Week On Olympic Peninsula – Volume II

Have you read Volume I? In that post, I talk about the route, itinerary, and highlight some of the favorite spots. This is Volume II where I will get back to talking about bike camping, and what went right, and what I learned.

This was our longest tour to date, having been on mostly overnighters. I would say weekend tours are our specialty. Usually a weekend is all the time we can spend away from our full-time jobs. Weekend trips also provide lots of opportunities to try new gear, new routes, and any other new ideas we come up with.

We can handle two days and one night of bad weather, lousy food, and not sleeping. But seven days away from home meant we had to take a few things much more seriously than we usually do.

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Week On Olympic Peninsula – Volume I

The epic week around Olympic Peninsula became a reality!


July 2014, John and I¬†finished our longest tour yet at 3 full days, and we started seriously talking about a week-long tour. The following weekend, our precious bikes were stolen from our condo garage while we were sleeping. The theft stalled our touring plans for the rest of the season. That’s why we were so eager to do some cold weather trips earlier this year.

Less than a year later we had new and upgraded bikes, a new house where we had better storage solutions, and a determination to literally get back in the saddle.

Most of the blogs, forums, and facebook pages I find are about tours that last week to months to even years, many of them international. When John and I decided to use our summer vacation to take a 1-week tour around the Olympic Peninsula, once again we felt like there was a lack of information about a mere 1-week trip. How much should we bring? How far can we expect to ride on consecutive days? The long distance tourers seem to do a lot more sight-seeing, travel less daily miles, and take frequent rest days (also laundry days). Here was the only information I found from someone doing a similar trip.¬†Circling the Olympic Peninsula 2008. Skyler’s account gave me hope that our plans were totally possible.


The Basics:
Around 400 miles in 7 days
Day 1: Seattle to Potlatch State Park – 50 miles
Day 2: Sequim Bay State Park – 70 miles
Day 3: Klahowya Campground – 60 miles
Day 4: Kalaloch Campground – 60 miles
Day 5: Lake Quinault Lodge – 40 miles
Day 6: Ocean City State Park – 45 miles
Day 7: Olympic Club Hotel in Centralia, WA – 80 miles
Day 8: AMTRAK back to Seattle
I’m not going to do a step-by-step trip log because we were almost always on the main road that one would use to drive to these locations (mostly US 101). If you happen to have a question about any specifics, feel free to ask in the comments section.
This blog post is to celebrate some of our favorite parts of the tour we’ve been dreaming about for a year.
The Highlights:
Lake Crescent
I had been worried about the 9-mile stretch of road through Olympic National Park bordering Lake Crescent since John first mentioned 101. If you’ve ever driven it, it is curvy with limited sight lines, no shoulder, lots of logging trucks, and recreational vehicles. Also it has a spectacular view that is too hard to look at because you are busy paying attention to the road. By bike, it turns out it was quite the opposite!
At either end, bikes are encouraged to activate a signal that includes 1-hour of a flashing light on a “bikes on roadway” sign.
On a Wednesday afternoon, the cars usually gave a good buffer while passing, there were limited RVs, and most of the logging trucks were going the other direction. There was a pullout every mile or so that was easy to pull over and look around for a minute, something I wouldn’t do in a car.
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