Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bicycling on Vashon Island and Kitsap Penninsula

Monday morning I left for a four day bicycle trip to Vashon Island and the Kitsap Penninsula across Puget Sound from Seattle. The Vashon Island ferry landing at Fauntleroy is about a ten mile bike ride from where I live. Then after a short ferry ride it's about a six mile ride from the ferry landing on Vashon to the Vashon Ranch Hostel where I stayed for three nights. You can read more about the Ranch Hostel at: Vashon Ranch Hostel .

Since I was planning to camp at the Manchester State Park on the Kitsap Penninsula after leaving Vashon I had brought camping gear with me. But at the last minute I decided to stay in a covered wagon at the hostel since there was one available instead of camping.


This log cabin houses a communal kitchen and three separate single rooms for people to stay in.

The community kitchen in the log cabin.

This building has another community kitchen and a couple of separate common rooms to hang out in.

There's a nature preserve with a large pond, Fisher Pond, and some hiking trails next to the hostel property.

On Tuesday, after a late start due to rain, I rode up around the north end of the island. Even though I only rode 18 miles there were a lot of hills that were so steep I had to push the bike up on foot... it was a lot of work and slowed me down quite a bit. Whew!

On Wednesday I got an early start-- for me that is-- and headed out of the hostel at 10am for the ferry to Tacoma at the south end of the island. It had rained again on Tuesday night and looked pretty threatening Wednesday morning. But fortunately the weather got a lot better than what you see here at the ferry landing where I caught the ferry to Tacoma and the Point Defiance Zoo.


After seeing a few episodes of Animal Planet's Meerkat Manor on DVD I was happy to find out that they had a family of meerkats on the Point Defiance Zoo. They were pretty busy little guys and were constantly digging. You can see a Meerkat Manor video clip at:

Meerkats on YouTube


There was a very scruffy looking polar bear that looked bored to death...

...and a very bored looking walrus that did laps around the pool like this on his back.
On Thursday I caught the ferry at the north end of Vashon Island...
... for a ten minute ferry ride to Southworth on the Kitsap Penninsula from where I biked about eight miles to Manchester State Park.
The hiker/biker campsites, costing a mere $14/night, were just a semi-flat spot in the woods without either a fire ring or a picnic table. So I paid for a campsite then took up residence in one of the picnic shelters. After pouring down rain for a couple of hours I went back to my campsite to find it flooded out. I figured I'd just stay in the picnic shelter and deal with the washout in the morning-- unfortunately "the man" didn't agree. The ranger came around at 9pm and booted me out of the picnic shelter. So I went back and bailed out my tent and spent a soggy night waiting for daylight.
On Friday morning I rode just a few miles over to Port Orchard...

...where I caught a passenger-only ferry to Bremerton that allows bikes, and from there caught the Bremerton to Seattle car ferry and then a short bike ride home.

Send an email

No comments: