(2012) Seattle

We arrived in Seattle Wednesday night, just in time for a late dinner with Katherine and Ralph, friends of ours who would put us up for the next four nights at their house in White Center. The next day, Katherine was able to drive us down to pick up a couple of motorcycles that our friend Rolf said that we could use for the duration of our visit. I had chosen a Moto Guzzi LeMans 1100 and Dan would be riding a Moto Guzzi 750 Breva. It would be interesting to ride one of these unique bikes that some of my friends are great fans of.

It was now Saturday and the sun was promising to come out and play. Dan and I planned to spend the day on the bikes, getting to know them better as well as showing off some of the Pacific Northwest’s charms to Dan. We started off by filling our bellies at the Salvadoran Bakery just a couple of blocks from “home”. I usually don’t eat breakfast in New Jersey, but with these kinds of options, I think that would change quickly!

Click here for a rough map of our route

The sun was working its way out from behind the clouds as Dan and I headed east on I-90 to Preston-Fall City and then headed north. We passed through the familiar towns of Carnation, Duvall, Monroe (Monroe is where we had our first date), Granite Falls and Arlington, all while riding through the wide valleys at the foot of the Cascade Mountains. Unfortunately the clouds kept the higher elevation views at bay, but the roads were dry for the most part and we had fun getting lost near Granite Falls. I really enjoyed Woods Creek Rd and Burn Rd, for those who might get a chance to ride in that area.

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Once we passed through Arlington we turned west and headed for the tulip fields of Mt Vernon and La Conner. It was hard to find the main fields that are usually open to the public because we were late in the season and most of the fields had been harvested. We finally did find “Tulip Town”, but refused to pay the $5 each just to walk among the rows of flowers. I snapped a couple of pictures from across a ditch and then we were on our way.

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We left behind Tulip Town and crossed the tidal flats along Hwy 20, towards the Anacortes ferry and turning south towards Whidbey Island when we reached the odd junction of “Hwy 20 West” and “Hwy 20 Spur”. We meandered south until we reached Deception Pass, the sun growing brighter each passing minute. We stopped briefly at the bridge, just long enough to walk 1/3 of the way across the span and admire the 180′ drop to the narrow channel below. It really is a nice hike to the beaches down below, but we weren’t really dressed for such an adventure. Instead, we continued our southward journey and came to the port of Keystone just in time to catch the ferry to Port Townsend. While on the ferry, Dan and I met a man who was preparing to ride his BMW from Seattle to Tierra del Fuego this year and hopes to be on the road for at least eleven months. We gave him our contact information, so perhaps we’ll hear from him one of these days. What a fantastic trip to undertake!

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I would have enjoyed stopping in Port Townsend for lunch, as it has a charming downtown area along the waterfront, and the boat yard is an eclectic collection of many kinds of boats, most of them classic sailing boats. But there was considerable construction going on and we found it easier to just keep going than to stop. And keep going we did: we took the usual roads down towards Bremerton, with me being fortunate enough to spot a minke whale surfacing near the Hood Canal. At least that’s what I think it was – I can’t say that it looked like anything else that should be in that vicinity.

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Our arrival in Bremerton was early enough for us to get a bite to eat at Taco Del Mar before heading back across Elliot Bay to downtown and then White Center. The skies had cleared up considerably and while the wind was brisk on deck, the sunshine was very welcome.

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To read about the rest of our vacation in Seattle, click here

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