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Sunday June 16, 2013 – Port Gamble Trails

Today we drove to Edmonds, parked the car, and rode our mountain bikes to the Edmonds ferry terminal.  For each passenger + bicycle the cost was $8.70 to ride the ferry over to Kingston.  Cyclists are special…they get to load first!

Eric waiting for the ferry.

Eric waiting for the ferry.

Edmonds - Kingston Ferry

Our ferry coming into Edmonds.

Excited to try out some new trails.

Excited to try out some new trails.

Why were we smiling?  Because the purpose of our trip was to do some exploring on the Kitsap Peninsula.  Eric wanted to check out the Port Gamble Trails.

To get to the trail system, we rode ~8.5 miles on roads (mostly uphill):

  • Kingston ferry terminal to NE West Kingston Rd
  • NE West Kingston Rd to Miller Bay Rd NE
  • Miller Bay Rd NE to NE Gunderson Rd
  • NE Gunderson Rd, across Bond Rd NE (Hwy 307) to Stottlemeyer Rd NE
  • The south entrance to the Port Gamble Trails is located on Stottlemeyer Rd, past Gracey Trail Ln NE
NE Gunderson Rd

NE Gunderson Rd

NE Gunderson Rd

We had to climb a 10% grade.

We started at the south end at the Stottlemeyer Parking

We entered the Port Gamble Trails at the south end.

Click here to see the Port Gamble Recreation Map.

Initially, the trails were smooth, somewhat sandy, and exposed to the sun.  It reminded us a little of mountain biking in Bend, OR.

Soon after, we were enveloped by lush forest.  The canopy became quite thick, and the riding surface was a little more rooty.  We gradually made our way north, grinning all the way.

Alder Forest

Alder Forest

Elisa - IMG_2525

Twisted Sister Trail

Forbidden Forest - IMG_2526

Forbidden Forest

Forbidden Forest - IMG_2527

Exiting the Forbidden Forest

Caterpillar - IMG_2529

I spotted this caterpillar crawling on Eric’s shoulder, so I carefully moved him to this tree.

After riding ~7 miles of fantastic XC trails, we exited the system where Kitsap Ave NE joins Hwy 104.  We then rode another ~6.5 miles along Hwy 104 to get back to the Kingston ferry terminal.

When I spotted this sign for CB’s Nuts, I insisted that we stop in for a taste.

CB's Nuts - IMG_2530

CB’s Nuts

CB's Nuts - IMG_2531

We bought a huge bag of hazelnuts for only $6.

Total mileage on the bike = 21.9 miles (~15 miles road, ~7 miles trails)
Total vertical = 3444 ft (1701 ft climbing, 1743 ft downhill)
Trip duration = 3 hours, 55 minutes (starting at ~10:45 AM and ending at ~2:45 PM)

The above figures were obtained from my Bike Tracks App.  I started it when we got off the ferry at Kingston and stopped it when we completed our clockwise loop back at the Kingston ferry terminal.

I’m including our trip data because this is a trip definitely worth repeating!

Kingston Ferry Dock - IMG_2535

Leaving the Kingston ferry dock.

One reason that we decided to take this adventure on this particular day was to visit my uncle Jeff at the Edmonds Art Festival.  He is a comedic artist.  Check out his work:  Art That Makes You Laugh, by Jeff Leedy.

Jeff Leedy - IMG_2545

Jeff Leedy

Leedy Art - IMG_2546

Leedy Art

No active day would be complete without a satisfying, quick meal.  I’d like to make a plug for Baja Fresh, a vegan-friendly fast food restaurant.

We order the “bare” veggie burrito (i.e. no tortilla and served over romaine lettuce instead), without cheese, without sour cream, and with extra guacamole.  Each order comes with a small basket of chips.  From the condiment bar, we select fresh cilantro, lime, and various hot sauces.

Baja Fresh Mexican Grill -Everett, WA

Baja Fresh Mexican Grill – Everett, WA

Baja Fresh Bare-Style Vegan Burrito

Baja Fresh Bare-Style Vegan Burrito

That’s a wrap to our fun day Sunday!

North Chuckanut Mountain Trails – Mountain Biking – October 6, 2012

Saturday was a perfect, autumn day for mountain biking in the Chuckanut Mountains.  On a clear day like this, we were treated with unobstructed views of Mt Baker from the Cedar Lake viewpoint.  This trail system is located just south of the Fairhaven neighborhood of Bellingham, WA.  The Chuckanut mountains are tucked between Chuckanut Bay to the west, and I-5 to the east.  They reach a high point of about 1850 ft.

Our route: (~12 miles round trip, 4 1/2 hours)

  • NORTH CHUCKANUT TRAILHEAD to INTERURBAN TRAIL to LOWER SALAL TRAIL.  This section is fun, both up and down.  The path is mostly smooth gravel, smooth dirt, and a short section of doubletrack.
  • LOWER SALAL TRAIL and SALAL TRAIL to HEMLOCK TRAIL.  These trails vary from “rideable rooty/rocky” to highly technical, “get off your bike and push.”  NOT for beginners.  Be careful if descending this trail.  (We saved it for another time.)  I’m just imagining what all the roots would be like when wet…
  • HEMLOCK TRAIL to PINE LAKE.  A relentless climb, with some places where you lose and gain elevation.  Get your workout on!
  • PINE LAKE to CEDAR LAKE and the CEDAR LAKE VIEWPOINT.  We enjoyed watching the dragonflies buzzing over Cedar Lake.  Around the lake, you will be off your bike more than on.  The view of Mt Baker and the Sisters on a clear day is worth the climb to the viewpoint.  Be careful that you don’t fall off the ledge!
  • HEMLOCK TRAIL to RAPTOR RIDGE VIEWPOINT.  This section is way steep and rocky…Try to enjoy the push!  The rocky viewpoint is another no-fall zone.  There are no views of Mt Baker from here.  Not recommended for small children or clumsy/intoxicated adults!
  • RAPTOR RIDGE VIEWPOINT to a new, unmarked trail, down to NORTH LOST LAKE TRAIL.  The new, unmarked trail was definitely the highlight of the day 🙂 .  This was totally worth the effort to get there…a blast of a descent.  Will repeat!!
  • NORTH LOST LAKE TRAIL to INTERURBAN TRAIL and NORTH CHUCKANUT TRAILHEAD.  The North Lost Lake trail is a long, fast descent on a seemingly never-ending doubletrack.  The final section of singletrack (mentioned above) gets you back to the car with a smile on your face.

After the ride, we ate veggie fajitas/veggie burritos for dinner at Dos Padres, in Fairhaven.  That was the first restaurant we went out to eat together…21 years ago!  (We met each other at Western Washington University (WWU).)  The sunset in Bellingham was worth one last picture.

[Click on an image to enlarge and view in a photo gallery]

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