A return to the dirt in Anacortes

After a week full of mostly rain, chilly breezes and general ickiness, the skys started to clear up a bit on Saturday afternoon and by sunset I was optimistic for a bike ride the following day.

The Whistle Lake area of the Anacortes Community Forest Lands was the destination.   I had ridden here a couple of times in 2009 and I was really looking forward to getting back onto the flowling singletrack goodness of this place.

This was my first time back on the bike since the truck accident three and a half weeks ago and boy could I feel it.   The opening climb was steep and there was much more huffing and puffing than I had expected.     It was a quite brisk 47 degrees for pretty much the entire ride and the cool air felt really good.   While we SoCal weather weenies consider that cold, after a week of typically Seattle area weather, this was no where close to bad.   There is something about being out in nature of a trail that meanders through the forest is good chicken soup for the soul.   I am especially fond of the series of trails going around the lake with its numerous twists and turns coupled with short up and downs.   The trails on the north side of the lake is often perched well above the lake and sometimes is downright near-cliff like just off the trail.  

I did pretty close to the route I did in 2009 and by the time I was done I was pretty spent and my legs were complaining.  Obviously way too many tasty beers and no miles on the legs were issue.   I was nearly finished with my ride with the sun came out for good and the day was getting downright awesome.   I had plenty of time left in my day and I did not feel like leaving the trails just yet.

There is a also a series of trails in the Heart Lake area where I had parked.   I just had to go out and get some more time in the dirt even though I was “done”.   I liken it to having a yummy Thanksgiving dinner.  You are plenty stuffed already but you just have to have that extra slice of pie to finish things off.   So I headed off to do a loop around Heart Lake.    I ended up worked over and sore over the “extra slice of pie”   but it was well worth it.   


Less than a mile from Heart Lake is Mount Erie and there is an access road up to the top as well some viewpoints.  The views were quite amazing.

It was certainly a great day to be out on a bike and a particularly good day to be getting back on the saddle.

Washington Area Added to the Website

I have finally gotten around to compiling all of my pictures and notes from my April trip to Washington.  It was enough stuff to add a Washington section to the site.   If you have been following the blog a good portion of the stuff will not be completely new to you.  I have however added more pictures and in some cases some maps and GPS files.   So click away.

Puget Sound Area Overview Page

A romp through Anacortes singletrack goodness

Yesterday, I ventured north of Seattle to the town of Anacortes, where tales of miles single track goodness seemed to abound.   My first order of business upon rolling into the sound-side town of Anacortes was to pickup a set of maps from a local bike shop.  For $10 I got three great maps of the Anacortes Community Forest Lands. That was all I needed to get to the trailhead at Cranberry Lake.  


The weather forecast gave a 50% chance of showers with the temps in the low 50s.   It certainly looked like I was going to get wet today.   A few days ago someone said something interesting that stuck in my head.  “There is no bad weather, only bad gear.”  With that in my head, I packed up my gear and hit the trail.  Right from the trailhead I was on some cool single tracks that were combinations of loamy buff with some rocks and roots here and there.

Riding in an evergreen forest is just awesome.   Believe it or not these are multi-use trails.  Yes these twisty and flowing singletracks are open to hikers, equestrians and bicycles.   These are community trails and most of them are within the city limits of Anacortes.    The land managers and agencies of San Diego County could learn a lot from this place. 

Did I mention these trails rule?   The Anacortes Community Forest Lands has about 50 miles of interconnected trails with over 41 miles of those trails being single tracks. 

Got Beaver?  

Got Bald Eagle?

As the day went on the weather turned for the better and the sun even popped out.  I found myself openly giggling while I cruised and twisted through the forest.   On several occasions I could not help but to stop, grab a spot on a log and just take it all in.   I am one lucky bastard to get to ride stuff like this on a business trip. One thing is for certain, I am going back here at least once more on this trip as I have only scratched the surface of this trail system.