I received an email from Kurt, who had recently traded his BMW in on a new Honda VFR 1200, and wanted to ride up to Hurricane Ridge at the north end of the Olympic National Park. It’s a beautiful spot with a fantastic view of the Olympic mountain range.
It was going to be another stellar day in the Puget Sound region. The sun was out, and the sky was blue. Kurt and I planned to meet at the junction of Highway 20 and US 101, just southwest of Port Townsend. It would take me a little over two hours to get to the meeting point, and I had no time to spare. The ferry crossing takes 45 minutes and, if I missed the one that would enable me to make it on time, Kurt would probably get impatient and begin having fun without me.
Crossing through Oak Harbor and past the Naval Air Station sited there, always stirs up memories from when I was an 18-year-old kid, fresh from Iowa, stationed in a sleepy little town tucked away in the forest of northwest Washington. It’s stunning, and a little sad, to see how much the area has grown, and how much forest has been cut down for housing tracts. There’s even a Walmart in Oak Harbor now. Not all change is for the better.
When I got my first set of wheels in Oak Harbor, one of the favorite places my buddies and I liked to go to get away from the Navy was Hurricane Ridge. We’d all pile into my old Dodge Tradesman 100 van, and follow the same path I was now taking. Crossing the Sound from Keystone, and crossing the thirty years of memories between then and now, put me in a melancholy mood. It finally cleared after docking at Port Townsend, when I got on my bike and sped off, enjoying the sunshine and the wind. I was moving quickly to make sure I didn’t keep Kurt waiting. My friend Kurt is an upbeat person; his sense of humor always puts me in a good mood.
Upon arriving at the junction where I was to meet Kurt, he seemed to appear from nowhere, and surprised me by pulling along-side me on a beautiful new, blue VFR. We didn’t stop to chat, but rather went on to a quilt shop he wanted to visit in Sequim. His wife had apparently given him a mission to complete while out romping around on his motorcycle.
A quick Yelp search recommended the Fresh Mix Grill, a great little shack that served delicious soups and sandwiches. It was a very good choice for lunch while we caught up on news since our trip to the Black Hills a few weeks previous.
Back on the road, it was a direct ride up to Hurricane Ridge where we took some photos, and enjoyed the outstanding views.
We then rode back down the hill, through the town, and back to the Port Townsend Ferry. Kurt and I meandered back across Whidbey Island to Mount Vernon where we had a nice meal at Il Granaio. After an early supper, we parted ways, wrapping up a great day of riding.
A few of the photos in this report are Kurt’s. The close-up of the deer, the photo of the Grouse, and the photo of his bike on its own. To see some fantastic photos and read some great ride reports, visit Kurt’s web site: https://sites.google.com/site/vfrkurt/home and browse through some of his pages.