It's finally starting to get "hot" here in the PNW. Temps have been in the high 80s, rivers are running low, and everybody has their boat out on the water as much as possible.
I don't have that luxury of boating, but I can take advantage of the abundant sunshine that hasn't seemed to go away since I got here just over two months ago. Not sure where all the rain is, everyone I've talked to outside of Seattle has said: "It rains so much, it always rains", and well, I don't believe it. There is often a nightly refresher; you wake up and everything is cool from an overnight shower or two, then it's cloudy for a few hours, and after that the sun pops and it's a really nice day.
On Friday, August 14th, I was able to dip out of work about two hours earlier than normal, a huge benefit to having a slightly flexible schedule. I took advantage of those two hours by getting stuck in traffic on my way up to Bellingham to go mountain biking, seems like everybody gets out of work and immediately heads north on Fridays. It is what it is, not much you can do about it other than wait it out because in the end, the benefits outweigh the cost.
The destination for this quick Friday spin: Larrabee State Park. The drive itself curved it's way up the coast on WA state route 11 (felt like home driving on route 11 again). The road was barely wide enough for two cars with the ocean side being a cliff most of the way up. Gorgeous drive, plenty of places to stop and take in the views of the Washington and British Columbian coastal islands.
I hadn't been to Larrabee before so I really didn't know what to expect. The reviews I read on MTB Project were that the downhill was good, with some no fall zones, and a good variety of flow and fast chop. Safe to say, the reviews I read were spot on.
The climb was a fairly easy one, ~2000 vertical feet over about ~3 miles on a forest service road. The views on the way up were a pleasant surprise, definitely will need to take my camera up one of these days.
Views of Mount Baker from the end of the Ridge Trail
A glimpse of Bellingham Bay and the coastal islands
The main downhill trails are Double Diamond and Double Down. Double Diamond was really good. Flow mixed with some rooted sections made for a fun descent. Found myself on the inside line on a few turns, turns that were much sharper than expected, which led to some high speed washouts. Not ideal but I stayed wheels down for the most part.
Double Down is a miniature freeride paradise. There are slightly bigger features, drops, rock rolls, a goal-post like jump that Lunar Larry would have a great time with. Certainly a place for with some incredible photo options. It's nothing like what you have on Mohawk over at Galby, but it's not as man-made and it has this true freeride, guerrilla type feel. Just need to find a rider willing to hike-a-bike for an hour or two...especially during some golden hour light from a coastal sunset...
One of the drop features on Double Down, this one is ~5'
Saturday was a different experience.
The Plan: mountain biking in the morning, followed by a potential road ride in the afternoon.
What actually happened: not that. Not even close to that.
I skipped out on the morning mountain bike ride because the 0500 wake up was not happening, so I figured a longer road ride for the afternoon would be worthwhile.
Plan: maybe 50 miles depending on how I felt after the first 30.
What actually happened: 75 miles? 75 miles. Seventy. Five. Miles. Not the plan.
I found out that I bonk at mile 50, and, at least currently, don't really enjoy going farther than that. All I wanted to do was to go home and lay on the floor. Mile 50 was when I was somewhere on the east side of Lake Washington just north of Renton, which, spoiler alert, very much not my living room.
This was not the original plan, but it worked out
Although the ride took me places I wasn't expecting, the views of Mount Baker, with Bellevue, I-90, and Lake Washington in the foreground, were quite incredible. I didn't take any photos because, quite simply, I didn't have the energy to do so. Photos shouldn't be rushed anyways, it's all about being in the right place at the right time.
Sunday was spent recovering. My Dad sent out my Canon photo printer last week so the in-home photo studio is back up and running! I'm sorting out my mounting capabilities right now, so prints will be available again soon. It's much different not having a garage full of power tools to work with, but it'll work itself out, just need to be creative. There are going to be a lot of updates coming to the shop over the next few weeks, and be on the lookout for more updates regarding ordering and lead times. As always, feel free to reach out if you want more information on prints!
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