Author Topic: Place to finish WB Northern Tier ride  (Read 4894 times)

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Offline jwrushman

Place to finish WB Northern Tier ride
« on: January 09, 2017, 10:38:14 am »
I plan to ride westbound, NJ to Anacortes, mostly using Northern Tier route in June/July of this year.  Northern Tier Route map #1 starts/ends at the Anacortes Ferry Terminal.   This doesn't seem like a very picturesque place to be finishing.  Any thoughts on places nearby?  Looking at Google Maps, Rosario Beach and Deception Pass State Park are not far away. 

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Place to finish WB Northern Tier ride
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2017, 10:48:55 am »
What are you looking for in a place to finish?  Downtown Anacortes is perhaps a mile from the ferry terminal, so you can backtrack there for transportation, housing, and food.

Offline jamawani

Re: Place to finish WB Northern Tier ride
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2017, 11:36:00 am »
No, no, no, no, no - - -

You want to get ON the ferry and go to one of the San Juan Islands.
In fact, visit more than one - once you pay the fare, it's free island to island.
Make sure to leave no later than 2:00p to get camping on the islands.

San Juan Island is the main island. Friday Harbor is a party place - loud and wild.
The county park on the west side of the island is on the water looking west for the sunset.
And there are hiker/biker sites - but they fill early in summer.

Orcas is almost as busy as San Juan - with a couple of big resorts.
The main state park is on the opposite side of the island with big climbs.
I don't find Orcas especially great for cyclists.

Shaw is tiny and remote with a small county park.
Nuns from a convent used to staff the ferry dock - it was a great sight!
But there are practically no services once you are on the island.

Lopez is my super-choice - combining the best of both worlds.
There is a west-oriented county park and a state park on the east side.
The small community has a cafe/bakery and a general store.
And riding on the island is sweet.

Good Ridin'
Best - J

Pic - MacKaye Harbor on the south end of Lopez

« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 11:45:36 am by jamawani »

Offline John Nelson

Re: Place to finish WB Northern Tier ride
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2017, 02:15:11 pm »
I went the other way, but same difference.

I rode out to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal, just because I'm a completionist and that's what you're supposed to do. You are absolutely right, however, in that there is nothing to look at there, and it would be quite a bit of work to dip your tire if that's what you had in mind.

I started (and you can end) at the Bellingham Airport. It's about a 45 mile ride from the Anacortes Ferry Terminal to the Bellingham airport along the Pacific Coast Route if you decide to go all the way to the ferry. You can skip the ferry and just turn right at Bay View and head straight for the airport, saving you the 33 miles of the round trip to the ferry and back. On this route, you'll pass right through Edison, which is as close to the water as the Anacortes Ferry Terminal is anyway.

Bellingham Airport is served by Frontier, which has attractive ticket prices and attractive prices for taking your bike on the plane. Although quite a few people dislike Frontier, I'm flown them a lot and never had any problems. Just make sure you understand their fee structure before you go so you have the option of keeping your fees low if that's important to you.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Place to finish WB Northern Tier ride
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2017, 02:47:37 pm »
Take a few more days and ride south along the Pacific Coast route from where it intersects with the Northern Tier and then take a short ferry ride to Seattle. That's what I did, only in reverse when I did the NT west to east and then part of the NT the following year.

Along the way, camp at Fort Worden State Park:

http://parks.state.wa.us/511/Fort-Worden

It's a former military base where "An Officer and a Gentleman" was filmed. Really nice place with a beach. The campground apparently fills up fast, but I believe they still have some hiker/biker spots.

My first night out from Seattle I stayed at Kitsap Memorial State Park.

Both times I stayed at Fort Worden then took the ferry from Port Townsend to Fort Casey then rode on to Bay View to camp.

Offline jwrushman

Re: Place to finish WB Northern Tier ride
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2017, 07:00:17 pm »
Thanks, everyone, for your input.  If you haven't replied yet and had some thoughts, please share. 

Starting here in north-central NJ, I was contemplating where to start my journey.  I wanted to start at the Atlantic Ocean, but what counts as "The Ocean".    I settled on Sandy Hook.  From there, it's ocean as far as you can see (3400 miles to Portugal).

