Posted by: fergy1008 | July 3, 2011

To Sequim and Beyond…

Okay, well, maybe we didn’t go beyond Sequim but it sounded like a good title. Sequim was our destination as it held another Wing Washington bonus location. We chose to save it for this weekend as it would allow us to swing by Port Townsend where the GWTA was hosting a 4-day motorcycle rally for all the state chapters at the Jefferson County Fair Grounds. The rally began on Thursday and, while Angela and I had considered attending and camping out, for some reason, neither of us was ever really excited about it, certainly not interested enough to take two days off work.  We did, however, think it would be good to stop by and maybe spend a day experiencing it and socializing, snagging our Sequim bonus in the process. We were lucky to have such a beautiful day for the ride. We decided to head out of town in the morning and just see where the day took us. It’s nice not having a rigid agenda sometimes. It allows for a much more relaxed and enjoyable trip sometimes. So around 9 am we headed toward the peninsula. As I mentioned before, it was an absolutely spectacular day. The sun was out and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was certainly a stark contrast from the previous months of grey skies and rain.

I decided to take a route we’d taken on a Crazy Larry’s ride the previous year. We rode to Sequim taking Hwy 16 to 3 onto 106 through Union. 106 is a great stretch of slow, twisty turns and going through small towns along Hood Canal. After a few hours of riding the stomachs’ were starting to grumble a little so I started looking for a place to stop. As luck would have it, just after that I passed a little family place, The Tides, in Hoodsport that looked like a nice little joint and not some chain. Angela and I try to spend money in the local economy as much as we can. As I expected the place was quaint, a bit dated, but I was sure the food would be good. As we were getting off the bike a couple mentioned how nice of a day it was for a ride and I smiled and said “yes, indeed it is”. Entering the restaurant there were a few patrons having meals and the waitress quickly greeted us. I had to grin at the menu – I noticed that, as they no longer served certain items, they simply crossed out the items. I knew I had picked a good place. The prices were reasonable and the menu selection was more than adequate. I chose a big pancake – yes, that was the name on the menu – and a side of ham. I chose a side of ham because I saw that the ham served there was a ham steak as it should be! Angela had the classic bacon and eggs. Our meals came out in good time and all the food was hot and tasty.

With bellies full we headed back out on the road. As we were gearing up an older couple was entering the restaurant and the gentleman gave Angela a thumbs up. That made us both smile. Back on the road, as we rounded a corner, a stunning view of a bay was just too much to pass by. I pulled off the side of the road for Angela to take a few photos.

As we continued along Hood Canal the weather was amazing and, to make the day even better, quite a few bald eagles decided to make themselves available for our viewing pleasure. We must have seen at least a half a dozen eagles, plus a variety of other birds I’m not going to attempt to name. Let’s just say they were likely some sort of crane. What a great start to the day so far! We arrived at Hwy 101 soon enough and the ride to Port Townsend was filled with sweeping corners and peek-a-boo views of the canal. An hour later we found ourselves on Hwy 20 headed towards our first destination of the day.

As soon as we arrived in town we started seeing quite a few bikes of all styles, always cool. Not having an agenda I decided to just ride around town and see what we could see. If you’ve ever been to Port Townsend you’ve seen some of the beautiful houses on the hill so what a better place to start. The first building we stopped to admire was the Jefferson County courthouse.

It’s a spectacular brick structure with a large clock in its tower. I hope the designer of this building received an award for this design. It is certainly a beautiful structure. After admiring the courthouse and taking a few pictures I headed deeper into town. Following a main road shown on the GPS, in a few short minutes we were driving through what seemed like an older, but well cared for, part of town. Following the street we passed a group of riders lingering after a display by the Northwest Wings drill team.  We had hoped to see their performance but, having seen them before, we were okay with missing it in exchange for the wonderful mornings ride. We soon came across a local farmers market and decided to take a little break and explore the market. In a car it would have been difficult to find a parking spot but on the bike….well, I just made my own parking spot, tucking into a void between the sidewalk and fenced disposal area. One of the perks of riding a motorcycle, anywhere we fit is a parking spot! The market was just a block long but filled with a variety of booths, as farmers markets are, with a good selection of foods, crafts, and other samplings of the locals. Strolling through one side of the market we exited the end and saw a cool looking tower at the end of the block. We decided to go explore what it was and ended up with a surprise. It seems deer are quite comfortable in this area. There was a doe with two fawns hanging in the area just munching on a holly bush. We hung around the area for about 15 minutes, reading about the bell tower, snapping pics of the deer and enjoying the views from the bluff.

We decided to walk around the neighborhood to get back to the market and I’m glad we did because we were able to see some beautiful turn-of-the-century homes, along with a few well-kept gardens. Arriving back at the market we explored the rest of the booths, enjoying the smells and the sight of so many people enjoying the beautiful day. After we exited the market I had a craving for ice cream so we looked for a place to cater to my craving but passing the nearby shops yielded no results. Back to the bike we went! Leaving, I decided to explore more of the city since time was on our side this day. Traveling towards the bay it wasn’t long before we were in what was obviously “downtown”. Traveling down Water Street, Angela almost immediately spotted an ice cream/candy store. Whipping a u-turn I quickly found a parking spot, a real one this time, already partially used by another bike. We headed into the store and found it crowded with people…a good sign. We pulled a number, decided what we’d each like, and then, while Angela waited for our turn to be called, I went into the adjacent candy store and bought a bit of candy, white chocolate with almonds. The ice cream line moved quickly and we were soon placing our order.

They had a deck outside but we decided to walk across the alley to a small, covered pier. We sat and enjoyed the view of the water which was filled with all kinds of boats out enjoying the weather – yachts, sailboats, kayaks and more.  After my chocolate cone and Angela’s strawberry Italian ice were devoured, we climbed back on the bike and headed toward Sequim. The ride out of town was uneventful although I chose to take a side road I spotted on the GPS which skirted most of the congested areas. Gotta love those side roads. It’s a shame… I bet most people go through life never traveling these wonderful off-the-beaten-path treasures. Life is short – travel a few side roads from time to time. Our Wing Washington location was just a short 15 miles away from Port Townsend which would have been easy enough to just go straight to. But….those tempting side roads led us on an adventure that we would have never experienced had had we stayed on the main highway. Just a short distance down 101 our turn off for the Wing WA site appeared. It was a road that pretty much paralleled Hwy 101, but just far enough off to forget a main highway even existed. We arrived at our bonus snag a few short minutes later, and snapped the obligatory photos to prove we were there.

Despite the ice cream, we were getting hungry so we decided to head into Sequim to eat at a diner we have been to several times before. It’s set in a 50’s décor with typical diner food, a good selection named after 50’s characters.  But I kinda got ahead of myself there. Before we arrived at the restaurant we had a little side adventure that yielded us a couple of fun and interesting sites.  Just wandering along roads that took us in our general direction, we happened upon this strange sight:

As we continued along the road, additional interesting sights met us…

Turns out it was all part of a private display belonging to this unique house.

We were laughing out loud at the delightful joy this whimsical area brought.  Something we would never had seen had we stayed on 101.  Nor would we have seen any of this:

And that’s why we ride off-the-beaten-path.

After the diner we prepared to head back home.  On the way out of Sequim, we took one of our favorite little side roads – the name of which we are not revealing so that the people living on this road may maintain their peace and quiet.  We returned along a standard route – 101 to 104 across Hood Canal, onto southbound 3 and down 16 to home. Beautiful weather, curving roads, no time limits and great company…It was a VERY satisfying 273 mile day!

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