Days 43-48: Orcas Island to Eugene, OR
On Day 43, we thank Carl and Beth profusely for letting us stay with them so much, and we head out on the road again. Carl accompanies us to the ferry landing and takes us along a beautiful route we hadn’t yet ridden. The ferry takes us back to Anacortes and we start making our way East. We opt to take a side street instead of the main drag and stumble upon a beautiful rail conversion multi-use path that takes us exactly where we want to go without having to get on the highway!! At one point, we’re even treated to an old rail trestle that crosses the bay.
Eventually we work our way onto Highway 20 and enjoy the tailwind that pushes us up and over a long, steep bridge. We make a detour to the little town of La Conner and have a late lunch/early dinner (with some beers) at the La Conner Brewing Co. On our way out of town, we break 1000 miles ridden on this trip so far!! After several more miles (now into a headwind), we reach Bay View State Park, where we get a site next to thick blackberry brambles (which we happily pick and enjoy).
Day 44, we make our way out of Bay View, riding alonside dozens of farms. In the little community of Edison, we pull over at a small shop with an “Espresso” sign. We sit and enjoy a coffee and pick up some locally-grown vegetables to carry with us. From Edison, we wind our way over to Chuckanut Drive, an extremely scenic route that cuts through farmland and then winds around the edge of the Sound, over a few hills and through thickly wooded areas.
We find an interurban trail to Bellingham that Carl mentioned we should look for and we bump down a dirt path through the woods for a few miles. We meet another cyclist along the path who advises us to get off at a certain point (because it becomes really technical) and we heed his warning, hopping back on the road for the last short stretch into town. We roll through Fairhaven, at the edge of Bellingham. We stop for coffee and then head down to the Amtrak station to inquire about taking the train south to Eugene. The itinerary is confusing, but we decide to go for it and jump-start our journey south. To make things easy, we find an inexpensive hotel for the night and enjoy dinner and some beers in town (followed by cable tv at the hotel, such a treat!).
Day 45 is spent aboard an Amtrak Cascades train. We get on early in the morning, have a layover in Seattle for a few hours, then change trains and arrive in Eugene late in the evening. The good news is that we were able to purchase tickets for our bikes, so we could rest assured that they would get on with us.
Days 46-48 were in Eugene, OR. We stay with Shane, Missy and Isadora and enjoy their amazing hospitality. While in Eugene, we tour some of the local bike shops, meet the neighbors at a neighborhood party, and eat amazing food. We extend our stay in Eugene by a day so that Russ can shoot a family portrait. I make use of the extra down time and start working on some new jewelry pieces.
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