Looking at the map of Washington, the first unobstructed ocean looks to be La Push, Washington.  That's another 200 miles away and farther than I want to pedal.  I think I may settle for the San Juan Islands.  I've never been there and they look beautiful.

John R

Offline jamawani

Re: Place to finish WB Northern Tier ride
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2017, 07:42:49 pm »
You do get an unobstructed view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Iceberg Point on the south end of Lopez.

http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/iceberg-point

http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2016-08-14.2913723131

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Place to finish WB Northern Tier ride
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2017, 08:04:50 pm »
I rode out to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal, just because I'm a completionist and that's what you're supposed to do. You are absolutely right, however, in that there is nothing to look at there, and it would be quite a bit of work to dip your tire if that's what you had in mind.

Not to qiubble too much, but they had an excellent frozen cheesecake dipped in dark chocolate at the cafe...

And there's a decent view of the Sound if you just go around the hill a mile or so.

Of course, you have to be a dedicated cycle tourist to think the Yorktown Monument is all that special at the eastern end of the TransAm.

Offline jwrushman

Re: Place to finish WB Northern Tier ride
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2017, 08:20:23 pm »
But is the Sound, "The Ocean".  Some would argue that the NY harbor is close enough.  I don't think so.  And the salt water and tide goes quite away up the Hudson river.  Naaaa. 

Now, to more a more important topic.  Where's that cheesecake?  It better be good!   I may be a Michigan transplant to NJ but I've grown fond of good NY cheesecake!  Without any cracks on the surface.  And not too much stuff on the top (blueberries, cherries) or too thick a crust to hide the quintessential beauty of the filling.   A fresh-brewed black coffee on the side is fine.   

JR

Offline John Nelson

Re: Place to finish WB Northern Tier ride
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2017, 10:31:21 pm »
For me personally, I call it the "ocean" if it meets three criteria: (1) it has tides, (2) the water is salty, (3) you could get in a boat here and sail to Europe or Asia. The fact that somebody put a label of strait or sea or gulf or bay or ocean on it is of no matter to me. There's a whole lot of land that is east of Anacortes. I don't want to have to get past all of it just to claim that I got to the ocean.

Offline jamawani

Re: Place to finish WB Northern Tier ride
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2017, 10:39:07 pm »
How daring are you? How flexible?

I finished yet another (bad habit) coast-to-coast this past summer.
And, yes, I wanted to go from the waves of the Pacific to the waves of the Atlantic.
Westport, Washington to Sandy Hook, NJ.
You know you can bike camp at Sandy Hook and watch the sun rise over the Atlantic?

Back to daring -
You could continue from Anacortes to Port Townsend, Port Angeles, all the way to Neah Bay.
I have done that before - spectacular out at Cape Flattery.
Tough, but stunning riding west of Port Angeles. And the Makah Museum is worth it.

But I might suggest an earlier veer off the NT route -
Are you aware of the great Missoula Floods of the last ice age?
They created Grand Coulee and other massive gashes in the earth in central Wash.

From Republic, you would head due south to Grand Coulee Dam on Hwy 21 and Manila Creek Road
Then follow Grand Coulee SW via Coulee City and Ephrata to George, Washington.
Tricky crossing the Columbia River - two ways, both a bit challenging from Exit 143 -
a. Get on I-90 and zoom downhill to the bridge - shoulders until the bridge, then none.
(But you are going downhill on the bridge westbound)
b. Take Old Vantage Highway down to the river thru Frenchman Coulee
Truly, truly spectacular - but you have to hitch across the river at the boat ramp.
The boat ramp has moderate+ usage and I have hitched across lots of rivers.

From Vantage, head west on the Old Highway to Ellensburg - early, to avoid the wind.
Then turn south thru Yakima Canyon - great riverside camping - to Selah.
Two ways to cross the Cascades - US 12, very nice - or Hwy 410, even nicer.
Because Tipsoo Lake with views of Mount Rainier is at the top at Chinook Pass.
Then it's serious, mind-blowing switchbacks down.

