Back in the US we disembarked the ferry and made our way to Lonnie’s Snack Shak, our home for the next few days. We explored a small fraction of the northern section of Olympic National Park; limited by bicycles, time, and milage.mu
Stepping off of the Blackball Ferry from Victoria we set foot back on US soil, specifically on the Olympic Peninsula. Home to several old growth temperate rain forests. We both had been waiting 10 months to reach the moss covered evergreen dominated Pacific Northwest, but a potential crisis needed to be to be solved first.
While on the ferry Amanda inadvertently deleted ALL of the photos on her camera from the past week. These were our photos from Vancouver, Vancouver Island, and some of Glacier. Needing the internet on the laptop we headed for the first coffee shop we could find. Bada NW! Several hours later thanks to Recuva we had saved all but one photo from the empty card. Celebratory beers were had before heading out.
Riding on the discovery trail we had 10 miles to cover before arriving at our home for the next few days, Lonnie’s Snack Shak.
Arriving at the Snack Shak after dark we were unsure of exactly what was going on. Several nomadic-types were wandering around while Lonnie told us about a ‘concert’ that he hosted earlier. A beer and a few introductions later we met Alex and Steven, had our own sleeping shack, a clean(ish) bathroom with hot water, and plans for the following day!
After a breakfast of pancakes and fresh eggs from a barrel Amanda and I, along with Steven, went for a drive to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. Driving with Lonnie saved us from a 5,000+ ft. climb, allowing us to hike the short but intense Hurricane Hill Trail.
After dinner at the local Chinese Food Buffet, compliments of Lonnie. The four of us went back at the ‘Snack Shak’ where Lonnie took us on a tour of his exotic bird collection and introduced us to Ham and Bacon, two hogs with huge personalities.
Olympic National Park is much too vast in size and its undeveloped wilderness status requires much more time than we can allot for its exploration. Yesterday we were able to see hazy vistas overlooking the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca; today we set off to see the wetter, but not quite a rain forest Sol Duc Valley. A combination of bus and bike travel we arrived at the entrance to the Sol Duc Valley entrance to the National Park.
On a quest to find ancient forests and groves in our travels along the west coast we stopped for a short hike at the Ancient Groves Trail. Trekking through this trail with the patriarchs of the forest a quiet overtook us. Possibly in reverence of the gods of the past who watch over these magnificent grounds or out of awe from the grandeur of a working system refined over thousands of years. Each death spawns new life, while each life contributes to the larger picture. Nature is magnificent, cooperative, and inspiring.
The trip back to the Snack Shak was a relatively quick combination of cycling and busses, with the exception of waiting for the first bus and a quick stop at a bike shop to replace a worn pedal. Somehow my free uber cheap pedal wore out on the right side only.
Arriving at the “Olympic Peninsula Nomad Commune” the cast of characters had changed, Alex left for Victoria and in his place were Roger and Nicholi, from Texas and Belgium. Lonnie kept himself busy cooking enough food for a small army and supplementing that with treats from a “barrel of bread” he acquired. Nicholi supplied a handful of beers for everyone to enjoy and we all talked for hours listening to stories too crazy to be made up!
Our time at the Shak was drawing to an end and when the morning came we began the process of packing up and preparing for a full day’s ride to our next stop on Bainbridge Island. The Olympic Peninsula is a truly wild and majestic place and if not for Lonnie Boyd and his massive heart and open arms we would not have had the opportunity to explore the sights we saw. Thanks kind friend!!