There and Back Again: Manchester State Park
The tween has been biking the Chief Sealth every day and it's not a piece of cake but she does it because it's a path without drivers. So, we decided to start our bike camping season with a brief overnight to Manchester State Park. No Mama Bears, just the teen, toddler and me. Sure, it's crazy and I don't know if I recommend it but why not!
If I was organized I would take a good picture of all the things I packed. I live with a little person who loves snacks, loves that cooler and under no circumstances let me pack for anything! I also had to bring the toddler his down blanket. If we don't bring that on our trips he won't sleep. Can you imagine that?
Teen used her mixte bike last year but I let her borrow the Vektron and then did something really bad,. I made her carry more than just her stuff. If we had the front rack for that bike I would have made her carry even more. Sure, she can do it. I'm a good mother. She's not carrying enough!
On our way to the West Seattle ferry we spotted Spin Bike! WOOT! I have deep dark secret. I have a whole lot of free rides on Spin Bike. I know, it's wrong but maybe I will redistribute them and bring them to South Seattle.
TADA! It took us a whole whopping hour to get here. It was a long ride but we made and way too late and had to wait for the next water taxi <insert sad tears, OMG, will the toddler explode face>
That's a bored teen and the face of a toddler who is about to EXPLODE!!! <insert toddler mischief here>
Here we are wasting time by playing around with the camera. QUESO!
Smooth sailing and excellent customer service from the water taxi staff.
Probably contemplating the honken hills.
We made it to the other side or whatever it's called, West Seattle. Look at that line for Marination. This should have been our first clue that people would be crazy to get to lunch and drive like it too.
I captured the moment I biked over something on the ground and was afraid of a possible flat. We got lucky, nothing happened.
Teen was unaware of my blunder because she was too occupied at laughing at something. They will do that sometimes and you have no idea why.
Here is where it gets confusing. Last year we paid our passenger fare and then $1 for the bike. After the ferry staff charged my Orca Card she tells me that she should have charged me more for the bike because it was big like a trailer or tandem. I asked her to charge me and she waved me off. Rather than fight with ferry staff on the spot was willing to pay and then complain later but I was never charged.
Turns out this is a new proposal which is discouraging because bikes are small, even my HUGE honken bike is small. Cascade is organizing a proposal to keep fares affordable.
My toddler is a master at finding people he can spy on. Here he is peeking over the seat at an elderly couple. Not sure if they were annoyed but they moved at some point so maybe?
Once we got out at Southworth we were stuck. So if you ride a road bike move it from the pedestrian walkway because someone with a wheelchair, stroller or other device can't get through. I could have bossy pants myself all over this but kinda just let it go because I wasn't in the mood. I'm on vacation, not going to micromanage these spandex people.
Here is the secret path from the cat cafe, wait for it...
OOH, pretty! The gravel was even pressed so it's less crunchy to ride on.
Keep on trucking. The assist stayed in Economy mode the whole 30 miles and only took one out of 5 bars off the battery. I don't know if I would trust other teens to ride this responsibly but she did a good job of not going crazy while biking.
She was so excited she biked ahead. We made it.
The white car passed us because they were in some kind of hurry. Oh look, we caught up. That's the kind of novelty we expect in Seattle, oooh Seattle!
After unpacking and setting up camp we went to the beach. Toddler is sporting his new peyos and checking out the plentiful rocks.
Last year I tipped this because it was new, I didn't practice using it but look at me, boiling pasta!
Our view of the mosquito invested forest. We had bug repellant.
I brought the toddler his down blanket because I am that kind of mother. I spoil my children and carry a down blanket and pillow on a bike for 30 miles because I love my children more than you do! Aw, come on, just kidding but I do.
I made coffee! It has some almond milk in it too because you can get teeny tiny containers of almond milk at Bartell's, not a paid advertisement.
During breakfast the teen told me all the rules of the campsite including the no smoking, no pot and no gathering of sticks. I asked her where she read this and it was somewhere. The collecting of sticks she took seriously because that little guy had been collecting them since we arrive and had a huge pile. Calm down!
Okay lady, let's get out of here! He got up at 5:35AM, yeah! You took my stick collection away and it's time to go. How do you expect me to bang on stuff? With my foot?
I splurged and got a campsite with electric hook-ups. I'm sure this induced a lot of wrath and weird looks from car campers who weren't able to secure this spot. SUCK IT!
So, I packed better on the way home and the teen didn't have to carry so much. That just made my load much heaver. I also managed to clear a lot of leg room for the toddler who was kinda cramped on the bike.
Are we there yet?
The woman in the SUV had paper plates and was all too eager to drive fast on to the ferry. Her car is HUGE and it scared me that if stopped on Vashon to unload I bet my bike would be crushed.
This is what the top level looks like with no cars, weird.
Of course the first thing we see in Seattle is #VisionCaca in action. Nobody stops for the stop sign here and this group of 8 toddlers from some daycare were forced to go around the drivers who don't care. Can you see them? No you can't because they are much shorter than those car bumpers.
We made it home!! WOOT WOOT! Teen really pushed the pace on the ride home and it wore me out.
|Route from Rainier Valley to W. Seattle Water Taxi|
|West Seattle, basically flat except for that hump|
|Southworth to Manchester State Park, workout!|
The ride to the park is no joke but doable. If I ever tell you we are going on a not so hilly ride keep these pictures in mind okay because I'm probably telling you a lie.