Olympic Discovery Trail is a famed 130 mile paved bike path through Washington. I was hoping to ride some of it on the West Coast near Olympic National Park, but the trail there isn’t done yet so they just have you riding on Hwy 101, a single lane highway along with RVs and big lumber trucks. No thanks! So I was pretty excited to finally hit the road on our bikes. By midmorning, it was warm enough to head out right from our campground. We had to ride a few miles to get to the trail and then we would ride onto Ediz Hook, a little sliver of land the stuck into the ocean for about 1 mile. Well, we missed a turn somewhere and ended up riding on a nonexistent road shoulder for longer than intended. Luckily the cars passed us respectfully. Our detour cost us about 3 miles. As we were leaving the mainland, the ODT actually took us through the Nippon paper mill plant. And then, there we were, ocean on both sides, riding a double lane road. We rode as far as we could, hitting a coast guard pilot boat dock before we had to turn around. The speed limit was 20mph so for probably the only time in my life, I biked faster than the speed limit, just because I could. For fun, Mark took his bike down a short pier. There were seagulls everywhere. It was crazy how just a few miles out “to sea”, the weather totally changed. It was chilly on the hook with a cold ocean breeze and we were enveloped in fog. Some fishing boats were out and I stopped and talked to one fisherman. I asked him what he was trying to catch today. His response: “a cold.” He said he wouldn’t go out in the whitecaps and decided not to go out after all. Even though we fought a cold headwind the entire way back, I so enjoyed riding with an ocean view and keeping my eye on harbor seals popping up sporadically. We hit the mainland, the start of downtown, right at lunch time so found a café where we could park the bikes and grab a bite. That was actually a first for us, biking to lunch. It sounds cuter than it is. The truth is that then you have food sitting on your stomach as you try to climb a hill back home, every breath just feels heavy. The trail was a little tricky to follow throughout our ride, but the way back was stunning. Riding under a bridge, and then under tree canopies, the trail after we departed the road was just awesome.
Real life insists I tell you we had a few loads of laundry to finish plus some general clean up to take care of before our next move to another location, but I won’t bore you with the details. After we got our chores done, we drove an hour away and arrived at Sol Duc Hot Springs at 7:30pm. We were also supposed to have done a 2 mile hike to a waterfall as well, but since we got there late, our choice was hot springs or hike and I chose hot springs! It was “resort style” so there were 3 concrete hot tubs at various temperatures. We enjoyed the pools and meeting a few people until the hot springs closed at 9pm. My job on the hour drive back was to point out all the deer on the side of the road so Mark didn’t hit any. Luckily they all stayed on the edge, as these roads are really curvy with a lot of blind corners, and everyone (humans and deer) got home safely. The deer here are black tailed deer, slightly different than the mule deer we’re used to seeing at home.
The weather we have had on this trip has been so awesome. Mostly sunny skies, though a few overcast days mixed in. High temps somewhere between 60-80, and just comfortable. The forecast for tomorrow is showing 50% chance of rain, and we are scheduled to take a ferry, so I am hoping for another great day against the odds.