Author Topic: Chip seal on 101 on Washington Parks Route (map 1 - Olympics)  (Read 729 times)

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Offline esassaman

I read a comment in the map purchage page for this route that the DOT is resurfacing 101 with chip seal. Has anyone been on this route recently? What are the roads like? The route looks very interesting to me for a short trip but not if it's all chip sealed, ugh.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Chip seal on 101 on Washington Parks Route (map 1 - Olympics)
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2013, 06:08:54 am »
Don't let chipseal, per se, scare you off.  In the southeast U.S., where I'm from, chipseal denotes one (small) step above gravel or dirt roads with plenty of potholes.  Washington (and Montana), on the other hand, do a decent job of chipseal, using small, often rounded, gravel.  The ride isn't quite as smooth as well paved fresh asphalt, but it's usually quite tolerable.  Much better than asphalt over old concrete, for example.

That said, I don't know the specifics of what they're using in the Olympics.  Hope it's better than the sharpened boulders California put down last year!

Offline MrBent

Re: Chip seal on 101 on Washington Parks Route (map 1 - Olympics)
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2013, 05:57:25 am »
Sadly, chip seal is becoming a fact of life on a lot of US roads.  In riding the Rocky Mtns. from Jasper, Alberta, to Mexico, we encounter long, long sections of the stuff, sometimes with pretty large, sharp little boulders.  It flat out sucks.  It's cheap and fast, so get used to seeing more of it.  There was a HUGE outcry when Caltrans laid down a 20 mile stretch of this junk between Ragged Pt. and Cambria on the Pacific Coast route.  Supposedly, they're looking at ways to smooth it out.  Every official who okays a chip seal job should be forced to walk it--on his knees.  That would change things pretty quick.  Arrrrgh.

Scott

Offline Itinerant Harper

Re: Chip seal on 101 on Washington Parks Route (map 1 - Olympics)
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2013, 07:45:43 am »
I rode Washington Parks map 1 last year and living in the area plenty of bits of it in the year since. There is plenty of chip seal on the route but there has not been any sort of complete chip sealing of 101 - I think I encountered more chipseal on the side roads and smaller highways on the route.  There are definitely some places where you are riding on it for many miles but often there will be places where the shoulder was left unsealed and you can ride in relative ease there.  All that being said, this is some fantastic riding and I wouldn't let chip seal deter me.

Offline esassaman

Re: Chip seal on 101 on Washington Parks Route (map 1 - Olympics)
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2013, 12:32:31 pm »
Awesome thank you. I did decide to go, maps are ordered and on the way. Very much looking forward to it as I've never even driven that way before so it will all be new to me. Just hope the weather holds up! How's the camping along the route? Any other advice or gotchas you can give about the route or anything along the way? Best places to stay/not stay?

Offline scottb

Re: Chip seal on 101 on Washington Parks Route (map 1 - Olympics)
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2013, 08:46:21 pm »
I just rode that route a few weeks ago. There's some chip seal, but it's not terrible. There were a few miles on a back road that they were just putting on that were really bad and a bit dangerous. It was only a few miles though and there was little traffic as well as a reduced speed limit.

The ride is really nice! I went counter clock-wise so keep that in mind with the following.

Sequim Bay State Park was a nice campground, on the water and the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT) goes right through the campground. The Olympic Discovery Trail goes a bit farther than the map tells you. When you get into Port Angeles (going CCW) stop by the visitor center right on the water next to the ferry and get a map. I strongly recommend taking the ODT out of town to its end. You end up on an incredible bridge over the Elwha River. If you have an extra hour I also strongly recommend back tracking a little bit once you get to the highway to go see the Elwha dam removal site. you can walk out on the closed dam road and go into what was the reservoir to see the plant regrowth since they drained it.

Lyre River Campground was great. There's water and toilets but no showers. However it's free and right on the river. When I stayed there it was deserted.

I went into the Hoh Rainforest to look around and go for a hike which was nice. I set up camp at the Minnie Peterson campground, another free one that only had toilets, no water. Then Biked unloaded the rest of the way into the forest. I was on the road pretty early and there was very little traffic however judging by the parking lot when I got back from the hike the traffic picks up quite a bit. It's a beautiful ride.

