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Messages - doug_in_seattle

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Gear Talk / Re: Rack Platforms
« on: June 09, 2011, 03:16:08 pm »
In my experience, lashing stuff on top of a rack is problematic.  I thought I could use a cargo net pulled tight to hold a tent and sleeping pad on top of my rear rack, but I found it was much too unstable when strapped lengthwise.  However, if you strap the load crosswise, which many people do, then you can't get into your rear panniers.  My solution was to cram my tent and sleeping pad into a dry bag, and lash it lengthwise with two straps which I pulled really tight, and then I strapped my cargo net over that, but it was a pain to setup in the morning.

I don't think you need a net.  I find that using two REI brand straps (with buckles) secures my sleeping bag and pad very well.  No issues even when riding rough forest roads.  It only takes a couple minutes to secure everything, too. 

Gear Talk / Re: Packing Thermarest
« on: October 14, 2010, 09:52:08 pm »
I feel like I should mention that while Therm-A-Rests are indeed waterproof, one might want to think twice before plopping a down sleeping bag onto a wet pad.  Keep it dry!

I keep my down sleeping bag dry by placing a plastic trash bag in the stuff sack before stuffing the bag in.  I keep my Therm-A-Rest dry by rolling my tent's ground tarp around it.  If things are really wet out, I will wrap my pad in its own plastic bag.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Best roads in your area of the PNW
« on: October 14, 2010, 09:41:49 pm »
One of my favorite ways to get out of the suburbs near Seattle is May Valley Road.  Very bucolic, relatively little traffic.  Another road I love is High Bridge road, which follows the contours of the lower Snoqualmie Valley near Maltby.  My favorite roads are dead-end dirt roads that lead into the mountains, though.

General Discussion / Re: Sea-Tac to Anacortes by air?
« on: October 14, 2010, 11:47:09 am »
Hi, I live in Seattle.  Here's how I would do it:

1. Get off plane, take LINK Light rail to Westlake Station, which is downtown.  This is about $5.

2.  Take bikes to Elliot Bay Bicycles, which is one of the best shops in Seattle.  It's just a few blocks from the light rail station.

3.  While they're building up your bikes, browse the Pike Place Market which is a block away from Elliot Bay. (edit:  I've never had a shop build my bikes for a trip, is this something you'd have to wait a couple days for?  Call the shop, I guess.)

4.  Spend the night in Seattle.

5. Ride to the train station (on the southern edge of downtown on Jackson St.) for the Amtrak Cascades, which allows you to roll your bikes on board (there are bike hooks in the baggage car) and ride it to Mt. Vernon.  The ticket would probably be about $25 with the bike surcharge.

Mt. Vernon is basically on the route, so it would be a good starting point.

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