Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The long way to The Blue Mountain Grill for lunch

Saturday June 5th, 2010

Today my oldest son Jim turned 32, his 6th annual 27th birthday. Since he lives in CA and I couldn’t be with him on his birthday, the next best thing was celebrate this glorious, sunshiny day, and ride with friends.

Larry and I met up with Dave and Lorie at their home and we headed off to meet Dave and Dawn on the south side of town at Sehome Starbucks. We didn’t waste time on coffee since everyone had probably had at least one or two cups (some maybe more) earlier, so we mounted up and headed south.

Chuckanut Drive is one of the most scenic byways in Washington State. It is about twenty miles long and is part of the original Pacific Highway. It has been called the Wizard’s path through Oz and Washington’s Big Sur. The original dirt road was built in 1896 connecting Whatcom County to Skagit County and now known as route-11 was once used as a one lane logging road.

In 1905 the paving began and stopped after only a few miles due to lack of funding. Convicts began paving the road in 1910 but only finished about five miles before more state funding finished the road in 1931. You can see the San Juan Island, the Olympic Peninsula, and Vancouver Island as you travel along Chuckanut Drive. The narrow two lane paved highway we use today was expanded in the 1920’s on the side of Chuckanut Mountain and still has some of the remaining built-in curbs, railings, and retaining walls overlooking the cliffs of Chuckanut and Samish bays. The bridge over Oyster Creek is dated 1925. Chuckanut Drive is designated a State Scenic Byway.

Sights and places to stop along the road are: North Chuckanut Mountain Trailhead, Larrabee State Park main entrance/Fragrance Lake trail (which in 1915 became Washington’s first state park), Heritage marker and fossils, Taylor Shellfish Farms, Oyster Creek Inn, The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive, Bat Caves Trailhead, Chuckanut Manor, and Rhododendron Café.

We continued on our way through Edison, to La Conner, around the traffic circle and onto Conway for our first stop. Coffee! Hot, cold, it didn’t matter, just give me coffee. We stretched our legs and headed off to the Blue Mountain Grill for lunch. The sun's warmth permeated through our leathers, eliminating the need to keep our heated gear plugged in.

We arrived to the paved parking lot full of bikes so we pulled into the overfill lot. Only one other group of bikers was on the patio so we found a nice corner, ordered cold drinks, and placed our food orders. Now we could just relax amongst friends talking and laughing and basking in the sunshine. We laughed that when we pull up at a stop sign people are probably wondering at our wide range of music playing on all the bikes' CD players: rock, country, 50’s, pop, and everything in between.

Chris and Mike McGlenn arrived with family and friends shortly after we did. They too were taking advantage of the great weather because for the last several weeks everyone has been cage bound due to rainy weather.

At about 2:30 PM we were back home after enjoying another great day riding with friends.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails