Sunday, October 07, 2012


View from the Samish Overlook Hang Glider Launch: Samish Bay, Samish Island and Mount Erie in the distance.
With Galbraith, Chuckanut and Lookout mountains so close to Bellingham, we don't ride Blanchard Mountain nearly as often as we should. It's just that little bit farther from town and to really explore its charms--of which there are many--it'd end up being a six-hour day, which we can't always do. 

John checks out some of our road-riding routes: Chuckanut Drive, Colony Road, Bow Hill, Samish Island and more. 
So early on Saturday, we loaded up John's truck with bikes and gear (including Darrell Sofield's way-useful Amazing Map of the area), drove to Lake Samish (where we parked) and pedaled toward the Summerland Road entrance of the Pacific Northwest Trail. (C-c-c-c-o-l-d too, like 30s.) From there it was following white blazes on trees and rocks up, up, up, up, up via mix of dirt road and singletrack, eventually hitting the way-steep-in-spots British Army Trail which delivered us to Lizard Lake.  
A lovely bench on the Lily Lake trail offers  the opportunity to swim a few laps.
 From there we traversed the mountain, picked up way-fun Max's Shortcut and Larry Reed trails and made our ways to the Overlook. The view was absolutely breathtaking (a huge plus of leaving really early--7 a.m.--is that morning sun is perfect for photos): islands, water, fingers of land poking this way and that and it seemed we could see the curvature of the earth. Wowzer!
Tight squeeze in John's truck.
 Return was gravel road B-2000 to the Lily and Lizard Lakes Trail which has got to be one of the longest sustained singletrack climbs around here. We got off the mountain via Alternate Incline, one of my all-time favorite descents and one on which I put my new carbon 29er  fork to the test. (It'll be interesting to see how my upper body feels in the upcoming days.)
 A super-amazing day!
Here's our route: 

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