We drove into Edison, Washington, population 133. As we drove in to town, a blink of an eye later we were already outside “town” and had to make a quick u-turn before parking at the Elementary School. Maya went to a nearby cafe, where she tried to order an ice mocha, and they rolled their eyes at her – they had no idea what she was talking about. I guess the message was: “You’re not in Vancouver anymore” (she actually just wanted the WiFi password and to use the bathroom).
While we were having lunch on the lush school lawn, no doubt sprayed with all pesticides imaginable, we watched several cars with cyclists in them park by the school and set off. Turns out the loop we had come to ride is quite popular. We took advantage of the many cyclists to borrow a foot pump and finally pump up our tires. They went from 30 PSI to 90 PSI, oops – perhaps we should pump up our tires more often.
We cycled along the shoreline, every now and then getting a close look at Padilla Bay, which at low tide seemed to go on forever, the mother of all soccer fields. There was even a little water slide stuck way out, with no water around it, it seemed like something Dalí might have drawn.
When we arrived to La Conner, we immediately checked out the ice cream shop, which was not too surprisingly of the low quality kind. Perhaps we have been spoiled recently by all the super duper ice cream places in Vancouver. A search for public washrooms led us to “World Famous Nasty Jack’s Antiques”, a store chock a block full of stuff we would never buy, and a bathroom hidden behind so many posters that I walked by it a few times before I noticed it was there (thanks for letting us use your washrooms!).
Then we cycled across the Roosevelt Bridge (which dates back to 1957) into Swinomish Reservation, seemingly transporting us to another country altogether. Gone were the yuppies shopping for antiques in La Conner, and we were surrounded by totem poles and ramshackle houses.
By that point we were starting to wonder where we might camp that night. I had spotted an “RV Resort” nearby on Google Maps before we left, so we figured we’d give that a try. But when we rolled in on our bikes, the attendant didn’t flinch when he told us it would be a clean 50 USD to camp for the night. I said No Way Jose, and we kept on riding. Just a few hundred meters up the road, a man was mowing his lawn. I asked him if he knew where we could camp, and sure enough, he invited us to camp on his lawn, complete with beach access and even a porta-pottie right there (due to his neigbhour’s house undergoing renovations).
We took a short walk down to the water of Skagit Bay, but it was very windy and we retreated back to our sheltered spot behind a shed. We all slept very well that night, and we even woke up before Neil, a rare treat. After packing up our gear, we continued riding around the Swinomish Reservation, past La Conner again and on to the Skagit River.
A series of small roads surrounded by beautiful open fields took us past the Skagit Regional Airport and back to the little town of Edison, where our trusty old Subaru was waiting. In no time at all we were back in the car, on our way to Trader Joe’s in Bellingham to stock up on chocolate, cheese and wine (in that order) and we were back in Vancouver in time for dinner with no border wait whatsoever.