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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Standing on a Hurricane

Hurricanes very rarely hit the west coast of the United States--that is, until this group of friends head out on a ride.

Hurricane definition:  a storm with violent winds with a wind force exceeding 74 mph.  Well that about sums up our group of friends.  We ride, we ride Harleys, and therefore we are a force to be reckoned with, at least to ourselves.  And yes, we do sometimes go faster than 74 mph.

Three bikes and six riders, Dave, Lorie, Dave, Dawn, Larry, and I left Sehome Starbuck at a little after 8:00 AM on Saturday morning headed to the ferry for Port Angeles.  We all made reservations online so we were assured of getting on the 10:15 ferry and being first in line.  While waiting at the ferry we saw friends John and Kathy.  They were not riding today but it was good to visit with old friends.

It was a short ferry ride and we had time for coffee and laughter before heading back to the bikes and disembarking.  We stopped just before we left town to gas up the bikes and meet up with Darren and Audrey.

The sun was shining and the temperature was rising, except when we rode closer to the shore and then we could feel that cool breeze again.  This is why you ride with heated gear.  A flick of the button and it is on or off.

We stopped for lunch in Port Angeles before riding up to Hurricane Ridge.  The seventeen mile road to the top is a gradual climb, full of gentle twists and turns, three tunnels, great views if you are on the back of the bike, but the driver must keep his eyes on the road…right, Larry?

The view is striking at approximately fifty-two hundred feet above sea level.  You can look out to the Olympic Mountain tops, Mount Olympus, Mount Constance, Mount Anderson, Mount Deception, and others I cannot remember, turning slowly to look to the Strait of San Juan De Fuca, Canada,  and back around in a full three-hundred and sixty degree view.  We wandered into the visitor’s center to look at the displays, out onto the deck to view the mountains, and then wander up a trail to just take in the magnificent and majestic views surrounding us, at what feels like the top of the world. 

We headed down the mountain and back to our home for the evening.  Showered, rested, and ready to relax before dinner, we gathered poolside for laughter and stories.  We were having dinner just around the corner from the motel so it was kickstands down and as Larry likes to say, time to“laugh and splash.”
Time!  It is always the question, what time to leave so we know when to be ready.  Of course with this group ready to ride at 8:00 AM means we are ready by 7:30 AM.  No one likes to be late so we are notorious for being ready early.  Of course this is a good thing.

We were on the road by eight thirty for Port Townsend to see if we could get an earlier ferry and possibly meet Bill and Marla for an afternoon ride home.  We stopped at the Water Street Creperie for coffee and hot chocolate before heading for home.  Darren and Audrey headed south and we were able to just barely make the next ferry headed east to Coupeville (last vehicles on the ferry, the very end, no more room on the ferry).   Lorie called Marla to let her know what ferry we were on and Marla gave us a weather report of rain at home so she and Bill were going to stay put at home.  We headed to the Farmhouse restaurant just west of Burlington for breakfast or lunch depending on who was ordering.

There was still no rain in sight so we ventured up Chuckanut Drive for the ride home.  We slowly split off the group, each of us heading for home.  This was another great weekend riding with friends, and for most of us, our first trip to Hurricane Ridge.

The panoramic photo is from Wikipedia. 

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