After the nice days in Canada, the unfriendly welcome, the freezy hurricane ridge experience and my first miles on a really crowded highway I had my first little “what the hell am I doing here” crisis. So I decided I had to take it slowly and make a whatever sketchy plan about where to go and get organized a bit and let that US experience sink in. I should have enough time to explore Washington a bit further. So I am going towards the Northern Cascades.
I left Port Townsend at noon by ferry after stocking up a bit of warm gear. I got gloves and long arm Merino shirt and a flashy orange flag at a bike shop. The flag is to keep those speedy redneck pickups at a distance when they pass you and there is no good shoulder. I awed at the nice seaside of downtown and off I went over to Whidbey island.
If you want to use your European phone over here T Mobile is your friend, they run their phones on GSM. There is a T Mobile shop in Oak Harbor.
The island is lovely to ride traffic is reasonable. The landscape looks a bit like Swesden but with more cars. There is this “shoulder” business. Americans tend to build their highways wider than they need them. So after the lane there is some more paved space, the “shoulder” which can be as wide as an entire lane or not exist at all. If this space is large you can use it as a cycle path then the only ennoyance of the traffic is the noise. If it doesn’t exist then life might become quite unbearable and that orange flag might save your life.
Deception Pass is the narrow strait between Whidbey and the main land. It has such a strong current in it that is looks like a river from above. The current is due to the tides alone. It switches direction, with siling boats that do not have a strong motor you have to wsit for the right tide to pass.