First Overnighter: West Seattle

We finally rounded up all our new gear that would be required for a bike camping trip. I got a rack with a cargo net, and a new backpack. John got a rack, large panniers, and a new tent that packs up small enough to fit in a closed pannier. I will eventually get panniers and some more compact gear, but we are off to a good start.

The weekend we were ready for the inaugural trip happened to be same the weekend our friend Wendy was having a housewarming party. It was the perfect opportunity to test out traveling with the new gear while being a few steps away from a house, bathroom, water, phone, etc. The 10 miles to Wendy’s house was the perfect distance to make sure everything was packed on nice and tight.

After waking up on Sunday we rode a few miles to the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry. I had never even heard of the Southworth ferry before, but since we were so close it was a good excuse to try it out. I modified a loop in one of my touring books to take us along the sound through Port Orchard and eventually to the Bremerton ferry which would take us back to Seattle. This turned out to be one of the best bike rides I have been on yet. Most of the route was flat, and most of the route was also just feet from Puget Sound. It was so beautiful and peaceful. I love a challenging ride, but the flat terrain allowed me to look around and enjoy myself. I even took a few action shots!


This ride was definitely short compared to what I would normally consider a “tour”, but it was the perfect length for a trial run. We returned to Seattle at a reasonable time, with plenty of energy left to talk about all of our hypothetical future trips.


What I wish I didn’t bring: I packed way too many clothes! I packed a change of clothes for the party, clothes to sleep in, and clothes for day 2. The only party clothes I wore was a pair of pants that was not warm enough for future trips, and I didn’t wear the sleeping clothes at all. Other things like the extra pair of socks and undies I normally pack “just in case” were totally unnecessary for this type of trip.

What I learned: Talk to the locals. The barista suggested we stop at the Manchester Pub and keep an eye out for camels. We stopped for both!


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