Miles today: 192 Total miles: 5,202
By cutting our day short yesterday, we left ourselves an ambitious day of riding to make Seattle by tonight. We also had a few stretches where we had to go on divided highways and freeways for a few miles. It's not a fun feeling to be doing 45 or so when the traffic behind you is doing 60 or 65. I kept a close eye on what was approaching behind us, but there were a few cars that cut it pretty close when passing us. I always leave myself room to bail out to the shoulder if the car behind me isn't looking like they're going to go around, and I had to use that a few times today, which isn't a good feeling. When you ride, or drive, for that matter, you always want to leave yourself some "outs" which is what that shoulder is for me. So when I have to use that to avoid oncoming traffic, i don't leave myself anywhere else to go. I really don't like that feeling and that's why we've been doing all we can to avoid highways.
We got off the bike after one particularly hairy stretch, and Sharon said that quote above. We decided to take a nice, long break at the gas station and get some coffee/hot chocolate. We spent a little while just not thinking about the bike, and then we got out the map to look for a better way to get to Seattle. We found some county roads and cobbled together a new route that would take us a little out of our way, but would give us some kinder speed limits and less traffic. The good news for her was that she only had a few miles to go before she could get off the bike for good. When we got back on, the ride was much nicer. This turned out to be a really good decision, and we saw some great views of a few rivers. The huge plus was that we only saw a few cars in 2 hours or so before we got back on more primary roads near Puget Sound.
The route we took put us on a ferry into Seattle, which is one of the coolest ways I have ever entered a city. We came in around 10 at night, and the whole city was lit up. It was pretty cold, but we stood on the bow for a little bit to take in the view. I had also never been on a ferry before that carried cars, and it was pretty cool to just ride my bike onto a boat.
One of the first things I noticed about Seattle is that it's nearly as hilly as San Francisco in some spots. Not fun with 2 riders on a bike. We made it in fine to Sam and Sean's place (Sharon's friends from school - seriously this girl knows someone in every city in the US) and then we walked a few blocks to the bar where they were, called Canterbury Ales (insert groan). We had a couple drinks and then crashed at Sam/Sean's place. It's good to be in one place for a while and I'm glad we made it in today.