Freaking Wasington, man.
So I was going to do the Olympic Loop this weekend. For those who don't know, it's about a 500-mile loop around the Olympic National Forest. I've heard it's just spectacular. The weather lady said that any rain should stop by the end of the morning, so I was should have a decently dry day and a half. I was lucky enough to be off Thursday-Monday and decided that I would take all of Friday and Saturday morning to do the ride. Figure a full day for coastal/backroad riding, yes? Yes. Great.
Yeah, well the weather had other ideas. It was raining when I set out. No big deal, I thought. I'm wearing my rain gear. No big deal got bigger real quick. I took the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge and then hit the road toward Port Angeles. Once I got there, I was pretty well soaked. The rain didn't break at all. After trying to hide from the storm at Fiesta Jalisco (if you haven't been, it's pretty good), for about an hour and a half and not really getting rid of my shivers, I decide that it's just not worth it and look to head back to Seattle.
Unfortunately there's no way to take the ferry from Port Angeles back to Seattle. I have to back-track all the way to Bainbridge Island. So 90 miles, about an hour-and-a-half of more rain soaking through all my gear. By the time I'm waiting in line to board the ferry, I'm wringing water out of my waterproof gloves like a kitchen sponge. My rain pants have failed, my boots are completely water-logged, and my jacket must weigh 10 pounds from all the water it's holding on to.
I shivered for the duration of the ferry ride, but was still thankful to just be sheltered from the rain for a bit. Of course, we tie up in Seattle, and it's still raining because it's Seattle and I need to get back home which is about 10 miles South of there.
Once home, everything that could went in the dryer. The rest went into the bathtub or hung above it to drip-dry. It took a good deal of time for me to get my core temp back up.
I'm not deterred from doing this ride. I know that the riding "season" is approaching the end, if it's not done already here. The days that the Olympic Loop will be any kind of viable option for a motorcycle are dwindling. However I think that I'll have a couple more opportunities coming up. I want to do this ride. I'm moving away and still haven't done this road, so it's definitely something that I want to do before I leave.
Oh well. Has anyone else done this route? Have any good tips for when I actually am able to get out and get the tour done?
United States Coast Guard: Z-184, USCGC MIDGETT (Seattle, WA), USCGC WRANGELL (Manama, Bahrain)
2007 Vulcan 900 Custom
-Vulcan saddle bags
-Bubs Jug Huggers exhaust
-Power Commander III
-Kuryakyn grips and pegs
-Fire and Steel Cafe windshield
-Fire and Steel Light Bar