Jun 052018
Day Twelve: Lopez Island to Anacortes

Tough to tear ourselves away from this tranquil little spot on Lopez! I fully expect to come back. We’ve been keeping notes on what makes for a great AirBnB stay and this one checked off almost everything people have done along the way plus some things no one else did. (Sounds like I had better write a separate post on this topic.)

Our little oasis in the woods. AirBnB hosts Shane and Tina have a great setup for a quiet getaway.

The day dawned overcast with a bit of a bite in the air so we donned long sleeves. Wanting to see a bit more of the island, I planned a breakfast destination that took us down island to the Southend Market & Restaurant.

This added quite a bit of mileage to the day but that was fine with me. After piling on so much mileage in the early days, each day has gotten easier and we’ve had more two-day stays that involve less riding.

We got one more glimpse of a deer in the yard, poking her head out of the bushes to observe as we finished our packing and our cups of coffee. Then we headed south through nearly eight miles of rolling hills and a few stiffish climbs.

The main road had a shoulder of around two feet, then we turned onto country lanes with zero shoulder and nearly zero traffic. Lined by wild roses and daisies, the roads wound past farms — as always, we mooed at the cows who were outstanding in their fields. One turn took us past a yard with guard birds: two peacocks that screamed as we pedaled past, so we stopped and caught a glimpse of them before moving on.

Breakfast at Southend more than satisfied. We didn’t check out the market goods but this looks like a great all-around refueling stop and a place to buy picnic supplies if you want to visit some of the public beaches and preserves nearby. We were aiming for a ferry and thus didn’t spend more time exploring — great excuse to go back.

One small mechanical and a lesson learned: My heavily loaded bike, parked in one of those wooden racks, fell in a way that we feared had torqued the front rim. Hubs took a look and determined that I might get some pulsing through the brakes but that it was rideable. We decided to go ahead and push on to the ferry, figuring that if it seemed problematic along the way we could stop for him to do more, or we could swing by one of the bike shops in Lopez Village.

The lesson: If your bike has a lot of weight on it don’t put your tire into one of those racks. Instead, lean against it the long way if you’re not blocking off parking for other bikes, which I wouldn’t have been, or use the outside end.

Before my bike fell over. I recommend the parking technique illustrated here by Hubs’s bike on the end.

We did go astray at one point in our return navigation thanks to little country roads that wind around and keep the same name as they turn and turn again and intersect with others. But we weren’t off for all that long; I just need to remind myself that every unnecessary hill climb makes room for a treat. You earn what you burn.

The weather had been playing with us all morning, with cloud cover and the warmth of the climbs making us do the jacket on/off dance a few times. We made the ferry with time to spare and enjoyed watching what looked like over two dozen tweens pushing their bikes up the hill as they offloaded. Maybe a Bike Works summer camp? Whatever it was, they were sure cute.

This handy mailbox with bike maps and ferry schedules awaits at the upper bicycle staging area at the Lopez Island Ferry Terminal.
Getting on the right ferry is a good idea…. A ferry pulled out headed westbound just 30 minutes before our eastbound ferry. Good thing we were paying attention to signs and announcements — if we had come burning in at the last minute we might have been headed back to Friday Harbor. Hey, wait, that sounds like a good idea.

Another smooth crossing to the Anacortes landing. Thanks, Washington State Ferries — you’ve been an awesome part of our “bikes plus” vacation!

As we pedaled up SR20 away from the landing, we really appreciated our timing with a midday and midweek crossing to this very popular ferry terminal. We had little shoulder for a stretch, then it improved to about a two-foot shoulder through a repaving project with cones on the very edge. Drivers were pretty courteous overall. The turn to our stay came before the main intersection in town and we peeled off.

After unloading our stuff we headed into downtown Anacortes to find a spoke wrench (adding this to the “pack next time” list) and an early dinner. This gave me a chance to ride on some of the new infrastructure in downtown Anacortes, including a wide shared-use path on Q Street that lets you get off the busier Commercial Avenue. We didn’t do any shopping although I may have time for that tomorrow since we have a whole day to cover the 16 miles to Mount Vernon, where we’ll catch Amtrak to Seattle.

Public art along the path on Q Street in Anacortes.

Our pattern most of this trip has been to have two meals a day and snack as needed for fuel, similar to what we did on our multi-day bike tour of the Great Allegheny Passage/C&O Towpath last year. Riding with a full tummy isn’t comfortable, so we make the best of it after breakfast, skip lunch, and make up for it at dinner.

The food at Adrift was outstanding and Hubs, a fan of all things nautical, wanted to take home the model of the Endeavor that sat behind our booth. I highly recommend the veggie tacos — the touch of cinnamon in the black beans, coconut milk mashed yams, smoky chipotle aioli, fresh mango pico de gallo, and other ingredients made for much happiness on Taco Tuesday. The long list of toppings you can add to a salad, including marinated tofu, and the many veggie sides make this place a great stop for a vegetarian, with plenty of seafood and meat offerings for the omnivores.

Our corner table at Adrift, which offers “swell food”. The menu says so and we agree.

All in all a pleasant day. It’s so hard to accept that this trip is coming to an end. Nooooo!

Distance: 29.5 miles by bike

Total mileage to date:

Bike: 243.65 miles

Ferry: 80.7 miles

Wildlife: Deer, peacocks (tame, not wild), and the first buzzard I have ever seen doing its roadkill cleanup job. The crows nearby were either helping the buzzard or waiting for leftovers.

Yesterday: Day Eleven: Lopez Island, a Gentle Retreat

Tomorrow: To Mount Vernon to catch Amtrak to Seattle and home

The Whole Trip

Sharing is karma--pass it along!

Reader Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.