Interurban Trail to Mukilteo: 9/3/11-9/4/11

Total Distance: 70 miles

For the 3-day Labor Day weekend, the original plan was to do the first 2-nighter trip. As Friday grew closer, we had not spent the time planning that we should have. I also realized that even though camping for 2 nights would be a new adventure, I couldn’t actually cover more distance because each night would still be within a day’s ride from the house.

So we opted for a different weekend plan completely. John and I decided to take a more mellow ride and stay in a hotel. I thought it would be a nice weekend getaway but probably not even blogworthy. Even though this was a different type of trip, and it was definitely worth sharing.

The Interurban Trail starts on 110th Ave N near Green Lake and ends just south of Everett. The trail is a mix of neighborhood streets, bike lanes, and dedicated bike/pedestrian trail. You really have to pay attention to where you are going because it’s easy to get off track. Around Shoreline, there is some sort of trail construction with no info about the detour. If you stay on Meridian, you will eventually run into it again. Once you get closer to Lynnwood the signs change to a green circle with arrows telling you which way to go. These signs are often hard to see, sometimes they were on the left side of the road, and usually you had to guess to what makes sense and hope you see a sign in the next quarter mile.

Here’s an example of a sign obscured by leaves, which was also a common problem.

 

We were slowed down a bit trying to follow signs, but the route was relatively flat and the traffic was not heavy. As usual, we got a little off track. On Saturday we thought it was because our directions were out of date, but on the way back on Sunday we saw that we misinterpreted one of the arrow signs at an angled intersection.

We didn’t go too far out of the way, and we got the opportunity to stop at this beautiful park as we made our way south back to Mukilteo. We rode parallel to I-5 most of the way so there was virtually no scenery, but once we reached the water with Mt Baker in the distance, it was worth the wait!

It was a beautiful afternoon on the water. We stayed at the Silver Cloud Inn next to the ferry terminal, and we even took our bikes up the elevator to our room, really driving home the idea of the urban tour.

After a stroll on the beach, it was time for dinner at the Diamond Knot Brewery. We also grabbed a couple bombers to go and a growler to take back to Seattle. The next morning we walked up the hill in search of a breakfast spot and found a cute coffee shop with plenty of outdoor seating that overlooked the sound. It was next to Diamond Knot’s family restaurant, which I want to check out next time because there was outdoor seating.

The ride back to Seattle went more quickly, as usual, because we sort of knew where we were going. The weekend before, I rode the trail just up to Lynnwood, so I was able to navigate us through the detour in Shoreline, avoiding the mistakes I made the previous weekend.

The urban cycling obstacles included lots of bollards, some requiring dismounting the bike, and I also had the misfortune of the getting this gum all over my wheel.

What I learned: Be reasonable. We had to downgrade our original plans but ended up having a great time. Sometimes the goal is to challenge yourself physically, and sometimes the goal is to just use the bike as transportation to a fun destination.

What I noticed: There is plenty of overnight parking by the boat launch at the beach park. It looks like a safe place to leave the car in order to do an overnight on Whidbey Island.

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