Saturday, September 08, 2007

Jen made it back to CA, 2 hours late

Jen's flight was delayed 2 hours because of the computer problem but she made it back that night. She didn't have to stay the night at Seatac as she feared might happen.


Took Jen to airport for flight home but flight delayed

Jen and I rode the 194 bus to Sea-tac so she could catch her flight. As I was returning home on the bus, she said that there was a problem with the airline computer system so the flight was delayed as a result. I haven't heard from her since so I assume that the airline straightened things out.


Friday, September 07, 2007

San Juan island tour: highlights

* Super abundant blackberries end of summer (look for ones on the roadside rather than going onto people's property if possible)
* Very nice campgrounds with hiker/biker rates - go midweek and/or after Labor Day if possible
* Excellent express buses, ferries and free Whidbey Island transit - but beware that most do not run on Sunday. Also free island shuttle on San Juan (didn't ride it)
* Cute Lopez Village with organic/hippie shops
* Shark Reef park with potential for whale/seal/shark reviewing
* Friday Harbor, Roche Harbor very nice though watch out they are pricey.
* Deception Pass bridge, very high.

Watch out:
* Can get cold at night; it is a bit colder than Seattle. I didn't bring enough bedclothes in the interest of travelling light.
* It is easy to spend lots of money especially in Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor which are geared to tourists.

Back @ home

We rode the Interurban trail from near Everett Station to Lynnwood Transit Center. By that time we were getting tired and we still had a long way to go before sundown so we took the 511 bus to downtown Seattle and we're @ home.


On free bus south thru Whidbey

We're on the free island transit bus which we are taking all the way from Oak Harbor south on highway 20 to the Clinton ferry terminal. I recommend the Island Transit to travelling cyclists but be aware it doesn't run on Sunday nor do most of the rural routes. This bus has a 3 bike capacity. Jen and I aren't getting along too well and being in Seattle today gives Jen plenty of time to catch her flight tomorrow night. The ferry from Clinton to Mukilteo runs every half hour so we won't have long to wait.

Oak Harbor

Hi we're in Oak Harbor, we're going to catch the bus to the ferry terminal and then go most of the way back to Seattle by bus. We should be in Seattle tonight.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Arrival Deception Pass, bumbling in dark

The east bound ferry made arrived in Anacortes at 1825. We stopped at safeway to get food for camping tonight but we had to hurry to reach Deception pass before nightfall. We were both aching, tired, and hungry. Many times i have fondly remembered my now sold recumbent's cruising comfort. We did make it as the sun was setting and took a few quick pictures. When we arrived at the state park around 2030 the office was open so we paid $14 for a biker campsite. It took us a while to find the place as we were getting lost in the dark but we made it and now we're cooking food. We will continue south tomorrow possibly be back on capitol hill tomorrow.


English camp, Roche harbor, ferry

We checked out English camp occupying much of the northern part of San Juan, which garrisoned the British forces in their territorial dispute with the US in the so called 'pig war'. There are about 5 intact buildings and a good hike up Young Hill takes you to the British cemetery where there are 5 historic graves and a scenic lookout. Several of the graves refer to drowning accidents which I think means they died trying to flee a tough life in the early camp. After that we had lunch in the upscale Roche harbor with prices geared to tourists buying $1 million vacation homes. After that we rushed to town and Jen did some shopping at the lavender store and caught the 1700 ferry to Anacortes where we will head south toward Seattle through Whidbey island. Jen's plane is at roughly 1900 on Saturday. We hope to camp at Deception pass tonight.


Riding north County park, Alpaca farm

A fox tried to steal our food last night at camp and made off with the shredded coconut but I have chase and got it back though there was a hole in the bag. The deer featured in the photo was quite tame. We missed the lavender farm yesterday because it was closed when we went by but we did get to see Krystal Acres alpaca farm. Those guys are so cute as you can see in the picture. There are many items for sale at the farm plus they have a store in Friday Harbor.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Friday Harbor - checking out city before exploring San Juan

We passed the night uneventfully while stealth camping. This morning we've been checking out the actual town of Friday Harbor on San Juan island. We were thinking of going to Sidney BC but I think our plate is full since we haven't seen anything on San Juan yet and we're planning to cycle some on Whidbey island and see Deception Pass.

I stuffed myself with a 3 piece fish and chips, I can't recall the name. They were quite good but I feel gorged now since Jen got fries and didn't eat them I ate them all.

So we'll be checking out the rest of the island today like the Alpaca farm and Lavender farm, etc.

In comparison with Lopez, San Juan is much more built-up and touristy. Fortunately most of the tourists have gone since it is after labor day. Jen noted that there were more organic/healthy eating options in Lopez Village than here.


Camping at San Juan county park

Jen got mad at me because I left her camera at the Friday Harbor library so she wasn't talking with me for much of the afternoon. Fortunately we spoke with the library staff and they have the camera so we can pick it up later. Having spent much of the day in Friday Harbor we didn't have that much time for cycling but we went to the American Camp historical site for the conflict with the British located on the south of the island. We rode around the coast on West Side road which offered a beautiful view of the Haro Strait and cliffs but we didn't see any whales. We are camping at San juan county park ($6 per cyclist) next to the water. The Ranger Eugene told me about the mad rush of tourists in the small park in July and August. There were kayaks everywhere in the tourist season like the invasion of Troy but now there is plenty of space.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Friday Harbor (San Juan island)

Jen treated me to dinner at the excellent Golden Dragon thai restaurant in Friday Harbor($35 for 2, with tax and tip).

