We finally left Port Townsend using the Olympic Discovery Trail to Port Angeles. Travis popped a flat almost immediately.
And we all know that flats happen in threes... Ominous beginning to our foray into the wilderness. So it was no surprise that after lunch on the coast, I also popped a flat on my rear wheel. It was a struggle to change.
Also, for those of you out there reading this because you're planning your own bike tour to the Pacific Northwest (all four of you), I would like to say that the riding from Seattle to Port Townsend to Port Angeles is not that great. Yes, there is the Olympic Discovery Trail which allows you to bypass Highway 101, which gets pretty trafficky in the summer, but the scenery was blah and it wasn't easy to ride. We got a strong headwind and it's so damn hilly so I was changing gears up and down and up and down. I would suggest skipping this part and maybe just starting on the coast.
That being said... our first night of camping at Dungeness Park was great. We arrived just as the sun was setting over the Strait of Juan de Fuco.
And the park had bike up campsites that were really gorgeous.
But it got so cold! The fog just blew in up the cliffsides and I got very chilly. I could even see my breath in the morning! Travis wins, he chose a place very unlike Florida. I survived though.
We took a walk down Dungeness Spit, a thin tail of a beach that curls out into the ocean for five miles to form a bay, with a lighthouse at the end. Sometimes baby seal pups hang out on the beach but we didn't see any. But we did see some birds, and some cool eagle breakfast remains.
On our ride out of there, I noticed that the tube I had just replaced was starting to bust through the sidewall of my tire, making a bump every time I rolled over it. When the Olympic Dicovery Trail popped us out at Port Angeles we stopped at bike garage to buy a new tire, the very last 26"x 1.5 in stock in town. We rolled it up and strapped it on my rack, to change later when we had more time, then continued to our campsite for the night- Heart O' the Hills in Olympic National Park.
The campground is only a mere seven miles away from Port Angeles... however they are seven miles STRAIGHT UP. You know where you're driving in the mountains and you see those runaway truck signs when you're traveling into the valley? They start putting those up when it's a 5% grade downhill. Parts of our seven mile climb were an 11% grade uphill. ELEVEN PERCENT. WITH ALL OUR GEAR. We stumbled into our campsite at dusk, stuffed food into our mouths and passed out to rest for the next day's climb to Hurricane Ridge.