WASHINGTON

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DAY 226 – BELLINGHAM TO FIDALGO ISLAND

START: 8:00 – FINISH: 16:50 (16/10/15)

DISTANCE :62 KM – RIDE TIME: 4H 09

I got to say the Americans are pretty friendly and generous.

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I cycled into downtown Bellingham and a guy shouted out his car window that the best breakfast in town was at the Old Town café. When I got there Carl was waiting for me. I was only looking for a coffee but was grateful for another breakfast. Carl even offered a place to camp on his clifftop property.

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There was a rail trail from Bellingham to Fairhaven that ran along the coast. Small world – in Fairhaven I ran into a guy I met on the ferry in Whittier Alaska a month ago. I then took Highway 11………..which is called the most scenic road in Washington. It was high up on a very windy and narrow road with little or no hard shoulder overlooking the sparkling water. This evening I crossed over from the mainland via bridge to Swinomish Indian reservation, which is on an island and camped down by the channel in full view.

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DAY 227 – FIDALGO ISLAND TO PORT TOWNSEND

START :8:00 – FINISH: 17:30 (17/10/15)

DISTANCE :81 KM – RIDE TIME: 5H 23

This morning I was awoken by the sound of shotguns being fired by hunters nearby. Soon after I had packed up the police drove past. They weren’t bothered by my presence. I watched a beautiful sunrise before heading off.

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It wasn’t long before I was at the end of Fidalgo Island and had two huge iron arched bridges to cross over to Whidbey Island. The channel is tidal and was fast flowing. It was a bit hilly crossing the island. I passed through a big forest before arriving at Historic Oak Harbour. I tried to find somewhere to watch the rugby with no luck. So I went straight for the Ferry at Coupeville. Only $3.75 for both the bicycle and me for the 25 min – 10 km ride over to Port Townsend. From here I will be picking up highway 20 to take me to the famous 101 which I will be following down the coast through Oregon and California.

Port Townsend is a nice looking town so I couldn’t leave straight away.

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Lots of the original brick buildings from the 1800s still remain. On a hill overlooking the town is the oldest wooden firebell in the USA. I left town a little late and it was a bit of a rush to find somewhere to camp before dark. On the way out of town I found some bush behind a new subdivision and I went and camped there.

DAY 228 – PORT TOWNSEND TO SHELTON

START: 7:30 – FINISH:17:40 (18/10/15)

DISTANCE: 131 KM – RIDE TIME: 7H 11

It was a pretty awesome ride today. After 15 km I was on the 101 heading south. Most of the day was spent cycling beside the Hood Canal.

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I got into Shelton right on 5 p.m. and headed straight out. It was a bit of a struggle trying to find a good camping spot. I was getting desperate as it was starting to get dark. When I saw the sign for the volunteer fire station…………I pulled in for a look round back. It was all just tarmac. But beside the station on the opposite side was a patch of grass where I could put up my tent.

DAY 229 – SHELTON TO SOUTH BEND

START: 7:45 – FINISH :17:00 (19/10/15)

DISTANCE: 112 KM – RIDE TIME: 6H 15

Haven’t seen any other cycle tourists for a while. This afternoon when I cycled into Raymond I came across two brothers from Canada. We decided we would cycle up to the next town, find somewhere to camp and somewhere to watch the Baseball………….Toronto are in the play-offs.

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We found a nice spot just out of town, next to the water’s edge with a little jetty. We went up to the local pub and it was a good result for the Canadians.

DAY 230 – SOUTH BEND TO ASTORIA

START: 7:45 – FINISH: 15:00 (20/10/15)

DISTANCE: 90 KM – RIDE TIME: 5H 18

Today was my last day cycling through Washington. It has been a pretty scenic

State to cycle through and today was no exception. I was hugging the coast all day; I like it when the road stays close to the water. Leaving South Bend the top of the bay was a tidal swamp. Early afternoon I reached the mouth of the Columbia river. On the Washington side the Columbia is guarded by Fort Columbia. I stopped and explored the WW2 bunkers and tunnels.

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To get across to Oregon you need to cycle across a 6 km long bridge. It is a bit hair-raising since there is only a little shoulder and the last part of the bridge rises sharply so the large cargo ships can sail safely under.

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From the bridge I could see sea otters lying on their backs…………just taking it easy on such a nice sunny day. I arrived in Astoria and went in to the centre of town by taking the waterfront trail beside the old tram track. There were sea lions hanging around under the wharf. I got a “Warm Shower” host real close to the centre of town. Kris and his family live in a 1870s mansion overlooking the town. I slept in the old carriage house. It housed the first automobile that came to Astoria. Astoria is an interesting town. I think it has links to the Astor family in the UK and is famous for the making of the Goonies movie and Arni came to the town for the making of Kindergarten Cop. I walked up to the Column that was built in 1926 and overlooks the town from on top of a hill. From here there were stunning views. Walking back down into the centre of town, I was passed by a deer just walking the neighbourhood streets.

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