Day 7 – Kalaloch Lodge to Seattle

Day 7 – Kalaloch Lodge to Seattle

2019/05 - LAX to SEA
9 May 2019 in California, Some Infidelity

Well, that went quickly.

The last day dawned early. And saw us up early, also. It was time to hit the road, and being to a close our little odyssey. It was gorgeous to wake up to a view of the ocean. A cup of coffee in the cabin before breakfast got things started, and then we packed up and headed up to the main lodge for breakfast.

A beautiful morning as the beach starts to wake up…

We’ve got a short run into Port Angeles first thing. It’s all of 91 miles, and about 2 hours of travel time. Leaving the lodge, we were once again back into the coastal highway. It was cool but bright, and the road was empty. We swept from curve to curve, enjoying the start to the day as the light filtered through the trees. The canopy was sufficiently dense that for the most part we were in shade, with a brief flash of sunlight every once in a while.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and the beautiful winding highway pretty much did that at Forks. Not that the road part ended; just the pretty part. After Forks, the road straightened out and dense forest gave way to fields and clear cut. The logging industry has been busy in these parts.

I’m pretty sure both of us were resigned to this being what the next sixty miles would look like. So I was delighted to all of a sudden glide back down into forest toad that wound its way along what turned out to be Lake Crescent. Sunlight reflected off the water and dappled the trees on both sides of the highway. We found ourselves once again on a quiet road, gliding through beautiful scenery that just kept on going.

Or at least, that kept on going right until we got to the road works. Seems there is some repair work being done on the guardrails, and so there’s a five mile long (you read that correctly) safety corridor. Flagged at each end, a pilot car escorts traffic back and forth. About every fifteen minutes or so.

Clearly we’d just missed the last batch of traffic (which is actually no bad thing; we’ll be first next time, and the cars ahead of us will be long gone by the time we get through, which means our progress should continue to be largely unimpressed. We chatted with the lady responsible for flagging traffic, who had lots of great stories to tell, as well as a recommendation to check out the ride to Hurricane Ridge above Port Angeles.

That was a recurring recommendation. When we finally pulled into town, a gentleman standing on the sidewalk introduced himself and said the same thing. Sadly, I was just passing through. Breton was staying in Port Angeles overnight, so this gave him a little bit of a side quest for the afternoon.

After a final coffee—this time at the Bada NW coffee shop—Breton and I parted ways. He had a date with Hurricane Ridge and a laundromat before catching a ferry tomorrow. I still had to get to Seattle and return the bike, before flying home early on Friday morning.

The Bada NW coffee shop. Coffee AND gin and tonics…

Love this. People have gifted coffees to others. This is the running tally.

The ride to Seattle was uneventful, but busy. I had traffic of one shape or form pretty much from Port Angeles right the way through to my destination. While Highway 3 south and Highway 16 to Tacoma weren’t massively busy, they were steady. My job was to watch traffic and stay out of its way to the greatest degree possible.

After passing the toll plaza at the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, though, I found myself in the wall-to-wall traffic of Interstate 5 northbound towards Seattle. Four or more lanes, chock full of cars, buses, trucks and the odd motorcycle. Fortunately, there is a high-occupancy vehicle lane along I-5, and motorcycles are cleared to use it. I was able to stay out of the worst of traffic, and left the highway just south of SeaTac airport.

Returning the bike was a breeze. The people at EagleRider were great, and made me feel immediately welcome. I was given the time I needed to unpack the bike and repack my bags, and in less than a half-hour I was in a taxi bound for my hotel for the evening. Dinner and an early night, and I’ll be wheels up at 7:00am.

And so it comes to an end. Seven days, 1,584 miles, 10 fuel stops, slightly more bottles of wine, some great meals and great company along the way.

A sad goodbye in Seattle. It was a great bike.

Many bugs were killed in the making of this adventure.

It was sad to say goodbye to the bike. But I’ll look forward to a future adventure. In the meantime, I’m writing my update, enjoying a Hedge Trimmer martini (a London Dry-style gin from a local Washington distillery), engaging in some epic people watching and contemplating dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Breton chose to make his own accommodation arrangements for this evening. I believe he is experiencing a slightly different environ. I may have spoiled him a little too much.

A relaxing martini as a reflect on a great trip.

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