Saturday, June 6, 2015

Woman Rides 100 Miles Just to Eat World's Largest Cookie

Early last week I floated the idea of a Chick Ride to Vashon Island and back. The weather was supposed to be nice. There were 6 gals (and one gal's boyfriend) interested in going. One gal named Sarah A. could only ride to Dupont and back (about 30 miles). Another gal, Sarah M., would meet us in Dupont and ride to Vashon and back. So, we would be exchanging one Sarah for another (nice to have Sarah consistency). Well, it turned out the gal with the boyfriend couldn't go, and neither could Sarah A. So we were three to Dupont, then four to Vashon.

Karen and Cindy rode to my house, arriving just before 8:00. The sun was shining, and it was already a pleasantly warm day. I told Sarah we would arrive at our meeting place in Dupont around 9:00. Darned if we didn't pull up to her right at 9:00! That made for an average of 15 mph, which was great considering the hills we had to climb.

The four of us continued to Steilacoom. Coming down the big hill into Steilacoom, Sarah had a case of temporary blindness as the combination of sweat, and sunscreen ran down her forehead into her eyes. That was definitely unpleasant for her! Once her vision returned, we continued on the smooth-as-butter road to Chambers Creek. 

We rode Grandview to 27th, as usual. On 27th, we rode up the hill toward Jackson/Bridgeport. There were cones blocking the right lane. As we got closer, we could see it was a parade staging. We asked what the parade was. It was the Duck Days Parade. Too bad we were on a mission to Vashon. We could have watched a parade! I'm sure it would have been just ducky!

As we turned onto 70th, then over to 19th, I wanted to see if I could keep us off Jackson altogether. Geiger is the last street before Jackson, so we turned onto it. It also seemed vaguely familiar to me. We just kept zigging and zagging our way north, paralleling Jackson. We came to the end of Geiger at 6th. Knowing we would want to be on Skyline Dr to get to the pedestrian bridge over Hwy 16 (and therefore avoid the interchange on Jackson), we turned right. The next left was Skyline. Perfect!

We came down on the other side of the interchange where Jackson is now called Narrows Dr., and there is a bike lane. From there we turned to end up on Vassault, which took us down to Pt. Defiance, where we would catch the ferry to Vashon. We timed it perfectly, arriving at 10:30, and purchasing our tickets for the 10:55 ferry. We talked to a guy from Portland that was also going to ride around Vashon with a buddy. He was kind enough to take photos of us with all of our phones.
Stars we are...yes yes we are!

The Chetzemoka pulled in and spit out the cars and passengers from Vashon. Bikes and walk-ons always load first, so down the ramp we went. When they built the Chetzemoka, they put in a bunch of bike racks on the second level with stairs and a rather steep ramp up to them. I headed up there, only to find out they have removed almost all of the bike racks. I guess no one was using them (could have something to do with the steep ramp). I walked through and came down the other end and parked my bike with the rest of the bikes.

We went upstairs and refilled our water bottles with nice cold water from the drinking fountain (it was really heating up outside). Then we went up to the upper deck and took more photos.
Beautiful day to be outside!
Peace Baby!--Karen
Chetzemoka Selfie
Oh look! There's the mountain again!
Prepare to disembark!

Once off the boat, we began the lengthy climb on Vashon Hwy. 
Up up up!

We stayed on Vashon Hwy to Quartermaster Dr. It was beautiful coming along Quartermaster Harbor (sorry, I didn't take any photos). We turned onto Monument, which is a rather long climb (but still not as bad as staying on Vashon Hwy). When we came back to the Hwy, I promised the gals lunch was not too far away. 

We arrived into Vashon Village (I don't really know if that's what it's called, but that's what I call it) to a demonstration by the school teachers (rightfully so, they want smaller class sizes, better compensation, and more time). Karen, being a PE teacher, had a hard time resisting joining in the demonstration. The only way we got her to stay with us was by promising her lunch was a mere few yards away (okay...not really).

We had reached our destination of Luna Cafe. We parked our bikes and went in to peruse our food options. Karen and I each had a slice of the quiche (I know, could be scary for me beings it is mostly eggs, and it's a crap shoot as to whether they will make me sick. For some reason, I thought it a good day to live dangerously...and it looked quite tasty). I also got a chocolate macaroon mountain (yes, it was a fist-sized macaroon!) and a lavender lemonade (their specialty). In addition to the quiche, Karen got the world's largest chocolate chip cookie (and a lavender lemonade). Cindy and Sarah got frittatas and much more modestly sized cookies. Karen, with her WLCCC is a girl after my own heart (although my mountainous macaroon was nothing to sneeze at)!
See? Not kidding! It is the WLCCC!
Notice Cindy and Sarah's modestly sized (aka undersized) cookies. No photo of my mountain. It had already been consumed before I thought to take a picture.

After thoroughly stuffing ourselves, we decided to play tourist, and go in search of a souvenir from Vashon Island. First we went to the bike/sports shop. They had nothing. Not giving up so easily, we went to the Vashon Pharmacy (pharmacies are a great place to find souvenirs...and, I suppose...pharmaceuticals). Souvenirs in hand, we returned to the bikes and continued our looping of Vashon.

Now, we could have gone on Westside Hwy, but what would be more fun is to go, on very full stomachs, up and down a roller coaster of hills on Cove Rd. Legs burning, stomachs heaving, we went up and down, up and down. Then to add to the pleasure, we did a nice lonnnnngggg climb. Cindy realized she might have wanted to ask me about the hills before the ride. Oh, and it was really getting toasty--upper 80s, at least! 

Hill by hill, we worked our way back to the ferry terminal. When we arrived (after enjoying the fabulous downhill) at the ferry dock, we could see the ferry coming. I was praised for my excellent timing, but it was really just good karma (so, in addition to good weather karma, I apparently have good ferry karma too--that's awesome!!!). Here's another photo of the mountain (looks nothing like my mountainous macaroon).
Look! There's even a bird in this one!

As we were walking our trusty steeds onto the ferry, we heard a gal point out that there was a bald eagle sitting on the old piling. Once we stowed the bikes, we went up top to take a photo. Sadly, it was a little far away to be considered a high-quality eagle photo, but here it is for your viewing pleasure anyway.
We kept hoping he would take off. He didn't.

While waiting for the boat, we had met another cyclist gal named Marguerite. She was from Tacoma, and frequently rides on Vashon (in fact, she had even been at the Luna Cafe, but we didn't see her there). It was a fortuitous meeting, because she knew a better way up the hill after getting off the ferry. So we followed her, and she did indeed know a better way. From now on, I'll always go that way (no, duh).

Unfortunately, there was no getting out of the massive climb back up Vassault. It was all in the sun, and I'm sure it was about 100 degrees (well, it seemed that way). Pedal stroke by pedal stroke we made it to the top. Then, we retraced our route back to 27th. At 27th and Jackson/Bridgeport (the parade was now gone) we turned up Bridgeport to avoid the hills on Grandview. Sarah was appreciative...we were all appreciative. At Cirque Dr, we cut back over to Grandview. Cirque Dr is now all re-paved and painted. Quite nice! 

We came back down along the water into Steilacoom, and made the climb back out of Steilacoom. At the top, while we were taking a break (eating Shot Blocks and guzzling water), Cindy decided she would catch a ride with Sarah back home from Dupont (remember, Sarah had met us there). What a weenie! (Okay, just kidding, but I had to say that because Cindy said, "Will you call me a weenie?" Now, that would have never entered my mind, but now that she brought it up...I couldn't help myself...I'm bad that way...sorry...). Of course, she's not a weenie! She had actually ridden from her house in Tumwater.

Cindy and Sarah told Karen and I to go on. We were only a couple miles from Sarah's car anyway. So, Karen and I made our way back over Hoffman Hill, back to Old Pacific, and down to the gas station on the corner of 7th and Old Pacific. There, because it was so HOT, we stopped and got some Gatorade (and ice cream...well, I did...Karen ate the rest of her WLCCC). Refreshed, we continued toward home. Since Karen was definately going to end up with a "hundo" (100 miles), I decided I wanted one too. Instead of taking the shortest way home, I rode with Karen on the Woodland Trail/CWT until we exited at Chambers Lake and rode over to Boulevard. From there I rode Boulevard, cutting through the neighborhoods (because it's a little longer), and even rejoined the CWT to Horizons, and coming home the back way. I did it--just slightly over 100 miles!

It was a great day for a ride to Vashon--a wee bit on the warm side, but I'll take that anyday over rain and cold. Summer is here! Now, everyone, get out there and find your own WLCCC!
You could substitute any of our names here.

Miles: A HUNDO!!!
Elevation gain: 4763 ft.

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