July 3rd’s journey through Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island was nothing less than spectacular. Even though we had to cover 40+ miles, we took our time and meandered down to the ferry dock to catch our last ferry across to Olympic Peninsula to find our home for the night. In the last post, we said we were going to Old Fort Townsend for the night, but we wanted to enjoy a shower at a closer site with a lighthouse at Fort Worden State Park. Let’s get into the details, shall we?
We both woke up feeling really good. We were well-rested and knew our mileage was going to be low, so we woke up ready to tackle the day. We decided to take the 2 mile scenic loop around the campsite to check out the San Juan Islands and Rosario Strait. Our book told us they were “not-to-be missed” so we had to see for ourselves. The book was right! The views were spectacular as the loop did not disappoint. We even hiked on a pedestrian-only trail to catch the Rosario Strait from up high. If you are in the area for any reason, we highly recommend checking out the loop either by bike or even by feet.
We finally departed from our campsite and made our way through residential neighborhoods until we found our way to highway 20. The hills were abundant, but we were strong today. When we got to the main highway, we were 1/4 mile away from Deception Bridge. We rode across the bridge and pulled over to the parking lot. Initially, the information personnel told us we had to pay for parking, but she confirmed on the Internet that bicyclists were exempted. So we locked up our bikes and hiked down to the beach. The view was incredible from the beach as we watched cars and trucks speed on the bridge and boats fight against the “deceptively” strong current.
We made it back to our bikes and found another bicycle tourist there, and we chatted about camping options on Whidbey Island. We bid each other farewell and continued to ride down the island to Oak Harbor for lunch. You can tell that the town was frequented by folks from the nearby Navy. Even the cook at our restaurant, Frank’s Place, stayed there for 16 years after he left the marines. He was actually from Oceanside, California.
Whatever Frank put in our food re-energized us as we powered through Coupeville and eventually made it to our ferry terminal at Fort Casey / Keystone State Park. We bought our tickets 30 minutes before the next ferry’s departure, so I went down the road to grab a cup of coffee. In my absence, Sang Hyun talked to a family who is also traveling through Canada to Portland with their toddler son.
When we made it over to Port Townsend, we turned left and found a food co-op. We restocked our depleting food supply for the night. We bought all the ingredients to have a successful taco night at camp. We followed the signs to Fort Worden and made it to the campus. The park office was closed with a sign directing us to the Commons building. They told us that they were completely full, even the hiker/biker areas were full. The man directed us to a nearby camp area at the Jefferson County Fairground. It was only a mile away. We paid the cheap camp fee and found a spot away from everybody else on the open grass field and setup camp. Then, we started preparing our taco dinner.
Because we were turned away from Fort Worden, we were a bit worried that we wouldn’t have a place to stay on July 4th. We decided to go to bed real early to wake up at 4:30AM to get to the next campground’s hiker/biker first-come-first-serve basis sites. Cross our fingers that we do!