Last week I got to play the part of conference spouse in sunny Seattle and I made the most of my spousetivities! On the itinerary: bike tour, Red Hook Brewery, coffee, photography, and get lost in the Pacific Northwest. Nailed it! Post-conference my wife and I spent the weekend in Tacoma with my sister and her family where we got over to Mt. Rainier National Park for a hike and Gig Harbor to kayak. It was an adventure packed four day vacation. The vacation, summarized by photos (many of which were edited and manipulated using Google Picassa):
Thursday, 8/2/12, bike tour. 72 miles around Seattle & lakes. Click image for additional detail of ride from Garmin Connect.
Thanks to the Bicycle Repair Shop for emailing with me back and forth prior to my trip and then setting me up with a great bike! Top notch service – thanks guys!
Located under the 99 near the Ferry terminal and only a couple blocks from our hotel, the Bicycle Repair Shop has a great vibe and had me prepped for a great ride!
The start of the trip on the Seattle waterfront.
Obligatory Seattle landmark shot!
I started the ride around 10am under a hazy sky. I liked how the bay looked with the old industrial mill/grain facility in the foreground with Seattle and the Space Needle in the background.
Taken from a similar location to the photo above but I really liked how blue flowers adjacent to the trail paired with the imagery behind.
The bike trail cuts through the Interbay train depot before heading over the Salmon Bay via the Ballard Locks.
The Ballard Locks allows boats to pass from the Puget Sound to Lake Union and Lake Washington. It also houses a salmon fish ladder which allows salmon to (hopefully) find their native tributaries and spawn.
That’s some good eating! Salmon on display next to the fish ladder. A kids group had just come in to hear the docent talk about salmon and I was able to get in and out to continue my ride!
A flat 12 miles into the ride! Thankfully, it happened right next to a small local bike shop, Rosebud Cyclery. Perhaps that’s a sales tactic?
University of Washington. I was going to get a shot of their football stadium and Lake Washington but the stadium is under construction.
Leaving Seattle. Along the Burke-Gilman trail heading north on the west shore of Lake Washington.
Burke-Gilman trail near Lake Forest Park at the top of Lake Washington.
Art reflecting life on the Burke-Gilman trail.
I’ve always wanted to fly in a sea-plane. Still on the bucket list.
Always a good idea when quasi-unsure-of-one’s-direction-in-an-unfamiliar-city to follow the locals! Once the Burke-Gilman trail ended I caught up with this friendly local who guided me to Red Hook Brewery!
Red Hook mother-load! Lock me up and call it prison!
Apparently, I wasn’t the only person with the grand plan of riding a bike to Red Hook!
Appetizer: pretzel & beer!
Turkey burger & chips (& beer)
National IPA day, 8/2/12
As luck would have it, I walked into Red Hook Brewery on national IPA day so I had to partake & ordered a Big Ballard IPA which isn’t bottled. Damn tasty! I spent an hour there and could have easily spent more time sampling the different beers. Next time . . .
Post Red Hook, heading south on the Sammamish River Trail towards Lake Sammamish.
Wait – a velodrome??!! Oh snap – here’s something I can check off on my bucket list!
A race is on! Here’s hoping I can keep up with these kids. . .
Grinning like a kid. That was fun!! Ok – back to the trail.
The sign should also mention “and turns to gravel” East shore of Lake Sammamish.
Pit stop for directions on how to re-locate the I-90 bike trail which parallels…you’re right… the I-90. I suppose I’m already rocking biodiesel at this point!
I-90 trail surrounded by water, bridges, kayaks, & bikes.
Heading over to Mercer Island & going over the eastern shore of Lake Washington headed west towards Seattle.
Time to try a floating bridge from Mercer Island to Seattle with the skyscrapers peeking over the hills.
Re-entering Seattle 70 miles later. Time to hunt down a latte!
Head on a swivel…. after riding bike trails I was back into self-defense mode riding in the city.
Overall, I would classify this as an epic ride because I got to wander around unexplored areas and was rewarded with some spectacular scenery to take in and food to digest. Credit to Seattle and the surrounding region for putting together an extensive trail network for residents and tourists to enjoy. I would estimate that of my 72 miles, 60 miles were spent on dedicated bike paths! Other cities take note.
Here are some additional photos from the rest of the vacation:
Gas Works Park in Seattle
Berries exploding in Gas Works Park, Seattle
Old pipes leftover in Gas Works Park, Seattle
Sitting on Pinnacle Peak looking out at Mt. Rainier.
Knotty pine with Mt. Adams in the distance from atop Pinnacle Peak, Mt. Rainier National Park.
Mt. Adams from the comfort of row 23 heading back to Orange County.
Beetlejuiced! Looking down from Pinnacle Peak.
Kayaking in Gig Harbor with my wife.
My sister, brother-in-law, and nephew in Gig Harbor.
A great 4 day vacation!