Port Hadlock to Potlatch (93 km)
We felt the effects this morning of a first full day back on the bikes (and distinct lack of training, at least for Lois – Paul has the endurance benefit of a recent 1/2 marathon) and the terrain and the heat also made for a tough day. The motel directed us to Farm’s Reach Cafe, which includes a bakery, serving organic breakfast items and good coffee. We chatted there with an older man who told us about a cycle trip he did many years ago from Quebec to Vancouver with his wife and 2 children. He said he had clearance to visit the Chalk River facility, and is still on a nuclear safety commission in the US. Purchasing wild salmon croissants for lunch, we headed off on the Center Road to Quilcene, across the north eastern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, passing fields of barley, peas and other crops, fruit orchards and pasture.
As with the entire day, the road was rolling hills, with very few flat stretches. We enjoyed a very long descent into Quilcene, but were aware that that generally means an equally long descent to follow (it did). We found another drive-through espresso hut in Quilcene and sat in the shade for awhile before tackling the next stretch, along Hwy 101. That road took us through the Olympic National Forest, along Dabob Bay and the Hood Canal (as in “channel” – actually a fiord forming the western lobe and one of the 4 main basins of Puget Sound). While we were quite close to the water, mixed forest and houses often impeded the views, but when we occasionally dropped down to the beach, we had gorgeous views of the canal and peninsula beyond.
We stopped in Seal Rock State Park to eat our sandwiches. Hwy 101 had a narrow but good hard shoulder but was a continuous series of slow hot climbs and brief descents. For a break, we stopped at the Hama Hama Oyster Company. The outdoor patio was surrounded by huge baskets of oyster shells. Oysters are harvested in the Hood Canal and sold grilled. We left with just two crab cakes and a bottle of local bitter for supper, but were tempted to stay and try the other seafood. After stopping in Hoodsport for more supper supplies we finally arrived at Potlatch and our motel overlooking the Canal.
After today, we are not looking forward to a 120 km ride tomorrow.
We are staying on the traditional territory of the Skokomish People. Their history since 1900, has been marked by land being taken away and decisions of others that have greatly limited their cultural practices.