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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982

    San Juan Is., WA-side trip advice

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    After researching, booking, checking ferry schedules... (Washington State, B.C. ferries..and even our local B.C.transit as backup), for our self-loaded 4 day bike trip..feels like a 1/4 marathon ..to ensure we grab scarce accommodations towards end of June. It will include Vancouver Island, maybe Saltspring Island or Cowichan Bay...which we've cycled both destinations several times.

    Anyway, would like a pleasant bike route on San Juan Island. After breakfast, on a Monday..we hope to do some nice riding and catch 3:00 pm ferry back to Vancouver Island (Swartz Bay, 35 kms. outside of Victoria). We will be arriving San Juan, on Sunday just after supper.

    And is it true to easily see orca whales from shore at that island? As a B.C. coastal resident, I find that almost hard to believe.

    Will summarize trip/distance/activities later.. Trip will cover his birthday..a signature year. So it will include winery visit or 2 on Vancouver Island.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 05-30-2008 at 10:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    am bumping this up..'cause I'm certain some folks living not far, would have done this island ages ago. I've been told it is flatter....at least compared to several Canadian Gulf Islands. It looks like 60 kms. circuit around the island.

    We are planning our trip in such a way, that lst day leave home 4:30 am to cycle to ferry dock. (That might include 1 segment with bikes on bus for a short piece), then drop stuff off at hotel on Vancouver island before ferrying to Saltspring Island for cycling day. Day probably will be 80-90 kms.

    2nd day cycle, short ferry to cowichan valley on Vancouver Island for winery, lovely luncheon, come back and catch ferry to Friday Harbour, USA. That day will probably be 65 kms. I'm not clear.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 05-31-2008 at 06:09 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    about the Orcas, if you're lucky you'll see them. I've been on a whale watching cruise and we never found them.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    818
    The San Juans flat? It would depend on your perspective of flat. Our spring trip to Lopez Island was anything but flat in my book. And we had been told that Lopez was the flatter of the islands. I did manage to make it up all but two short steep hills with my fully loaded BOB trailer. I was VERY pleased with myself cause I'm rather a hill weenie. But then again what is a hill to me maybe a slight incline to you. It was a good trip and a fun place to ride. Just be warned it won't be flat. I'm sure you'll have a great time. Hope you do get to see some whales. bikerHen

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Puget Sound area, Washington state
    Posts
    766

    Lime Kiln Point (day park) on San Juan Island

    http://www.parks.wa.gov/parkpage.asp...20kiln%20point

    Here you go...I attached the link for this park on San Juan Island above. And yes, it's a great spot for spotting orcas from the bluffs.
    I did this ride from the ferry landing in Friday Harbor a couple of years ago; if I remember correctly it's about a 20 mile round-trip. Also, be aware that, since there's usually lots more traffic on summer weekends than on weekdays, so you should enjoy a lovely, quiet ride on a Monday morning. Even so, I'd always err on making yourselves/your bikes as visible as possible, as many drivers who aren't cyclists have a very hard time spotting cyclists on the road, even when there is a bright sun out there; you can always chance disappearing in the shadows and/or glare, y'know?

    Tailwinds!
    Mary

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    Quote Originally Posted by bikerHen View Post
    The San Juans flat? It would depend on your perspective of flat. Our spring trip to Lopez Island was anything but flat in my book. And we had been told that Lopez was the flatter of the islands. I did manage to make it up all but two short steep hills with my fully loaded BOB trailer. bikerHen
    Yea, have you been to any of the Gulf Islands, B.C?. Some of them are hilly and with enough gaps in between that require a snack/sandwich to replenish before climbing more hills.

    Usually, it's nearly guaranteed for many Gulf Islands, that at the ferry landing....there is a hill that rises from the landing...OR a hill just around the road bend from the landing that you initially didn't see..

    MM-thanks for the park link.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    the Minuteman Bikeway
    Posts
    111
    Oooh! We did a loaded bike and ferry tour from Seattle to Victoria via Bainbridge Island, Kitsap Penninsula, Whidbey Island, and Lopez and San Juan Island. That was in 2006. We loved it!

    One thing we really enjoyed was doing a kayak tour off the west coast of San Juan Island. We used San Juan as a "day off" so we didn't cover too many of the roads. But I do recommend the kayaking, even though we didn't end up seeing the Orca. We did ride over to the lavender farm, which was nice.

    We brought binoculars in our handlebar bags and had a field day seeing so many Bald Eagles!

    That was a great trip.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Folsom CA
    Posts
    5,672
    Hey shootingstar, when will you be on Vancouver Island?

    DH and I plan to be there from Weds June 25th - Sat June 28*, and we'll be staying in Sydney. We're bringing our bikes and plan to do lots of riding around the Saanich peninsula.

    ( *unless Real Life interferes )

    2009 Lynskey R230 Houseblend - Brooks Team Pro
    2007 Rivendell Bleriot - Rivet Pearl

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    Quote Originally Posted by jobob View Post
    Hey shootingstar, when will you be on Vancouver Island?

    DH and I plan to be there from Weds June 25th - Sat June 28*, and we'll be staying in Sydney. We're bringing our bikes and plan to do lots of riding around the Saanich peninsula.

    ( *unless Real Life interferes )
    Interesting! Jobob, we arrive on bike, at our Sanich hotel on Sat. June 28 in probably morning . We will be leaving home from downtown Vancouver....and start cycling..I believe it's 4:30 am. We've done this several times....to catch 7:00 am ferry at Twaassen bound for Sannich.

    Our original plan was to cycle to Cowichan Valley area for a lovely lunch, maybe buy some wine at a winery along the way. Return probably by mid-late afternoon to same hotel in Saanich.

    When do you leave Saanich/fly out of Victoria or somewhere else? You can PM me.

    There is another TE member who lives in Victoria. Go to the Canada topic area at the bottom of subcategories for TE forum

 

 

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