Before leaving Port Angeles on Thursday morning I tooled around a bit downtown snapping a few photos of the waterfront area. This is where the Port Angeles to Victoria ferry departs:
Just as I was about to set out for Sequim, I stopped at the Visitor Center along the waterfront to grab a brochure about local Olympic Peninsula activities when an elderly gentleman walked up to me and said, "I had to come talk to you because you're on a bicycle. I used to do quite a bit of bicycling myself when I was younger." We got to talking about bicycling and all the changes in equipment and clothing, then the history of P.A. (as the locals refer to Port Angeles) and the logging industry, then aircraft from B-29s to the Spruce Goose to U2s and SR-71s to Boeing 747s and 787s, then Seattle and the region's super-wealthy like the McCaws and the Gates.
The gentleman's name was Larry and he was quite the incredible character. He had been in the Air Force and served as the Flight Engineer on B29s out of England during the Korean War.
He was very proud of his two kids who had done very well for themselves: His son was a cameraman for CNN with intimate contact with the President and the Oval Office. His daughter was married to a powerful (wealthy) attorney (One of the Exxon Valdez oil-spill attorneys!) who was friends with Bruce McCaw.
Larry told me about his Segway transport (!) on which he's travelled about 1,000 miles (!?) and about his long career with the highway department operating road graders and tractors. But best of all, his birthday had been a few days prior and some friends had given him a birthday card, so he was carrying it around and showing it to people. He loved that the cover had a picture of a dog on a bike. Here's a picture of me with Larry proudly displaying his beloved birthday card (and that pristine Toyota truck is Larry's, too):
So, much delayed (but for good reason), I set out for Sequim.
The Olympic Discovery Trail runs from P.A. all the way to and through Sequim and is a nice paved trail first along the waterfront, then through rolling hills and farms.
Leaving P.A. along the Trail, I noticed three river otters in the water curiously observing me as I passed. When I stopped, they came closer, obviously very intrigued with this odd wheeled creature. I got a couple of good photos of them as they kept coming closer:
When I'd arrived in P.A. Wednesday evening, I had emailed a couple of people on a website called warmshowers.org. This is a networking site set up for touring cyclists whereby members offer lodging and services to fellow cyclists. My co-worker, Robb, had hipped me to it a while ago and I decided I'd give it a shot. So on Wednesday evening I emailed the only person in Sequim who was listed on warmshowers.org: A woman named Courtney. She replied right away and said, "Sure, I've a couch you can use. Come on over." Wow; suddenly I had a place to stay in Sequim! I emailed a couple of people in Poulsbo regarding Friday evening. Kate replied: "Yes, we're available and have a guestroom you can use. We'll also plan on dinner if that's okay with you. Just let me know if you have any dietary restrictions." Wow! This was unbelievable. Thanks Robb!
The ride from P.A. to Sequim was only about 20 miles. Here's a video of me on the Olympic Discovery Trail passing through farmland:
I'd seen something online about a coffee shop in Sequim called 'The Buzz' and arriving in town, suddenly there it was:
Inside, I met Jackie the local customer (actually a care-giver from P.A.) and Debbie the barista, two of the friendliest, most adorable gals. I really enjoyed talking to them. Here they are:
A couple of miles out of town I found Courtney's house. Courtney was very laid-back and affable. She poured me a much-appreciated glass of wine, served me a bowl of great vegetable/lentil soup (What do you mean you can't cook?!) and we talked of travel and Africa and the sea-changes towns like Sequim are experiencing. If this is what warmshowers.org offers, I'm completely sold.
Here're Courtney and Emma: