Tuesday, December 30, 2008
RUSA 0536 Hood Canal Loop 2.0
2 Degrees above Celsius
That's what the temperature was when we reached the first control at Chimacum. It was cold (obviously), we were wet, and had been riding into the wind. The word "miserable" came to mind. It could be worse ... there could be ice. After stuffing our faces, we headed down the road towards Quilcene. Before we got there ... what did we run into? Not ice, but a bit of slushy snow was falling. Oops!
Fortunately it stopped by the time we hit Quilcene. On the way out of town Joe wanted to stop at the Forest Service office, but the parking lot was covered with ... yes, ice. He decided to wait.
From there we headed up Walker Pass ... would it be snowing? and sitcking? Part way up what do we see but a DOT snowplow coming down. Is that a good sign? Probably not. It is now raining again ... and soon it turns to snow. And now the snowplow comes back, headed up the hill. Definately not a good sign. As we near the top, the snow starts sticking, but fortunately it is pretty slushy and we ride through it. It is cold though! Especially as we ride down the south side.
We soon make it to Brinnon, almost the half-way point. What do we see as we pull into the Tesoro but Vincent! A welcome sight for sure. December 31st, snow along the roads, and we run into a fellow SIR randonneur! We spend a few minutes catching up and then head south together. We ride to Hoodsport, where we refuel, then to Potlatch, where we head our seperate ways ... Vincent to Olympia (end of Olympia-Brinnon ride), Joe & I to Bremerton (end of Hood Canal Loop 2.0).
We are making pretty good time ... close to being able to make the 4:35 ferry. Past Belfair, on the Old Belfair Highway, Joe got a flat. Changing the tire in the cold was tough ... took quite a while. Joe pumps it up and ... it leaks out the valve. Darn. He pumps it up again and ... it holds. We were now at risk of missing the 5:30 ferry. But we hit the road and make the ferry (barely)! We've done it!