Cycling the West Coast: Beautiful Gardens and Sloppy Grilled Cheese [Day 2]

Luke Guilford | CycleCycle
Biggest climb of the day
A nice morning climb to get the legs pumped. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

Day 2

I left my host’s place in Port Ludlow around 8:30 am, but not before having a delicious breakfast and some last-minute route planning. We debated two routes; one route taking me down the west coast of the Hood Canal and the other route sending me east of the hood canal. My hosts provided me with some insight into road conditions, traffic, climbs, etc. Ultimately, we decided on the shorter route down the west coast of the canal. I was happy with this call because the towns seemed fun, and I love the water, so getting to bike along the coast excited me.

I began the day heading towards Quilcene, which packed a few big climbs, with the largest being around 700 vertical feet. More PNW rain that only lasted for a couple of hours, but it managed to keep the roads wet throughout the day.

Enjoy the burn
Embrace the burn of the climb! Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

Rolling through the town of Brinnon, I spontaneously decided to check out Whitney Gardens and NurseryThis seven-acre garden was gorgeous, and it packed such a diverse selection of plants. I wish I had more extensive knowledge of regional plants to appreciate it truly.

Whitney Gardensand Nursery
Whitney Gardens and Nursery. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

Around noon, I popped out onto Triton Cove Tidelands, where I decided to take lunch. Lunch consisted of a Peak Fuel meal and an accidental 45-minute nap. I think the adrenaline and excitement over the last 24+ hours had provided me with this wild high of energy because I felt it all crash after I ate lunch.

I woke up to a couple walking out onto the beach to hunt oysters, and being from the Midwest, this was a wild sight to see. Apparently, the park I stumbled upon used to be a commercial oyster farm, so it’s a very popular spot to find oysters. It sure seemed like oysters were advertised at every bar and restaurant along the route.

I had only covered 30 miles by this point, so it was time to hop back on the bike and get moving!

Triton Cove Tidelands
Beautiful spot for lunch and a nap. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

Okay, probably should have trained more. I think those climbs took a lot out of me because I could feel my legs tightening up and getting sore. The relatively flat coastline of the Hood Canal saved my legs for the second half of the day.

Per the recommendation of my wonderful hosts, I had to stop at the Hama Hama Oyster Saloon. I tried the oysters, and yes, it was my first time, and yes, the texture was a bit wack, so I also got a grilled cheese to pair it.

So a little back story. In the summer of 2021, I lived in Oregon and purchased everything Tillamook. Cheese, yogurt, ice cream, you name it, and I probably ate it. Returning to the west coast meant the abundant supply of Tillamook products. So, when I saw a Tillamook grilled cheese on the menu, I couldn’t resist.

Tillamook grilled cheese
Only the finest of cheese… Tillamook. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

At this point, I am around 45 miles in for the day’s ride. I take my yet again refueled body and start pedaling down the coast towards Hoodsport, which is just about the southern tip of the Hood Canal! Yay! Progress! It brought so much joy to reach Hoodsport, as it meant I’d biked 50+ miles, something I had never done before.

Hoodsport is a beautiful town and a great spot to scuba dive and discover the Giant Pacific Octopus. I took a quick stop to absorb the gorgeous scenery of the Hood Canal.  I ran into a Canadian named Yannick, who had taken a semester off of college and decided to bike down to Oregon somewhere, he started his journey in Port Angeles, WA, near the US-Canada border. He was the first cyclist I have met thus far, and he was a really nice guy, he was pulling a trailer rather than running panniers which I thought was odd.

Hoodsport, WA
A pier in Hoodsport, WA. Photo Credit: Luke Guilford

Alright, the sun’s getting low big fella. I connected with another Warmshower host in Shelton, WA, so I still had around 20 miles to go after leaving Hoodsport. I am so excited to sleep tonight! It’s been exhausting but rewarding. I lock in, crush my remaining 20 miles, and arrive at my host’s home. She was really kind, and we hung out, exchanged life stories, and chatted for a while before I went to bed.

So far, so good! The people in the bike touring world are so incredibly kind and full of life. I can’t wait to get back on the road tomorrow!

Stats from today

  • Roughly 70 miles biked
  • 4,700 vertical feet climbed
  • One bike tourist met
  • Four Facetime calls to friends and family
Day 2
My route from Day 2

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