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May 30, 2016

Solo Bicycle Tour, Fort Ebey State Park

whidbey island, bicycle touring
rest stop at GreenBank Farm on the way to Fort Ebey

The Solo Bicycle Tour

Last May in 2015, the idea to do a solo bicycle tour popped into my head. As 2016 came around, I started seriously considering the trip and began planning in February. Learning how to do simple bike repairs, mapping a safer route, and getting back into shape after a lazy winter were checked off my list.

In the beginning, staying one night was my idea, but riding nearly 37 miles to sleep in a tent and then riding home the very next morning didn't seem fun, so I booked two nights. Fort Ebey State Park on Whidbey Island is a beautiful park with loads of hiking trails and beautiful ocean vistas.

camping at Fort Ebey State Park
camping at Fort Ebey State Park

There is a hiker/bicycle campground with a communal campfire and outhouse, but I wanted a private campfire a real bathroom with a shower, so I booked site 49 in the car camping area. The next day, just beyond where I camped, I discovered some walk-in campsites with their own campfire pits that look good for a future bicycle tour.  (skip the route part unless you're thinking of doing this trip)

The Route

I worked my way via side roads to highway 525 at Bayview road. I am on the Highway 525 until Newman road. Newman road took me into Freeland from which I caught Main Street Road. Traveling down Main Street until the highway, cross the highway 525 and now it is Fish road. Fish Road connects to Mutiny Bay road then onto Bush Point road which turns into smuggler's cove road.

I turned off on Lagoon Point road which turns into Day road and then Bakken Road. Bakken road will meet the Highway 525, and you travel for seconds on the highway until you meet N. Bluff road. I wanted to cut out as much of the Highway as I could, so I added North Bluff road which turns into Houston road. These roads run behind GreenBank Farm.

Heading north on Houston road, before it meets up with the highway, there is one major, steep hill that goes on forever. For me, walking the bicycle up that hill and the added time was worth it as I cut out two-thirds of the highway portion between GreenBank and Coupeville. Plus, in the morning on a weekday, there is not much traffic on these roads.

view from W Wannamaker Rd

Now I'm on Highway 525 for a brief time again until I come to E. Admirals Drive which takes you through a neighborhood. Stay on E. Admirals Drive until you reach S. Bryd Drive. Take S. Bryd Drive to S. Halsey Drive to Perry Dr up to W Wannamaker Rd. Continue on W. Wannamaker rd until you reach Fort Casey road. Take Fort Casey road to SE Terry road to Main st and now you are almost there!

Heading North from Coupeville to Fort Ebey State Park, there is a dedicated bike/pedestrian trail that takes you all the way into the park. How amazing is that! Once you get to Kettles Gate, kettles trail continues into the park all the way to the car and walk-in campgrounds. The hiker/biker campgrounds are in a different area just beyond the car campground. See my last year's blog post for more information on the kettle's trail.

This by no means is the shortest or quickest way to get to Fort Ebey.  My goal was to be off the highway and away from 55 - 70 mile traffic zooming past me.  Most of 525 has a wide bike lane, but that doesn't seem wide enough when you have cars texting on their cells as they pass you or semi-trucks and other large vehicles passing even when they are obeying the traffic laws.

view Houston road route on Map My Ride and a portion of the park trail to the campground.  Also, view my post from last year for more photos of the kettle's trail.

kettles trail map

Camping, Hiking at Fort Ebey

The second day I did several hikes in the forest and along the ocean view trails.

beach hiking trail, Ft. Ebey
beach hiking trail, Ft. Ebey

Fort Ebey, Strait of Juan de Fuca
looking out at Strait of Juan de Fuca

water tower, fort ebey hiking.
remains of an old, water tower

water tower, fort ebey hiking.
water tower, Fort Ebey hiking

jets flying overhead

Fort Ebey State Park, sunset over Strait of Juan de Fuca
Fort Ebey State Park, sunset over Strait of Juan de Fuca

Fort Ebey State Park, camping
on my way home

Thanks for coming along with me on this solo bicycle journey!

view my art blog here

Apr 27, 2016

Cats and Dogs

Luna, cafe dog

At the beginning of April I took a long bike ride - 38 miles- before the Spring rains returned. I'm hoping to get another ride in this week. I stopped at a cafe and met Luna. Her owner was inside and she kept me company at the outdoor table where I was sitting. She didn't quite know what to think of having her photo taken.

