Northwest Tandem Rally
The Tandem Rally was held in Sequim, WA this year. As we have done in the past, we decided to do a trip starting with the rally and then having some time on the Olympic Peninsula. We booked a spot at the Port Angeles KOA where we hae stayed before.
Day 1 ~ Friday 3/26: The first day of the tandem rally is checking in and doing an unsupported ride if you wish. We took the Tandem to Port Townsend to check things out. We have been to Port Townsend many times and always enjoy kicking around there. We rode the tandem out to Fort Worden and looked around a bit. There is a Rhododendron park there that we had never seen before so we took a little stroll through that. After our ride we met up with Liz’s sister Cathy and her husband Dan for a bite to eat before heading back to register for the rally.
Day 2 ~ Saturday: Rally Day 1 – We started the day with a mass start at 8:00 AM. At 50 degrees, it was a cold start. This was not a great start for the tandem rally. The first stop had basically no food, just some peanut butter pretzels and such which they ram out of. The stop had only 2 sani-cans, so we waited about a half hour before we could continue. This of course chilled us again. With the long wait at the first stop, the second stop also ran out of food before we got there. By the time we got back to the finish, we were pretty frustrated. We chatted with Cathy & Dan a bit and met up with some of our friends from previous rallies. We finished out the day with the Rally Banquet where we sat with friends from previous rallies, Tom & Diane, Rob & Vicki, and a couple that Tom & Diane met.
Day 3 ~ Sunday: Rally Day 2 – The second day of the rally was again a very cold start, however the rest of the ride was really fun. We had a nice lunch BBQ following the ride where we met Mary & Charlie, a couple from Denver. The BBQ was catered by the same vendor that provided the food at the banquet. Corvallis, OR was announced as the venue for 2024. After the BBQ we walked around the vendor fair and bumped into some riders we have met in the past. We met with Tom & Diane and crew for dinner.Unfortunately, with it being Memoroial Day, the only place we coud get a table was at the Black Bear Diner, not exactly a 5-Star experience.
Day 4 ~ Monday: We had a quiet morning before meeting up with Charlie & Mary for a walk along the Elwha River. We hd been wanting to see this area, a dam had been removed several years ago as a step to restore the Elwha River Valley. The river is very nice, however the hike was more of a walk along a road that is not being used due to a washout. We chatted with MAry & Charlie and got to know them a bit. We ended the day meeting Charlie & Mary for dinner, another poor venue choice at Seven Brothers, which turned out to be at the casino.
Day 5 ~ Tuesday: No Agenda, we just went into Port Angeles and walked around. Good to be back to just us!
Day 6 ~ Wednesday: Discovery Bay. We checked out the Discovery Bay Trail, a nice 4 mile hike near Port TownsendAfter the hike went into Port Townsend for some treats and tea. A nice quite day, just the two of us. The Discovery by Trail was a great find, we ended up with about 4 miles.
Day 7 ~ Thursday: Spruce Railroad Trail. The Spruce Railroad Trail is on the back side of Lake Crescent. Liz and I had ridden the trail years ago on mountain bikes before, and really had a great time. They have since “improved” the trail and paved it. We went to ride the trail with our e-bikes today. It was beautiful, as we remembered, however it no onger goes by the Devil’s Punch Bowl. That is on a detour we took around the long tunnel which was closed before. The end result is that it is a great rail trail conversion but it lost a lot of the charm it had before being improved.
Day 8 ~ Friday: Dungeness Wildlife Refuge. The Dungeness Spit is a big part of this refuge and a large area is closed off and protected. There is still a long hike out to the lighthouse (5 miles one way) that we have done before. We explored the area and walked the sand a ways. This was much more pleasant than the last time which was very windy.
Day 9 ~ Saturday: Whidbey Island. The south end of Whidbey Island is accessed by a ferry from Port Townsend. We took the e-bikes across on the ferry and then explored Fort Casey a bit. After Fort Casey, we rode into Coupeville for lunch. We found Ciao, a great little roadside Italian Store/Cafe where we had a really great pizza and a desert. After lunch we explored the area a bit and rode out along Penn Cove a bit to see the mussel farm. Whidbey Island is very scenic and there appears to be a lot of low traffic rural riding.
Day !0 ~ Sunday: No Agenda. A quiet day at the trailer. We dis laundry and just took an easy day
Day 11 ~ Monday: Victoria B.C. We starte the day early with a ferry ride to Vancouver Island. We took the e-bikes and rode from Victoria to the Butchart Gardens.As always, the gardens were great. They do a good job maintaining and prepping the gardens for people to enjoy any season of the year. The bike riding in Victoria is amazing. They have reallly done a fantastic job of creating bikeways that are safe and easy to maneuver. The bikes have lanes that are protected and isolated while walker use the sidewalk. We described it a a bike freeway. In fact, the car traffic has stop signs so bikes have the right of way. It was a long but very enjoyable day, leaving the trailer at 6:30 AM and returning at 10 PM.
Day 12 ~ Tuesday: Hiking Peabody Creek. This trail staets at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center. We have been here many ties in the past and thought this to be just a half mile nature trail. Se discovered on All Trails, that there is a 5 mile hike that branches off from the nature th=rail so we decided to check it out. It was a really nice out and back trail, although it dose climb all the way out, about 4400 feet of elevation. It was a great hike and we were pretty spent by the end of the day, following a long previous day.
Day 13 ~ Wednesday: Railroad Bridge Park. For our last day on this trip, we visited Railroad Bridge Park in Sequim. We had been to the park several years ago and one of the tandem rally routes went across the bridge and through the park. When we rode through during the rally, we hardly recognix=zed it, it has had many improvements since we last visited, including rerouting the bike trail and a completely new visitor center. The bridge has an interesting history , and the Audubon center is really interesting to visit.