Friday, September 27, 2013
Anacortes, WA to Port Townsend
30 Miles plus 5 miles of ferry
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.
~ Albert Einstein, letter to his son Eduard, 1930
The day started out with a “shower” from a passing semi, a bit of mud mixed in, but a wet dousing nonetheless.
Yesterday the locals at the corner bar told Joe there was only the one hill out of town, then easy sailing the rest of the way. Well, my legs did not see it that way. Every hill for the next 30 miles looked the same to me.
Today we also encountered the Adventure Bicycling Pacific Coast tour group. Thirteen hardy souls, two guides AND their vans that carry all their belongings. Some of them sailed by us with their virtually empty bikes. The vans carry all their gear. The downside: they are camping most nights and the weather is not the friendliest. The cost: around $4,500 for 5 weeks of long distance pedaling.
The quest today: find a reasonably priced room in this Victorian tourist town. There are forty plus restaurants here, but also expensive lodging in order to enjoy the atmosphere. The area is similar to Galena, Illinois, another treasure of a town.
Winds from the SE of 20mph; time,for me at least, to call it a day after 30 miles, even though the roads were drying up. The cold headwind is demoralizing. Our first stop: a bike shop to ask about reasonable bike lodging. Joe asks about a sound on his rear wheel: a broken spoke; furthermore problems with the valve on his front tire tube causing loss of air pressure. Both are now fixed.
We are in Port Townsend, a National Historic District Town, at the Palace Hotel, a Victorian jewel, except for the bath shared with one other room, according to Joe. I saw no reason to spend an extra $50 for a private bath. Our bikes are in the basement and we are two long, steep stairways up.
One of the surprises today: seeing border patrol vehicles this far South.
On another front: the gasoline quick stops have people buying normal amounts of milk. In Blaine,customers bought 10 gallons of milk, huge blocks of cheese and dozens of eggs. It turns out the USA Dairy Industry is subsidized and those items in the USA cost less than half for the same thing than in Canada. There is a free market price in Canada. Gasoline is another precious commodity: in Vancouver it costs over $7.00 a gallon.
I also took extra weight items to the post office. We will see how much more I can pare down to become a lean machine, at least for the bike part of the equation.
Joe had problems with leg cramping yesterday evening; today seems to be alright thus far. Hopefully the electrolyte solution did its work.
We are off to find a bite to eat at Sirens on the waterfront for its ambience.
As circumstances would have it, the wind died down now that we are snugly settled in. Such is life.