On my walk to the market, I meet these outdoor cats everyday. They have been spayed and released to where they were found and have been living in place for a few years now. The man in the red jacket comes by every morning to feed them and another woman in the afternoon to check their bedding/cat houses and health. The cats know everyone's schedules and will often see me before I even see them.

Since I can't have any pets due to my rental lease, it warms my heart to be able to have these daily visits with these community cats and the dogs I meet along the way. And because of these cats, I've made some new human friends.

view my art blog here

Apr 6, 2016

backyard bird watching

Robin on a fense

It's whale migration season here, so I'm going out most days with my camera. Of course, the one day I forgot to bring it, there were Orcas passing through! What an amazing sight that was and I got to put it in my art journal instead of a photo.

On a different day, while I was sitting and watching for whales, this Robin sat on the fence in front of me for the longest time.

Black-capped Chicadee

On my art blog, I talked about how a bird started building a nest in my bicycle basket. I spent the spring of 2014 learning and trying to spot all the birds that live in my neighborhood.

Lately, I have come to realize that it's my way of remembering my Mom. When I was living at home taking care of her, she loved to watch the birds every morning while she ate breakfast. That is why it warms my heart to backyard bird watch.

joining warm heart wednesday

view my art blog here

Mar 25, 2016

stepping outside

black and white cat

I am still waiting for the day I can adopt some cats and dogs (or they adopt me). In the meantime, I enjoy visiting with the cats and dogs I meet in my day. The neighborhood cat above likes sunning himself on high places.

waterman eratic rock

Last week I rode my bicycle to my favorite local, forest park and went for a long hike. Deep in the forest sits this erratic rock. I love this huge boulder named Waterman Rock. It's called an erratic rock because it made its way here by glacial movement, many miles from its origin, where it broke off.

It's about the height of a two story house. I remember the first time I came upon it and how magical the entire scene felt. Getting outdoors warms my heart every time!

joining warm heart wednesday.

view my art blog here

Mar 17, 2016


morning Daffodils

The sun comes over the trees and streams in through my window. The sunlight and these daffodils on my desk warmed my heart. And today is another sunny day, so I'm hoping to get out for a bike ride and hike.

joining Warm Heart Wednesday

view my art blog here

Mar 4, 2016

first walk in March

sun breaking over pastures

I walk to the store most days. If I have a lot to bring home, I take my bicycle or my husband comes with me. Tuesday we decided to go for a long walk and do the grocery shopping. It had been raining in the morning and the clouds were just breaking. As we walked, I realized that Spring was in full spring with some trees in full bloom.

little free library

Just before arriving at the store, we passed a little free library stand. Have you seen one of these in your neighborhood?


On the last stretch of our walk home, we passed the marina. I believe this crane is here to help with some repairs of the dock.

The long walk warmed my heart and was a great start to the month of March.
joining warm heart wednesday

view my art blog here

Feb 19, 2016


Tulips on my work table

On my daily walks into town, I've been noticing the green stalks peaking out of the soil in gardens I pass along the way. The crocuses are already blooming in the garden at the post office. Some days feel warmer than others hinting that Spring is on her way.

I decided to bring in some of that fresh feeling and bought these white tulips. What amazes me is the impact this simple addition of flowers has had on my morning! Why do flowers on my desk make my heart lighter?

Perhaps it's the reminder that Spring is coming? It's always this time of year that I start buying cut flowers. Tulips are first, then lilacs and then daffodils. The hummingbirds are already coming to my mini-garden outside, so I will be getting some potted flowers too.

What's warming your heart this week?

joining warm heart wednesday

view my art blog here

Dec 31, 2015

Thank you 2015

It's been an incredible year! There have been some rough times, but the brilliant moments have kept me going and continue to shine brightly.  Here's a look at some of those bright moments:

woodland critters visited

june 2015, coyote

hummingbird in the garden, June 2015

fawn, july 2015

two bucks, august 2015

took some bicycle adventures

solo return on bike overnighter, may 2015

visited with the community kitties

There are three stray cats that the community takes care of throughout the year.  They have been spayed, get meals delivered daily, and just about whatever they need.  They seek shelter in the nearby homes during winter.  I've been walking this route for two years now and the cats always greet me.  

Tabby cat

grey whales

grey whale feeding near shoreline, april 2015

watched a neighbor's fireworks

July 4, 2015

summer eclipse, sunsets and sunrises

eclipse, september 2015

sunset, december 30, 2015

sunrise, december 31, 2015

We haven't gotten any snow yet, but the mornings have been frosty.  
I look back at the year with gratitude and I am looking forward to the New Year.
Wishing everyone all the best in 2016.

view my art blog here
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