I stayed at the falls creek campground at Lake Quinault. The walk in sites were nice, but a bit expensive, $15. There's a nice little store and restaurant across the road. The campgrounds don't have showers, but you can pay to use showers at the lodge.

I stayed at Lake Sylvia State Park outside of Monsanto. It was nice, but nothing special. It was packed when I was there, but it was a Friday night. The road to get there actually starts as 3rd in town, not what the map says. I ate breakfast at the bee hive restaurant and highly recommend it.

I hope you enjoy the ride.

-Scott




Offline johnsondasw

Re: Chip seal on 101 on Washington Parks Route (map 1 - Olympics)
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2013, 08:29:18 am »
  Washington (and Montana), on the other hand, do a decent job of chipseal, using small, often rounded, gravel.  The ride isn't quite as smooth as well paved fresh asphalt, but it's usually quite tolerable.  Much better than asphalt over old concrete, for example.

This is not true in Kittitas County in Central Washington where I  live. Here, they will take roads that are in good shape and ruin then with chip seal that uses sharp pieces of basalt.  When you ride into it, you can watch your speedometer immediately drop 1-2 mph.  Also, they use so little oil that the sharp rocks fly all over the place and when they do stay put the sharp points stick way up. 
May the wind be at your back!

Offline Itinerant Harper

Re: Chip seal on 101 on Washington Parks Route (map 1 - Olympics)
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2013, 09:51:39 am »
Scotttb has it pretty right on - I've stayed at/eaten/etc most of those places he cites and can second them.  Apart from that a few things:
- All the National campgrounds are great and you can't go wrong with them.
- Allow yourself some time at the coast. 101 skirts the Quinault Indian Reservation so really isn't on the coast all that long. Stay at South Beach or Kalaloch and spend some time at the beach. Great lodge at Kalaloch and a little store so I've always stayed there. The coast is pretty wild this far up and while always windy and can be cold is fantastic.
- Plenty to do at Lake Quinault with a number of national parks there plus several commercial. Several lodges, restaurants, stores and so on.
- Take the side trip to the Hoh and spend at least one day there. Plenty of fantastic hikes, hot springs and rain forest info and such there.
- I took a side trip up to Neah Bay and hiked out to Cape Flattery (the most NW point in the state). This was well worth doing and the road - which is a there and back situation - is incredibly scenic.  You can get to this by turning left (NW) onto 112 where the route splits off of 113 (heading east on 112) if going CW. Neah Bay and the Cape are on the Makah Indian Reservation and there is apparently camping up there which I hadn't known so I camped just outside the Res at Snow Creek Fishing resort which is a fisherman's place but has a nice wooded camping area off from the main boat ramp. http://www.snowcreekwa.com
- Port Angeles has several brewpubs if that's your thing (it is mine!) Peaks is great and there is another tiny one just a few blocks from there: Barhop  There is also a great Co-op where you can get bulk foods along with all the other amenities.
- Definitely stick with the Olympia Discovery Trail. From Port Angeles it heads right to Sequim Bay State Park which has h/b sites and is a cute little park on the bay.
-Port Townsend of course has the Port Townsend Brewery and the Pourhouse, both south of downtown by the marina for the beer drinking. In downtown proper among the bookstores and knicknack shops are several cycling shops if the need arises, Waterfront Pizza which has HUGE slices,  Elevated Ice Cream which makes their own and Better Living Through Coffee - my favorite coffee shop on the peninsula.

There is of course tons more. If you are going to Anacortes and beyond I have a much better route than the Adventure Cycling Route plus plenty of info on Whidbey, Fidalgo, Anacortes, Skagit Valley and so on.  Anyway this is a beautiful area that I really love so you'll have a great time. Enjoy the ride!
« Last Edit: August 04, 2013, 09:54:43 am by Itinerant Harper »

Offline esassaman

Wow you guys are great and these are the kinds of posts that make this forum so crazy valuable. Excellent tips like that make all the difference in the world!! I'll definitely be taking a copy of this thread with me and hit all those spots for sure! Thank you!

The good news is that I don't have a fixed time schedule so I can wander off on some side trips all I want. I'm really looking forward to this trip now!