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We Flew to Friday Harbor with our Bike Fridays

On Saturday we decided to see if the new bikes would fit nicely in the Cirrus, so we planned a flight up to Friday Harbor for lunch and a ride. This photo on takeoff is blurry because my camera focused on a dead bug on the windshield instead of the runway, but I still kinda like it:


Here are the bikes in their bags tucked nicely in the back of the plane (that's the luggage door open, on the right, but I took this photo before we took off, don't worry):


The flight up to the San Juans is always such a gorgeous flight and the weather on Saturday could not have been better.

Mt. Rainier off the wing:


The Olympic range:


Approaching Friday Harbor:


Right over the airport:


We got the bikes out and unfolded them and off we went into town for some lunch.


We have a favorite spot we like for lunch in Friday Harbor called Downriggers. It's right on the water with a nice big outdoor deck where you can watch the ferry and the fishing boats and sailboats go in and out of the marina. As we got down to the waterfront, um, well, there was nothing but an empty lot surrounded by chain link fence where Downriggers used to be:


Unfortunately, in August of 2013 the building burned down (electrical fire, accident, 2:30 in the morning) and we hadn't heard. (Even though as I searched the blog for the last time we were there, which was July 2013, I noticed a comment from our friend Eric telling us of such news…somehow I missed that I guess!) 

Anyway, they are rebuilding and will be back! But as a backup, we ate at the place across the street called Cask & Schooner and it was great! Not the same view as Downriggers, but the burger and the fish & chips we shared were both very good.

After we'd had lunch, we browsed a map of the island on my iPhone and planned a rough route across the island and around one end, and then headed out. Although this is not a particularly mountainous island (like, say Orcas Island is), this was still a hilly, hilly ride! Gorgeous, but hilly. It mostly looked like this (but with more hills). I wasn't going to stop on a hill to take a photo because, well, starting back up on a hill is hard.


Horses running (there were also deer, and alpacas):


We rode about 20 miles with about 1250 feet of climbing overall (Tuscany, here we come!) It was basically this ride, with a couple more miles in while we were bopping from the airport to town and around:


My top speed was about 35mph. Bet you can tell where that was:


The flight home ending up being a sunset flight and was just beautiful! Islands at dusk:



Olympics at sunset:


In the early days when I was in art school, when we first started coming to the San Juan Islands, we used to drive up to Anacortes after work and school (about a 4 hour drive without traffic), our backpacks loaded up with our tent, candle lantern, sleeping bag, Thermarests (and our titanium spork, of course). We'd sleep in the back of our old Ford Explorer overnight at the nearby campground, and catch an early ferry over to Orcas Island in the morning (about an hour ferry ride). From there we'd head over to Doe Bay Resort (about a half hour drive) and get a campsite (Lone Pine was our favorite). We used to say two days of vacation there felt like a week of vacation anywhere else…it was so relaxing (hot tub, sauna, cafe, great views, generally chill atmosphere). But man it was an ordeal to get up there. Those were wonderful times, and these are wonderful times as well. Now, we can be on Orcas or San Juan in just over an hour, and we can take our bikes! We just need to find the Lone Pine equivalent in a little hotel or B&B and we're set. Or maybe we'll just dust off our backpacking gear and strap it to the bikes!