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Messages - Itinerant Harper

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Routes / Re: Transportation options from Bar Harbor
« on: August 08, 2012, 08:11:51 am »
Hey thanks for the info. I decided to just ship my bicycle out from the Bar Harbor Bike Shop (good guys) and fly out via the BH Airport. There are plenty of other options but this seemed the easiest. Had a hard time getting train tickets and getting to places I can check baggage and the like. Would have rather done the train but what can you do?  Anyway I'm sort of surprised there isn't a page on the ACA website for transportation options at the start/end points of the various routes. I've got most of the info gathered for Bar Harbir if they want to start one  ;D

Routes / Re: Transportation options from Bar Harbor
« on: August 04, 2012, 07:11:15 am »
So it looks like you have to take the Bangor Shuttle to Bangor and from there you can take Concord Coachline directly to Boston whe one can take trains anywhere or to Portland where one can catch the Downeaster. Sort of a PITA - any better options out there?

Routes / Transportation options from Bar Harbor
« on: August 04, 2012, 06:43:26 am »
So my Northern Tier is wrapping up and I've been looking into how to get out of Bar Harbor. I want to get on the train which looks like Portland, MN is the closest stop. Anyway good ways to get there? Public Transit? Shuttle Bus? Etc.  Other options of interest as well - what do most people do?

Huh, it works for me. But I'll update it with the full Google Maps link instead of a short URL.

The above route to Fidalgo Island seems okay and the route on Fidalgo is nice, but here's the route I'd take:
Bayview to Deception Pass Bridge

I started it a Bayview State Park as that should intersect decently with any backroads route from Sedro Wooley (and maybe you'd want to camp there anyway).

This route takes you around March point, which has a refinery in the middle of it which is sort of horrific but in an industrially fascinating way.  But it's flat and along the water the entire way with views of Mount Baker/Cascades, Skagit flats, San Juan Islands and the city of Anacortes.  As you round to the western side of the point you get on a rail-trail that crosses on a long trestle right over the bay.  This will take you right into Anacortes. I changed the route to bail you off early, but if you continue on the trail you'll go into "Old Town" Anacortes where you'll find the best cafes, restaurants and pubs.  You can easily get back on this route from downtown by following M Ave south.

From Anacortes this route then takes you into the Community forest lands. There are tons of trail riding in here (though the best are a bit west of this route) but this route takes you past three lakes (Hart, Erie and Pass), Mount Erie, past two great beaches (Rosario and Bowman) and then to Deception Pass (also my childhood home at a certain point :) ). Of course both of the routes that hug the coasts are great too but this is my favorite route through the Island and keeps you the most off of Hwy 20.

General Discussion / Re: Vancouver BC to Seattle Route
« on: April 24, 2012, 05:36:54 pm »
Both routes are quite scenic but the San Juan's are a national treasure. If you can spend a few days (or more) in the Islands I would do it.

And here is the status page for the Going to the Sun Road (and other Glacier roads): Glacier National Park Current Road Conditions.

Here's the current status of Washington Pass:
We started clearing the highway Monday, March 26, and hope it can open the first week in May.

Detailed posting here: North Cascades updates 2012

Looks like it'll open a bit earlier this year than last (assuming all goes to plan). 

When I rode this last August I had three water bottles and a 1 liter vinyl water bag and that was fine for me. It was cool when I set out from Colonial Creek but warmed up plenty by the time I crested.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« on: February 15, 2012, 01:37:59 pm »
On Whidbey Island you can detour off of SR 520 a little bit north of Freeland and use Bush Point/Smugglers Cove Road. Gets you away from the traffic for a bit, and it's not too hilly. South Whidbey Island State Park is on this detour, so it's a good camping option.

Yeah I definitely agree with this as well, I ran out of time updating that map and missed that section. Might add a couple more miles but time off of 520 is worth it.  I grew up on Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands and love riding there. Lots of scenic areas and nice rides with some pretty good hills for sure.

Regarding the two options on north Whidbey, I've done both. I would take the "detour Oak Harbor" option the next time. While it is much hillier and a tad longer, the traffic is minimal and the views great. The through Oak Harbor route is shorter and flatter, but Oak Harbor This was the only place where I got honked/yelled at from my last tour between Portland and Vancouver BC.

Yeah I always go out to West Beach Road - there are a couple of tough hills (worse going North to South, but still worth it) but the scenery is fantastic and Oak Harbor is a sh*t hole (and I say that as a former resident!). Considering the hills and a fully loaded bicycle I think the 100-110 miles from SeaTac to Anacortes is pretty tough. Stopping at South Whidbey State Park is a great option but if one wanted a few more miles camping at Deception Pass State Park is another great place. That puts you right on the edge of Fidalgo Island and you could easily start the Northern Tier from that point (it'd only add maybe 15 miles).   

So here's an updated map with my absolute preferred route on the islands, which is about 110 miles:
If you stop at Deception Pass it's right about 100
Stopping at South Whidbey State Park it is 62:

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« on: February 12, 2012, 12:01:48 pm »
There is a mostly pretty great ride from Seatac to Anacortes. It's a bit over a hundred miles, so if you can do that in a day, then you can. Otherwise there are places to camp on Whidbey Island at roughly the half-way point (South Whidbey Island State Park).  This Google Maps route is pretty close to what I'd do though definitely with some tweaks:

Here's the route with some of those tweaks that adds about 5 miles, but adds some very scenic, lower traffic riding on Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands:

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