7/13- We woke up this morning around 8am at Kitsap Memorial Park. We knew it would be a short easy day so we took our time getting ready (little did we know that this day had other plans for us). We left the park around 10. We thought that we heard thunder in the distance as we left but couldn't tell where it was coming from. We headed out toward the Hood Canal bridge and about 1mile or so into our trip it started to rain. We've been rained on before and it's usually no big deal. This was not average rain. It was a torrential downpour for at least 15 minutes. We made it to the bridge and decided to wait out the rain under the side of some random building. Once it stopped we started across the bridge where we saw our first bald eagle(on this trip). It was awesome!
From there we were headed toward Port Angeles but we didn't plan on going all the way there. The going was incredibly slow. We did not train at all for this (which is why we were planning on a short day) and it was much harder than expected. It also rained pretty much all day. We decided to stop and get out of the rain about 17 miles outside of where we planned on staying. We parked under a random abandoned fruit stand and I decided to check my Facebook. My old friend Colby had written on my wall that she lived in Port Angeles. I hadn't seen her since my junior year of high school. Our new goal became Port Angeles. It was 30 miles from where we were so it seemed manageable.
We kept riding in the rain (there was also thunder and lightening hence the title) for a while until we got to Blyn where we sopped for a very late lunch. I have never been so cold and wet in my whole life. We looked like wet rats. It was not cool. We sat there for a while after eating and got some hot chocolate. After we finally warned up we decided it was time to head out.
About a mile or so down HWY 101 we spotted a paved trail running next to the road. Interesting? Very. Ethan got on his phone to check it out and figured out it was a walking/biking trail. Hallelujah! We're saved from the highway! Well we didn't actually know at that point how far it went but we didn't really care. We were off the busy road and it was great.
We rode that for a while until we got to the campground that we were planning to stay in. We ran into two bike tourists (a father and son... Frank and Josh) who coincidentally were going to San Francisco AND Josh had just spent two years teaching English in Thailand. It's a small world after all....
They told us that the trail went all the way to Port Angeles. We were so happy we didn't have to be on 101 te rest of the way. Unfortunately we didn't take into account that the trail is very winding and would add about 5-6 miles onto our already prolonged journey.
I expected us to get to Port Angeles at 7:30. We didn't get there until 10. The trail took us out of our way considerably and included several very steep hills that we had to walk up. All in all my feelings about the trail are 50/50. It was nice to be out of traffic, but dealing with the hills was a little too much for me.
We did end up catching the sunset over the harbor with a view of Victoria, Canada. 60+ miles of biking and we ended up at a perfect spot as the sun was just dipping below the horizon.
Huge thanks to Colby and Dave for giving us a hot shower, warm food, and most importantly a roof over our heads.