Lin and Darrin made plans for a bunch of us to go camping at Lake Cushman State Park on the Olympic Peninsula May 18-19, 2002. Many of Darrin's friends came up, along with family members. The weather was threatening but we had fun anyway!

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Lin and I left right after work on Friday evening so we could get an early start riding on Saturday morning. We rode the ferry from Seattle to Southworth and along the way we saw a whale cresting and splashing in the Sound. It was the first whale that either of had ever seen, despite living in Seattle for over 25 years (between us). So we behaved exactly like tourists and watched it until it was out of sight. Very cool! Once in Southworth, we rode about 50 miles along the Hood Canal to Lake Cushman State Park, where Lin had reserved a camp site for us. It was just getting dark as we set up our tents and I made dinner by lantern-light: rice and chicken with red pepper in it. We also had wine and a green salad course and Tootsie Rolls for dessert. We took the heavy luggage off our bikes and went to bed early so as to get up and GO the next day.

The crows woke us up nice and early so we had some hot apple cider and consulted our maps of the nearby Forest Service Roads. We decided to ride to Hoodsport and go to the winery to see if they had anything we liked. They didn't. Next we rode to a high steel bridge, which was really cool. Then we got off the pavement and header to Spider Lake. Which wasn't much of a lake, after all. We also learned that our GPS units often disagreed with my National Forest map, which further disagreed with Lin's Washington State Gazetteer. Arg! So we turned around a lot. But the roads were great and the weather was perfect! We stopped at Lake Wynootchee for lunch and then rode up to Wynootchee Falls.

Home sweet home!

Lunch time!

After half a dozen more turnarounds, a difficult water crossing, one push-the-bikes-over-the-dead-tree-across-the-road and two creek washouts, we finally made it back to camp. Just as we were approaching the main road to get back to our campground, we saw a black bear cross the road and run off towards the woods. He was quite big and not at all afraid. I didn't get a picture, though. The bikes ran fine and we had no accidents. We went about 156 miles offroad and were happy but tired when we got back to camp.

A lazy, winding river.

Quite a day, eh?

During the day while we were gone, the rest of our party arrived at the campground and set up their sites. There was SO much food! We had steaks, corn, gyros, sausage, etc. We sat around the campfire and talked and laughed late into the night. Jason made peach cobbler in a dutch oven in the campfire. It was pretty good - better if you dunked each piece in rum before eating it! Finally, we stumbled exhaustedly to our tents. Just before dawn on Sunday, the rains began. It was nice - the rain kept the crows quiet and was soothing as we slept late. Eventually it let up, and we each emerged from our tents (well, except for Jason, the slug-a-bed) to make breakfast. Some folks felt better than others, but we were all in great spirits. Lin and I left around 1pm and rode the long way around the Hood Canal, stopping at scenic overlooks and antique stores along the way. We took the Kingston ferry home and bid each other a fond farewell. Another wonderful, exhilarating weekend!

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