Turned out we had a few errands to do before we could leave Seattle, like go to REI to get Travis a patch kit for his sleeping pad. By the way, if you're ever on an outdoor adventure trip, REI is the LAST place you want to go. You will re-evaluate every camping purchase you've made and consider an ultra-light upgrade, and discover products you didn't know existed but you absolutely need. We had to get out of there QUICK.
Next we stopped at the Union Farmers Market to visit Travis' friend Lane, who used to live in Gainesville and now works at Local Roots Farm east of Seattle. Man what a beautiful display at a beautiful farmers market.
I happened to be wearing my Ten-Speed Greens t-shirt, and the Josh, the farm owner, recognized me from the farm gram, which was pretty cool. He told me to email him about suggestions of farms to visit on the way down to Oregon. Lord knows it wouldn't be a vacation for me unless I volunteered at a farm.
We finally loaded up all our gear, and rode off from the Polo Mansion fully weighed down with all our gear.
It was a short trip downhill to the ferry to Bainbridge Island, where we rode the bikes on board, tied them up and waved goodbye to Seattle from the sundeck.
The islands across the Puget Sound serve as both suburbs and vacation destinations for Seattle, and arriving late Sunday afternoon we were faced with tons of traffic on the way to Port Townsend. But this is the West Coast, so nobody cares that you're on a bicycle. They just take it as a fact of life instead a direct assault on their existence. And then the first day of pedaling on West Coast Tourrible began.
This year, Travis got an odometer/speedometer. This is a great idea. It will allow me to know how far I've gone and how much further I have to go, and it will allow Travis to push me to work a little harder. My normal bike ride style is to let Travis ride way ahead and take my sweet time behind him. Following him means no pressure, but it also means I bike reeeeeaalllllyyyyy sllooooooooww. If Travis is behind me telling me that he wants to keep a 11 mph pace, then I pedal my little legs a faster and actually break a sweat. Luckily my personal trainer agreed to let us stop and pick wild blackberry snacks along the way.
We arrived in Port Townsend just after the sun set around 9pm.
When we made it to Travis' friend Haley's house, I was exhausted. Luckily Haley is a very considerate host and left us rice and beans out on the stove, which we ate very quietly since her husband Scott and two kids Kepler and Serenoa were already asleep. Those were the most amazing beans and rice I have had in a long time.
A weird thing happened that night: even though I was extremely tired, I couldn't sleep and my legs were so sore they were in shock. I got up to go to the bathroom and every muscle in my legs screamed in pain, and I got chills like I had a fever. The chills happened a few times, even though it wasn't that cold. I was fine the next day, but I guess the lesson is you don't push yourself as hard as you can go on your very first day of riding. Wait for day four.