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Pacific Coast Bike Route – Day 2 : Birch Bay State Park > Deception Pass State Park

I got up early this morning. One great thing about camping is you’re up with the sun and the birds instead of an alarm clock. Thankfully, I’m already accustomed to getting up early in the morning so waking up at 5:00 a.m. isn’t that big of a deal.

First order of business for the morning was to break camp. It took a little longer than I would have hoped; howeve, that isn’t surprising considering it’s the first day. As the trip goes on I’ll get faster at both setting up and breaking down camp. Was pretty happy with myself that I got everything back into their bags and back onto the bike.

As I started rolling out of Birch Bay State Park, I was really really cold and actually shivering for a bit. Thankfully, the sun was poking through the trees a little ways down the road and started warming me nicely. I’m also thankful that id decided to bring my wool base layers. They added just enough to make the cooler temperature bearable.

Straight out of Birch Bay I hit an amazing section of road. It’s all private property, but the owners have granted access to all except motorized vehicles. Sure the asphalt wasn’t buttery smooth, but it was a lot nicer than Horizon Ridge for sure. It really was a great way to open the day, and I got to enjoy it exponentially more than last time.

I rolled into Bellingham and had to leave the ACA route for a detour for some supplies. This meant going up and over some pretty decent climbs to get to Starbucks and REI. Starbucks was first because I hadn’t picked up anything for breakfast yet. REI second because they didn’t open until 10:00 and I rolled in at 9:00. Thankfully they’re right next door to one another. Gave me the chance to relax with an iced coffee, bacon sausage and egg wrap, and banana walnut and pecan loaf. I also took advantage of an outlet to top up my battery bank.

Heading over to REI I had a list of things I’d put together last night that I wanted to pick up. The first, and most important, is a fuel canister for my stove. It’s one of the few things you absolutely cannot fly with, period. Which sucks because I have an unused one sitting on a shelf at home. Anyway, I also grabbed some cleaning wipes, ear plugs, eye mask, spoon (lol), lip sunscreen, and a dozen different freeze dried breakfasts. Should allow me to get a decent breakfast before I leave camp every morning for a bit.

After my supply run, I double backed to where I left the ACA route. My OCD/completionist personality won’t let me not ride as much of the “official” route as possible. It’s a sickness, I know. I did get to see a big rig hauling a huge boulder though town that I would have missed if I hadn’t gone back!

Leaving Bellingham I jumped onto the South Bay Trail which took me right along the bay. It would eventually lead me into the town of Fairhaven. Then I was able to jump onto the beautiful Interurban Trail. This trail is a 6.5 mile rail-to-trail gravel track that got me off the busy Chuckanut Drive. It certainly wasn’t anything technical and I had no issues with my 32mm Gatorskins. There were a couple steep pitches that turned into hike-a-bike sections for me, but I suspect without all the extra gear and a more appropriate tire I could have ridden it straight through.

I did come to a 30 ft. section of the trail that was closed so the road that crossed the trail could be paved. The closure forced me to double back a little to another road that dumped me onto Chuckanut. As I came down this side road I spotted a group of four riders lined up waiting for the construction worker to flag them through. I rolled up and asked, “Mind if I roll up with you?”. Receiving a resounding yes we didn’t have much time for chit chat before we were waved through.

For all being seniors, those four riders sure left me in the dirt! I did however spot another side road and I seized the opportunity to take it to rejoin the Interurban. It was totally worth it. I mean I could occasionally see Chuckanut through the trees just off to the right, but I wanted nothing to do with it. Maybe pick up a dedicated gravel bike with my New Bike Fund money?

Of course the Interurban had to eventually end and it does just before Larrabee State Park. I hoped back onto Chuckanut and continued south. Not long after, I came up on that group of four riders taking in the scenery at a pull out. I rolled up and asked, “Hey, where’s the fourth?!”

They replied, “Oh he’s up there taking pictures.”

“Well he better get down here so I can get a shot of you four. I’m willing to bet you don’t have a picture of the four of you together yet.”

