Arrived in Seattle on September 25 and had a nice sunny day to go for a ride.
The downpour began shortly thereafter. According to Justin’s Seattle weather blog, there was a “mind-boggling 1.71-inch deluge on Saturday” and a total of 6.17 inches in September, making it the wettest September on record. So, instead of riding up and down the many hills of Seattle, I spent the next 4 days eating lots of great food and enjoying my time with relatives, although they all started calling me the rainmaker for bringing it with me.
Next, I headed to the San Juan Islands for some alone time at a rustic trailer on a small lot at Samish Island owned by my friend Gale McCall. She said I could use it for a few days while visiting Washington, so I packed up and headed north from Seattle.
Samish is unique island in that you don’t need a boat or a bridge to get there. Doesn’t sound like an island, does it? There is a low lying isthmus between the mainland and Samish that used to be covered by water at high tide, but exposed during low tide. Back in the 1930’s earthen dikes were built on each side of the isthmus to keep the seawater out, thus providing a land link on which a road was built to connect the island to the mainland. And just like in my ancestral homeland of Holland, I saw lots of cows grazing on the land behind the dikes.
Did I say that Gale’s trailer is rustic? Take a look:
The walls and the roof are rather thin, so the drenching rains and the winds are pretty noisy, but it’s dry inside and has enough amenities to be livable. As I was laying in my sleeping bag at night on top of my new, very comfy REI 3.5 camp mattress, the thought kept running through my head that if I could recruit 5 Seattle Seahawks football linemen, we could probably push the trailer off its foundation and tip it on its side. That might be true, but Gale has here the real estate holy grail of the worst house in a fabulous neighborhood. Just down the road in each direction are million dollar plus vacation homes that would fit nicely on a posh Beverly Hills residential street.
Two nights of heavy rain on Samish, and lots of rain during the day. But Monday afternoon there was a break and the roads slowly dried enough so that I kitted up, pulled my bike out and went for a ride. Stopped at the Breadfarm Bakery in the village of Edison for an outstanding palmier pastry, then headed south toward the town of Bay View. I got as far as the south end of the farm flats and made the small climb up the hill, but an ominous front of dark clouds was moving in over Puget Sound from the southwest. Any readers of this blog know that I don’t like riding in the rain, so I spun it around, went down the hill and kept the momentum all along the flats northbound back to Samish. The storm front provided a tailwind and I made it back to the trailer with 20 minutes to spare before the clouds started dropping.
Here are some pix from the ride:
After more than a week of severe dampness, I’d had enough and pointed my wagon south to sunnier and warmer climes. Here is Mt. Shasta as I passed by on I-5: