Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hood Canal Repeat Hood Canal

Don Boothby, Bill Gobie, Dave Harper, Vincent Muoneke, and I met at the 6:10 AM ferry yesterady to do the Hood Canal Loop. Don, Bill, and Dave did the Hood Canal 2.0; Vinceent and I went for the original - having just done 2.0 on Wednesday.

The courses are very similar, sharing the same start from Bainbridge to the Beaver Valley turnoff on 104, the same Center Road to Quilcene, 101 to Potlatch, and Gorst to the ferry sections. They differ in that 2.0 has a 104 to Chimacum to 104 stretch and takes 106 along the south end of the canal and then Old Belfair highway to get from Potlatch to Gorst, while the original gets there via Shelton and SR-3 and a loop to Grapeview. The original has more climbing 6,600 feet vs. 5,300 feet. They both share the opportunity for German Sausage & beer at Fritz' at the Bremerton ferry terminal ... a great motivator!

Having just done both, I'd say the new one is the nicer ride, but it does miss out on the wonderful Grapeview loop ... and more fast food choices (in Shelton). We went for the taco option. They took a while to kick in, but did in time for the climbs up SR-3.

We all rode together Port Gamble and then across the Hood Canal bridge over to the Beaver Valley turnoff from 104 ... with Bill on his recumbent lagging behind on the uphills and zipping past us on the downhills. Then we parted ways, meeting back up at the ferry terminal in time for the 5:30.

The first half of the ride was foggy and cold, barely above freezing ... and with a wind chill of 15 degrees as we zipping down from Walker Pass. There was evidence of black ice ... a van spun out in front of us on 104, ending up at a 90 degree angle across the opposite lane. The sun came out midday and we actually had blue sky. It was a nice day for a ride!

The ferry rides were enjoyable too, as we relived our SIR exploits. Did you remember when ...

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