US 12 to Chehalis has good shoulders, moderate traffic, and lots of empty backroad sections.
West of Chehalis the Willapa Hills Trail is nice all the way to Doty then Hwy 6 to the coast.
You hit Willapa Bay at Raymond and then Hwy 105 to Westport -
with a paved dunes trail and ocean views for the last 2 miles.

(Bear in mind, as you get further west, you will likely encounter stronger headwinds.)

Mileages:

Republic to Anacortes - 270 mi., +14882 ft.
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18439769

Anacortes to Neah Bay - 170 mi., +7955 ft.
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18439891

Total - Republic to Neah Bay - 440 mi., +22837 ft.

Republic to Westport  via Hwy 410 - 483 mi., +18659 ft.
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18440007

Republic to Westport via US 12 - save 17 miles and 1000 ft.
(But you miss Tipsoo lake in August - which is unthinkable.)

Don't get me wrong - The North Cascades are lovely and I have biked it multiple times.
And the San Juans are lovely and Neah Bay is lovely, too.
But it does get a little tricky and trafficky heading all the way out to the Pacific from Anacortes.
And the route to Westport is really sweet, as well.

- - Just some ideas - -

Pic -

Frenchman Coulee and Old Vantage Highway






Offline jamawani

Re: Place to finish WB Northern Tier ride
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2017, 10:43:12 pm »
I think I have a similar definition of "ocean" as you do.
I need to see the curvature of the earth and waves coming in.
Different strokes - but that's what matters for me.


Online staehpj1

Re: Place to finish WB Northern Tier ride
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2017, 07:03:15 am »
Of course, you have to be a dedicated cycle tourist to think the Yorktown Monument is all that special at the eastern end of the TransAm.

I guess that means that I am a dedicated bicycle tourist :)
Actually I think that it is a stretch to consider Yorktown the coast, but it has a lot of tradition behind it since 1976 and Bikecentennial.  I think maybe Yorktown was special for me more because friends and family were there to greet us and throw us a picnic.

Still we went back later in the year and rode to the beach from there to make it more complete, so I guess it wasn't entirely satisfactory.

After the TA (my first tour) I really no longer care about the wheel dip or making it to the beach to complete the ride.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Place to finish WB Northern Tier ride
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2017, 10:03:05 am »
Starting here in north-central NJ, I was contemplating where to start my journey.  I wanted to start at the Atlantic Ocean, but what counts as "The Ocean".    I settled on Sandy Hook.  From there, it's ocean as far as you can see (3400 miles to Portugal).

I live in Philly and ride in NJ often. Either from home into S. Jersey or west central Jersey (Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex Counties). Have you come up with your route west from Sandy Hook? If so, I would like to see it. I am woefully ignorant concerning good routes across that part of the state and am always looking to expand my knowledge base.

And where do you intend to hook up with the Northern Tier?

Offline jwrushman

Re: Place to finish WB Northern Tier ride
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2017, 11:40:32 am »
It's funny you should ask the question about how to get away from Sandy Hook.  I was going to post that exact question to the group for input from other New Jerseyeans.   My plan was to ride from Sandy Hook to Florham Park, where I live, and start from there the next day.  But getting out of north-central NJ is a problem due to congestion.  I can go from the shore up through Rahway, Springfield and Summit, or swing west toward New Brunswick and Bound Brook before heading north. 

Heading north from NJ, I plan to pick up the NY State Bike Route, Route 9D at Bear Mountain Bridge.  Again I'll have to deal with the congestion of northern NJ.  A direct route from Florham Park would be through East Orange and Hackensack before picking up the Pallisades Parkway.  That would be suicide.  Instead, I'll mostly stick to Route 202 through Montville to Harriman and Bear Mountain SP.

From there, I parallel the Hudson River to Albany and the Erie Canal to Niagara Falls, using part of the Northern Tier Route.  I'll follow the Lake Erie Connector along the northern border of Lake Erie, across central Michigan and take the ferry to Manitowac Wisconsin.    I'll then take North Lakes Route to Minneapolis before rejoining the Northern Tier route.   Overall, it's 3700 miles over 62 days with 6 rest days and 65 miles a day when riding.  I don't have a firm end date and may add a few more rest days.