Riding to Poulsbo…

This past weekend was lovely and quite unexpectedly so. I was planning on going up to Victoria, but changed my plans when I realized that I was riding up to Whistler the next weekend. I decided instead to go with Vagabiker to the “Fall Down” party in Poulsbo held every year by the sales manager of Southsound BMW. Since this meant going over to the Kitsap Peninsula, I figured I might as well make a day of it and bring the XT to go off-road.

Late Friday evening out meant waking up late Saturday morning and we still needed to get packed and ready for camping that night. We also tried to make a GPS route of the route we wanted to take between Lake Cushman and Quilcene. This meant getting a late start on our ride. One of the ferries to Bremerton wasn’t working so we were forced to take the ferry to Bainbridge Island and ride south towards Bremerton. For some reason this took forever. It was raining a lot at the start of the trip and I was a little wary about being rained on and miserable for the rest of the day. Once we got past Belfair though, the rain let up. The road between Belfair and Union was twisty and brilliant. We reached the start of the trail almost at 4PM. I guess we should have checked road conditions because quite a few roads dead ended and led to nowhere and we were unable to find a path that led north. Bummer!

It was brilliant getting to practice riding offroad though. After the initial few roads and hiccups, I even started standing on the footpegs and riding quite comfortably that way. My biggest fear was not being able to react or brake in time, but I think that that will come with practice.

After about an hour of trying to find the route and failing, we got back on 101 and decided to just follow it up north along the Hood Canal and then turn east at the tip across the Hood Canal Bridge to Poulsbo. It had started to get dark by then and the fog made everything look spooky and mysterious. I found myself wondering how it was that I was having way more fun throwing around my 250cc dirt bike around the corners compared to my 650cc sportsbike. :)

We reached Poulsbo at around 8PM and decided to stop at a grocery store to pick something up for the party. We had intended to just go eat dinner at the party, but by this time we were so tired and hungry that we made our way to the downtown area (which was very charming!) and went to a European restaurant that he had been to before. Tizzley’s was great if a bit expensive. He got Jaegershnitzel and I got Swedish meatballs, both of which were very good. Mmm… good food at the end of a good ride, and the night was just beginning.

By the time we got to the party, it was already underway. We set up camp in the dark and headed over to the main area. There were many new faces and a few old friends whom I was happy to see. Whiskey and beer seemed to be the order of the night, but the beer was all gone and we didn’t want to drink whiskey all night, so we ended up drinking the wine we had brought. :P After many good conversations and cuddling by the fire, the night ended with a block of an old Volkswagen engine case made of magnesium getting ignited in the fire. Amid shouts of – “Don’t look at it! Don’t breathe the fumes!”, we headed away from the fire and retired to the tent for a very sound night’s sleep.

The next morning I had a change to actually see where we were. Camping in a field full of motorcyclists is quite something and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. We lingered over breakfast and coffee and more conversation before saying our goodbyes.

It was a brilliant day out and we decided to ride north to Port Townsend and catch the ferry to Langley and then to Mukilteo before heading back to Seattle. As it turns out, we weren’t able to do quite this because we didn’t plan enough with the ferry schedules, and ended up riding back to the Bainbridge Island ferry, but we did get some good riding in. And hanging around Port Townsend is always lovely. We rambled around Fort Warden a little bit, took a look at some of the old war bunkers and checked out the lighthouse before heading to the downtown area for a good meal at an underground Victorian cafe (antipasto salad, black bean soup and roast beef sandwiches).

The day ended with taking the ferry back to Seattle and home. I was way more tired than I had expected, but that’s the sign of a good weekend, isn’t it? :)