looking about, we decided to head for the ferry. I had checked earlier and we knew the ferry left in just over an hour. So, I was thinking where could we ride to kill time? Angela double-checked and found that I had read the wrong schedule – our ferry left in 23 minutes! And we were, according to our printed Google map, about 16 minutes away. Since the next ferry wasn’t for another hour and a half, off we went! After backtracking through the town of Greenbank, again obeying the speed limit, I sped the rest of the way (SHHHHHHHH!). As we came over a rise Angela spotted the ferry on approach. I sped even more (SHHHHHH!). I pulled an illegal u-turn (SHHHHHHH!) and we pulled into line as the ferry pulled up to the dock.

Being a motorcycle we got to load first… you really have to love that about our ferry system, don’t ya? Unfair to others but satisfying for us. We boarded, parked and headed upstairs to check out the boat which is fairly new, commissioned just a year ago. We went out on deck where we were afforded an expansive view of the sound but also a view of the bike below as the ferry began to rock as it got underway. A little nervous, we headed back down to stand guard against the bike toppling. Our worries were unfounded as she (yes, our bike is a she) stayed completely firm on her stand. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the views and the wind in our hair. Usually we have full face helmets encompassing our heads.

It was ironic, as we approached the dock we commented on the newer version of bumpers – no longer wooden pilings with tires wrapped around them but high-tech fancy-looking things. Then we got an up-close look at them and experienced them in action as the boat drifted into one of them. The captain backed up and gave it another shot as the tides were running pretty fast through the terminal waters. Just as the ferry was attempting its second try, the boat took another, harder, bump this one rattling some nerves, including mine. But this time we were already in the chute and it just bounced us over to the bumpers on the other side, like a fairly large pinball, and then we were secured to the ramp. The ride home from Port Townsend was easy and uneventful. We got to try our new Good-to-Go pass in the process – Angela holding up the plate as we passed the sensors (I hope it worked) – and arrived home just as rain started to fall. As we got our gear off the bike and started to unwind we both were still smiling and reliving the day’s adventures. It was another wonderful day on the Wing. 13½ hours and 316 miles of enjoyment. And we got to meet DamDan again… Bonus!


Responses

  1. Angela looks cold in that first shot!

  2. Good shot of the fields….looks pretty!


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