After dinner we were making our way out of Friday Harbor to San Juan county park at the other end of the island, when I spied an opening into a clearing off Beaverton Valley Drive. It didn't appear to encroach anyone's property so we decided to camp here.


Morning in Lopez village 2

After angry clouds in the sky fortunately the weather cleared and warmed. The only settlement with services on Lopez Is. is the Village. It has some nice shops including organic food. Jen recommends Vortex juice bar. Allow several hours to see the shops. We had seen the major rural routes the previous day so we decided to take the 1550 ferry to Friday Harbor. Note that you pay only once at Anacortes for the ferry (about $15 with bikes) then you can travel at will for free within the us, excluding British Columbia.


Morning in Lopez Village 1

It isn't raining as much as we thought and should clear up later in the week. Today we will explore Lopez Village and probably take the ferry to San Juan island.


Monday, September 03, 2007

Camping @ Spencer's Pit

We're camping at Spencer's Pit ($14 hiker/biker). Jen took a wrong turn going into the campground and I didn't know where she was for more than a half hour. Fortunately we got the tent up before it started raining again.


Rural lopez, rain

(photo: picking abundant blackberries on Lopez. Some locals say blackberries are fair game, but be wary of infringing on people's property all the same. One property owner seemed disgruntled that we were picking blackberries)

We're actually seeing most of the island in just one day; we won't get over to the SE corner of the island because we know a storm is coming.

The traffic is extremely sparse so usually we ride abreast, moving to single file for the rare passing of cars. Presumably there would be more traffic if we were here earlier in the season.

It started raining so we're hauling ass to get to Spencer Pit state park where we will camp tonight.


Lopez Island: Shark Reef Bee Attack

Shark Reef is one of the natural attractions on Lopez, so named because of the sharks attracted by all the seals. We didn't see any Sharks but there were yapping seals in abundance. A 10-minute walk leads down to the water and then along the water to the rocks where the seals hang out.

Unfortunately, I must have angered some bees because I was stung 2 or 3 times on my ankles, which swelled a bit.


Tour de Lopez

We decided to skip seeing Lopez village today and concentrate on touring the island itself, because of the storm forecast. Likely tomorrow (Sept 4) we will be seeing Lopez village and we might go to San Juan village; it makes more sense given our limited time to focus on seeing the cities when it is cold and rainy.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Odlin Park camping

We're camping @ Odlin Park it is pretty nice ($10 for 2). Fortunately since we are here at the end of the season just about everybody has cleared out.


Mt Vernon to San Juans

Today we took the Sound Transit 510 bus from Downtown Seattle to Everett then another to Smokey Point and then Stanwood. We had to take all these buses because the Everett to Mt Vernon commuter bus doesn't operate on Sunday. Now we're in Mt Vernon and we hope to make it to Anacortes ferry terminal.


Hoovering McNuggets in Stanwood

Here I am hoovering 4 McNuggets in the Stanwood McDonalds.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Jen arrives from Berkeley

Jen arrived from Berkeley, CA (her plane touched down @ Seatac about 4:10 PM).

We're rushing to get all our stuff ready for our biking trip to the San Juans tomorrow. Since I no longer have the V-rex recumbent I'll be riding the Bike Friday folder, and Jen will be riding my Dad's Novara city bike. The city bike isn't aerodynamic but it has plenty of low gears for the hills on the islands.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Sold V-Rex recumbent

Hi, I sold my trusty V-Rex recumbent ($500). That has been a good bike but I've been looking at getting a Bacchetta Giro 26/26.


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Signing off for now

I'm back in Seattle and I'll be staying here for a while getting my life in order. After that, I'm not sure if I'll remain here, meet Jen in Emeryville or what.

I'll be signing off this blog for now.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Seattle, Jen arrives back in Emeryville

Quite a shock, going from Acapulco at about 32C being inside some strange noisy contraption and hours later it is just above freezing.

My bike and all my gear seem OK. I tried to get all my stuff together as quickly as possible but I just missed the 23:00 174 bus, so I took the next one half an hour later. My Dad met me downtown and drove me to his place.

I just spoke to Jen; she arrived safely in Emeryville by taxi.

Houston, Texas

Jen and I are in Houston. We both came together on Continental 885. Now we part; I go to Sea-Tac and Jen to Oakland. Unfortunately, she has a nearly 4 hour layover in Houston so she will arrive very late and then have to take a taxi.

Catching flight today at 14:45 PM

Were wrapping up everything so we can get to the airport at around noon and box up our bikes and get out of here. We ran into a couple living in Acapulco who offered us a place to stay but of course we told them we are flying out today. I took an outdoor shower using a bucket to try and get the sand and grime off me for a more comfortable flight.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Diamante, last day waiting for plane

We´re OK. We left Acapulco and climbed over the mountain again to the south. We will spend our last day near the airport on the beach, etc. Jen is making arrangements to get home to Emeryville from Oakland aiport when she arrives late tomorrow on Tuesday.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Leaving Acapulco

Jen and I are trying to treasure our last few days in Mèxico before we catch our flight. We are going to climb the hill to get out of Acapulco Bay early this evening, when the heat will be less intense, then stay on the beach. We will be staying pretty close to the airport.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

More fighting with Jen

Jen had a good time last night at the 2 movies, Children of Man and The Holiday, but then she felt sick after that because she hasn´t been eating well. Unfortunately, she was fighting with me this morning so I went off on my own to be in peace.