2024 Everett H&S

2024 Everett H&SIMG_0381.JPG

Written by Swee Lee

Cycling to Snohomish

Sunday, May 19: A large enthusiastic group of us CCCTS members met at the lobby of the Hampton Inn in downtown Everett for the “Everett to Snohomish” pre-ride arranged by our leaders, Elaine and Dick Carpenter. Old IMG_0381.JPG and new members alike chatted with excitement, hopped onto their bikes and started off from the hotel to Snohomish. It was a beautiful sunny day riding through rural farmland and when we got to downtown Snohomish, there was a motorcycle rally event happening. We stopped there briefly for a bio break and were entertained by a live band called “Shortcutz” playing great tunes at the event. The ride along the Snohomish river on the way back was lovely and we got back to the hotel in plenty of time to get ready for the Meet and Greet dinner at the Scuttlebutt restaurant and pub down by the waterfront. The food and locally brewed beer were great; old friends met and got caught up and newbies got acquainted

Monday, May 20: Another nice day with mix of sun and cloud and moderate temperatures! Today is a long ride on the Centennial Trail from Snohomish to Arlington to the trail end at the Nakashima Barn and back, totaling 96.2 km. The meeting point was at the Centennial Trailhead along Maple Avenue, just over a 20+ minute drive from the hotel. The route is on a mostly nicely paved bike trail and relatively flat. The 30-mile trail is built on the old Burlington-Northern railroad line and the development of the trail began in 1989 during the Washington state’s centennial, hence the name, Centennial Trail. We rode at our own pace and some of us stopped at Arlington and others continued on for about another 8 miles onward to the Nakashima Barn before turning back to Arlington to meet up with the others for lunch. On the way back a few curious and adventurous riders (Brenda, Bob, Colleen & Jake) took a detour on some back roads to check out the Granite Falls area.

Ken, Charlene, and Allan at Arlington visitors center

Jake, Brenda, and Colleen on back roads to Granite Falls

Rained-out cyclists waiting for train to Everett at Seattle train station. Sue, Jim, Elisabeth, & June

Tuesday, May 21: Today’s anticipated ride to Whidbey Island was postponed to the following day due to inclement weather. It was unanimously decided at last night’s briefing to postpone considering the forecast of 100% chance of rain and winds at 15 to 25 km/h. A deserved rest day for all (although we found out that Allan & Leith went out for a cycle to the Mukilteo lighthouse despite the rain and wind – Bravo!).

Wednesday, May 22: It was a coolish morning but there was forecast for sunshine later. We were all eager to visit Whidbey Island and started our ride from the hotel at 930 a.m. It was about 10 km to the Mukilteo Ferry terminal. The route was hilly, through a community with nicely manicured lawns, through some parklike settings and then downhill towards the ferry terminal. The ferry ride across Puget Sound was about 20 minutes, cost was reasonable at US$4.00 pp for those over 65+. Once the ferry got to Clinton, we disembarked and very quickly, a right turn for a steep climb uphill. Not far in after the second right turn, Mark had a flat back tire. Many thanks to Ed (from Edmonton) who so kindly stopped to help. He is like a bike guru; he just knew what to do, what to look for, had the tools and was very efficient! After 3 leaky tubes, tireless pumping, infinite patience and lots of persistence, Mark was able to continue with the ride with just a patch on the initial tire and it lasted the ride!

Whidbey is hilly, so lots of ups and downs, we cycled through parts with lush forest and greenery, parts with views of the ocean and parts through quaint towns like Langley and Freeland. The group dispersed into 3 separate groups around Langley taking slightly different routes based on the distance one wish to cycle. All enjoyed their scenery and experiences. Charlene’s group’s highlight was “Burgers at Geri’s Snack Shack” while for others (like Holly), it was simply the thrill of the speed down the hills (despite the tough uphills!). Most of us got back to Everett by 4 ish.

We had our final dinner at the “At Large Brewing and Tap Room” which was only a couple of blocks from the hotel. They only served beverages, so Elaine and Dick picked up pizzas, fruit, vegetable and dessert platters and brought them to the brewery for the occasion. It was a great time to share the day’s adventures and have one last meal all together.

Thursday, May 23: Since a few of us were still eager to continue cycling, two different rides were planned for the morning before folks headed for home or for travel onwards to more adventures. Elaine led the Everett to Snohomish ride again in reverse direction and the group had time to stop for delicious pastries at the Snohomish Bakery! The other group led by Dick, rode around the north end of Lake Washington mostly on the Burke Gilman, an old rail trail, then through the University of Washington and stopped for lunch at the Magnuson Café and Brewery overlooking the lake! Two “delicious” rides!

Stuart, Jim, Charlene, Bob, and Mieke at the Snohomish Bakery

In summary, Elaine and Dick did a fabulous job scouting and organizing the Everett H&S. The rides were suitable for various level of riders and one can go at their own pace. The itinerary was well organized yet flexible, and a great time was had by all.

Great job and thank you, Elaine and Dick!