Just as we were about to leave on a ride, we got a call from J’s cousin N who lives in Renton WA. We did a quick change of plans and agreed to meet up with him in Burlington for ride around Whidbey Island. the three of us would, then take the ferry back to the mainland where we would part ways then J & I would ride back up highway 9 and home.
On this trip to Whidbey, we decided to ride along whatever road looked like it might follow the water. Easier said then done really. I don’t know, maybe the road engineers wanted people to pay attention to the roads rather than look at the beautiful scenery? I guess that’s why State Route 20 is basically, right down the middle of the island. It was a nice day, we had the time and we did manage to find a few roads that followed the water. We even managed to find some short sections of winding road that, really, were the icing on the cake.
The first known European sighting of Whidbey Island was during a 1790 Spanish expedition but the Island wasn’t fully explored until Captain George Vancouver came along in 1792. In May of that year, Royal Navy officers and members of Vancouver’s expedition, Joseph Whidbey and Peter Puget, began to map and explore the area that would later be named Puget Sound. After Whidbey circumnavigated the island in June 1792, Vancouver decided to name the island in his honor.
After Making a stop to show N the Deception Pass Bridge (we have stopped here before, check out that post here), we were officially on Whidbey Island. With stomachs growling, we headed off down Hwy 20 to Oak Harbor for lunch. We stopped at a sports bar that shall remain un-named as lunch was really not worth talking about (and I would prefer we never mention it again). So leaving Oak Harbor following the signs for the Mukilteo Ferry, Scenic Heights Road is on the left. Follow that little winding bit of pavement until it spits you back out on to Hwy 20 then about 2 or 3 kms down the road take the left for Fort Ebey State Park. Riding along with Penn Cove on the left and past the 100 year old Penn Cove oyster farm, we never did find Fort Ebey. We must have missed the turn-off. We weren’t really in the mood for stopping yet anyway. We rode on through Coupville, took a right on to Main Street and followed that road across the highway and all the way down to Fort Casey State Park. We were going to make a brief stop here but realized we needed passes to stay, passes we didn’t have, so we just continued on our way. (We have visited Fort Casey before, check it out here)
Following the road past the Port Townsend Ferry and through a salt water wetland, with Crockett Lake on the left and Admiralty Bay on the right, the road meets up with the main highway that has now turned from State Route 20 to Hwy 525. By this point N and I were running low on fuel. Deciding that getting sidetracked might be a bad thing, the three of us continued south on 525 to Freeland and a Texaco station were we filled up the tanks. Back on the 525 we took a left at a set of lights down Bayview Road to Langley, looped around and came back to 525 and headed on down to Clinton. We timed it perfectly and arrived just as the ferry to Mukilteo was loading. So on we went. Usually if we find a ferry we will find a way to get on it. We kind of view ferries a mini (budget) cruise ships, without the Norwalk virus. Ferries are a great place to meet up with other motorcycle enthusiasts to swap stories or find out where the best pub or gas station is. That kind of thing. We have found out all sorts of information and we get to be out on the water for a bit.
Getting off the ferry we parted ways with N and in an effort to avoid rush hour traffic, tried to find a scenic route north. We ended up getting lost so instead, headed up past the big Boeing factory and out on to the I5. We took the Marysville exit and headed east until we hit State Route 9 then turned North toward the border and home. After about 60 kms and increasingly longer shadows, we cut over to the I5 at Mt. Vernon and back to Bellingham. We again, took the 255/Sunset Drive exit north, made a left on to Hannigan, straight up to Lyden, through the town to Guide Meridian and home.
There are plenty of other roads to ride on this little island and I am sure this will not be the last trip for us. A couple of weekends ago we did a trip around Fidalgo Island and combined with this Whidbey Island trip it would probably make a fantastic long day trip on a hot day. There are plenty of interesting B&B’s and hotels on the island that would make a great weekend getaway, just keep in mind that summers are quite busy there. So it’s best to book ahead if possible.
View Return to Whidbey Island in a larger map
Round trip is 369 kms