Monday, March 19, 2007

Failed ride from Seattle to Bellingham a success

A friend and I set out this past Saturday to ride from Seattle to Bellingham, which is roughly 100 miles. We wanted to use the Centennial Trail, which goes from Snohomish to Arlington, and skips the suburban sprawl that is closer to I-5. That we did, but getting to the trail was not as easy as I expected.

The problem was that we didn't have a clear route from Bothell to Snohomish, so we just jumped on a road and started heading North. But which was is North? Apparently we didn't know because we went waaaay East and ended up on Avondale road, south of Woodinville. At the time I didn't realize how far off course we were, but a couple on the side of the road made it clear once we asked for directions.

The other problem was that it began to rain in Woodinville, at first that light Northwest rain that doesn't really bother anyone, but then came down harder, and never stopped. We got Soaked.

It took us about four hours to get from Seattle (Capitol Hill) to Snohomish, when it should've been more like two hours! And did I mention we scheduled to catch the Amtrak at 7:30 PM in Bellingham ON THE SAME DAY?!

Well, we didn't make it.. We got off of the Centennial trail at around 4:00, but at that point our maps were falling apart due to the rain, so once again we were left up to our senses and directions from uninterested bystanders. We found Highway 9 and rode it through some foothills of the Cascades, and came out south of Mt. Vernon. There was barely any shoulder, but not much traffic either so it was a nice ride. We were trying to meet up with Chuckanut Drive, which would've taken us all the way to Bellingham.. But Chuckanut is in Burlington, just North of Mt. Vernon, which explains why we couldn't find it.

We bailed out at about 6:30 PM and got a hotel in North Mt. Vernon. We were both disappointed not to make it all the way, but it felt good to get into warmth and take a shower. I think we totaled about 80 or 90 miles, given how off-course we rode.

Next time we're gonna nail that fuckin' route! (and bring laminated maps)

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