Day 1 – 71 Easy Miles

We got up relatively late at 6:30 am. The sun was well above the horizon. I bade adieu to bikers Jim and Catherine who were bound south to Port Townsend. Betsy and I departed at 7:30 am from the Washington Park boat ramp, our starting point. We retraced our route for 5 miles to Anacortes then turned south on the Tommy Thompson Trail (paved). After 2 miles, we turned east across an arm of Padilla Bay. We had an expansive view of a massive oil refinery on March Point.

At Hwy 20, we turned east and rode past truck farms on deep, dark soil. At Burlington, we left the route and rode south for a mile to Skagit Cycle. It wasn’t open yet. To pass a half hour we had coffee and a bagel at Panera across the street. At the bike shop the kind and overworked mechanic moved us up in the queue and fixed Betsy’s bike. She had a defective tire. The mechanic also loosened my head set. We went back to the route, then east on Hwy 20 for 5 miles to Sedro-Woolley. The Skagit River valley was about 2 miles wide here. Past town we saw more farms and clear-cut patches on the forested hill sides. Along the highway deciduous trees, maples and alders mostly, predominated. The lush land reeked of damp green. This was easy riding with little elevation gain and lots of traffic.

At a rest stop by the wide Skagit River, we got a view of snowy Glacier Peak (see photo). We had a lunch of cheese and crackers on a picnic table outside a closed restaurant. We continued west to Concrete: a massive concrete grain elevator type structure in view. Onward we biked to Rockport with a modest climb. We stopped at a food store in Marblemount, then rode another 3 miles to the Alpine RV Park, arriving at 4:40 pm. For $20 we got a soft, level grassy site with a picnic table and showers. We biked 71.7 easy miles today. Tomorrow will be harder with lots of elevation gain.

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