Hi, all. I`m just about ready to leave for roughly a week of riding plus a few days of motoring in and around the sound, islands, and Olympic Peninsula. I have my "large scale" plans pretty well figured out, but still a little stuck on some of the details, hoping for a little extra insight.
General overview: Leaving next Thursday, will start riding Fri from downtown Seattle (near the ferry terminal). 1st leg will be to Anacortes via Bainbridge, Kitsap Pen, and Whidbey. Meeting with your homeboy Woodway and his wife on Mon morning to ferry over to Orcas and back for a day ride. Next leg, directly to Sequim for a couple days worth of family visit and some off bike resting/motor touring. Final leg will be from Sequim (or maybe bum a ride back as far as PT) back to downtown Seattle. My first and last nights will be in a hostel, time in Sequim will be at my uncle`s house, the rest will be tenting.
Maps and routing are my biggest concerns. I`ve checked out tons of great (and not-so-great) online maps, and they`ve been helpful though still leave me hanging to a large degree. Besides that, I don`t carry a laptop to access them, and my attempts to print bits of them haven`t turned out well. I`d like to pick up some paper maps when I get up there, specifically the Jefferson County map put out by PT Bikes (apparently still in print) and/or the "Bicycling In King County" map (mixed info whether or not it`s still available). Anbody know it those are easily found in area LBS? Other paper map suggestions? I`m goint to try calling a few downtown shops to see what maps they might have in stock. Any specific shop suggestions to start with for that? As of now, I have the PT Bikes Clallam map, good photocoppies from the DeLorme state atlas, and a not-so-good highway map of the whole state and hoping to get ahold of a AAA highway map to see if it`s any better than the one I already have.
My overall routes are pretty much set except the return from Sequim. In order to check out some different scenery, I`m leaning towards taking the ferry back to Whidbey, then down to Mukilteo and down on the mainland. The other obvious option that calls my attention would be back to Kitsap and continue all the way down to Bremerton. Or maybe Kingston-Edmonds from Kitsap? Are any of those routes significantly "nicer" than the others?
As far as riding on the mainland, the major rail trails look awesome! Not sure if navigation is tricky, though. From what I`ve read online, the I-90 trail seems broken up, very complicated, and hard to follow. Yes? No? A recent thread here makes the Burke-Gillman trail sound like just what I need, at least for a big chunk of my way down from Mukilteo. What about the Sammamish River/Lake Sam trails and the Snoqualmie River Trail- well marked and easily navigated by an out of towner? To help undertand what routes might best suit me, I`m slow anyway, so not being able to haul a$$ on MUTs won`t bother me, I`m okay with high speed traffic on rural highways, fine with gravel, but not very good at big city navigation, and terribly nervous in city traffic with lots of cross streets, merging, etc.
Beyond routing, how is payment usually made at state park campgounds? Do most use the same pay system, or all different? 24 hour self pay boxes that give no change? Limited hours entrance kiosks where I can pay with plastic, or at least don`t have to "donate" the change if all I happen to have are twenties?
If anybody has comments or suggestions for things I might have not thought to ask, don`t hold back. Thanks for reading my novel and have a nice weekend