I snapped a nice shot of the four of them and we then spent the next several minutes talking about where I was coming from and where I was going. Then we went on for several more talking about all the gear on my bike specifically: the four lights on the rear, the Varia radar, and my Tailfin setup. Was a really nice conversation.

I continued on and as I came down off the hill and out of the Blanchard State Forest the winds started picking up. They were pretty stiff out of the NNW and were certainly shoving me around. A nice wide shoulder was a God send until I got back onto quiet farm roads. That was when the side winds would turn into head winds.

I came into a small town named Edison and as I was about to make the last corner out of town when I spotted a restaurant named The Old Edison. By this time it was 1:00, I knew I needed food despite not feeling hungry, I didn’t know where the next food would be, and I didn’t really want that next food to be McDonald’s.

I took the gamble, flipped around, parked shadow, and went inside. I guess two or three other parties had the same idea because I could hear the waitress and cook talking back and forth about how it was busier than over the weekend. I went with the waitresses suggestion of the The Big E Cheeseburger (Hand formed third pound Angus beef patty, American cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion & pickle) with an upgrade to sweet potato fries. It was amazing and I don’t regret my decision in the least.

Thinking about it now I can’t remember if this happened before or after lunch, but it happened none the less. I was climbing and was passed by someone in an older Toyota SUV. Not sure if it was a 4-Runner, Land Cruiser, or what but it’s kinda irrelevant. I crested the hill and started my decent. I got a decent head of steam going probably doing 30 MPH or so (which is a lot when carrying an extra 50 lbs. of gear that makes the bike twitchy with sudden movements) and I look up and see the dude is at a dead stop. I think WTH is he doing? Then I see the reverse lights come on and see a driveway off to the right he must have missed. Ummm…ok…I’ll go around to the left. Hold on…why is he swinging his ass into oncoming traffic. At the top of my lunch, “HHHEEEYYY STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP!!!!”. Thankfully the dude had his driver’s window open, heard me, and I was able to go on by. That doesn’t mean the experience didn’t leave me shaken. Really don’t want to go into the broadside of an SUV at that speed. Oof.

The rest of the ride into Deception Pass was a chill one. A few rolling hills here and there. 30 MPH one minute, 7 MPH the next. Crossing over Deception Pass Bridge was cool. Feel like a moron forgetting to take a picture while I was crossing. Thought of it as I neared the end. Almost thought of flipping around and doing it over, but thought the better of it. Despite the pavement markings indicating bikes can take the full lane, I felt blessed when I cleared that section and the guy behind me didn’t tear off down the road. A picture ain’t worth it.

Rolled into the front desk at Deception Pass State Park and got signed in for a hike/bike site. Paid my $12 and promptly turned around and left. It seems the camp store is only open on the weekends so I had to double back to the Shell station to get some dinner.

Rode back into the park and was expecting a nice chill ride to my site. Nope, right around the corner was a steep pitch showing 8% following by a 9% decent. Oof, leaving in the morning is going to be fun.

I did get camp all setup, got changed, washed my riding gear, and ate my dinner. Since then I’ve been sitting here at my beautiful spot enjoying the fighters flying over head while taking this all down. Hoping for a solid night’s rest.

Until next time!

New bike fund: $4.89 (+$0.47)
51.73 new miles
🏘 Completed 50% of Edison
🏘 Completed 50% of Edison (Combined)
🏘 Completed 25% of Bay View
🏘 Completed 25% of Bay View (Combined)
🏘 Completed 25% of Sehome
— From
Sunny-Sunny, 58°F-66°F, Feels like 62°F-70°F, Humidity 69%-43%, Wind NNW 1mph-NW 6mph – by
myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: -0.6%
Headwind: 32% @ 0.7-18.3mph
Longest Headwind: 02h 6m 18s
Air Speed: 12.4mph
Temp: 50.3-69.8°F
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —

Total distance: 77.11 mi
Max elevation: 457 ft
Min elevation: 3 ft
Total climbing: 3930 ft
Total descent: -3873 ft
Average speed: 14.41 mi/h
Total time: 09:49:53
Published inCycling

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