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May 7, 2015

Fort Ebey State Park Bicycle Tour

all packed up

Five years ago when my husband talked about doing bike tours, I was all in. I love the excitement that comes with planning a trip, the challenges that come with the adventure and the satisfaction of completing one. Last Sunday, we got in our first bike tour of the season.

The morning we were to leave, I checked the Ferry times to see which times were cancelled due to low tides. To my surprise, they were all cancelled for the day because the Ferry dock was being repaired. So last minute change of plans! We would stay on the island and ride to Fort Ebey State Park at the Northern end of Whidbey Island. It would be about a 40 mile one- way trip which was longer than we wanted to do for the "warm up" tour, but I really wanted to take a trip!

Engle road past Coupeville Ferry

We left around 11:00 a.m. and before we had even covered one mile, my husband's bike chain split. He found all the pieces to the connector link, put the chain back on, and we were on our way. This would happen three more times on the road. The third time being when we had entered the Park. The forth time was just before we reached the campground and we couldn't find all the needed pieces. Without the "chain connector" tool, there was no way to take out the bad link. The only option was for him to return by bus.

I can't believe we had made it to the destination!

kettles trail heading North from Coupeville

So how did we get there?  From Bayview Road, we got on the highway until Newman road.  Newman road took us into Freeland from which we caught Fish road.  Fish Road connects to Mutiny Bay road then onto Bush Point road which turns into smuggler's cove road.  There is only one long section of highway that is unavoidable between smugglers cove road and Wanamaker road(#20).  We continue on 20 until it meets up with Engle road which takes us into Coupeville.  

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 campgrounds.

kettles trail, Fort Ebey State Park map, expand for larger version

checking the park map at kettles gate

my bike on the park trail 

hiker/biker campsite, Fort Ebey State Park

The hiker/biker campground has three spots and one communal campfire pit. We were the only ones there. I rode over to the car camping area and bought some wood from the camp hosts. They were really kind and even delivered it for me. Evidently, I had overpaid for our camping spot, so the kind Ranger came by in the evening to return what I had overpaid.

As we sat by the campfire talking, I thought what if I return by bicycle solo? It has been ages since I took a long ride by myself.

So after some discussion of how we'd handle communicating with each other and if my bike breaks down, we decided he'd return by bus and I'd return by bicycle.

I was pretty tired coming back and walked the bike up nearly every hill, so it took me 7.5 hours to cover the 40 miles.  That time includes two 40 minute breaks for breakfast and lunch.

Returning south on kettle's trail affords an expansive view of the Ebey fields in full color of yellows and greens and browns with the sky capping them.

blurry and bright

amphitheater at South Whidbey State Park

My second, long break was at South Whidbey State park. From there I was half way home.   I am ready for the next tour!

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QuiltSwissy said...

Ohhhh! I would never have ridden alone home that far! You are very brave We love biking. But with the Bad Basset Boyz at home we can do 5 hour rides but not much longer.


Lynn Radford said...

Juana! I loved the tale of your first bike tour adventure of the season! :D

Tracy said...

WOW, Juana! This was sooo much FUN to see... and feels like we were there along with you! Wonderful photos! So glad you made it. ;o) It's probably a very good idea to have some sort of "recovery" plan for your outings--that way, like this tour, you hubby having to take the bus, as you bike on--makes it easier (sort of?!) to head out knowing what you can do in an emergency. That's a long way to bike on your own--kudos!! :o) So where/when's the next tour?! ((HUGS))

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