The weather lately? Off the charts! I don’t know if I should be worried, pretend I’m living somewhere tropical and enjoy it or simply move. It hasn’t been that long since we were saying, here in the Northwest, that summer doesn’t start until after July 4th. And now? This weekend we got into the 90s!
So yes, the temperatures were record breaking for this marathon weekend. Even though the peninsula is usually cooler than Seattle, especially Port Angeles, it was still crazy hot.
Getting to Port Angeles is quite the journey. From Seattle you need to take a ferry. There are a few options, but the most logical one is usually the Edmonds-Kingston ferry.
It takes about 30 minutes or so to get to Edmonds from Seattle, but since we live in South Seattle, we have to get through downtown first, which may or may not have insane traffic, depending on how many people decided to move to Seattle this weekend.
The ferry takes about 35 minutes and then it’s close to an hour and a half driving from Kingston to Port Angeles. So technically speaking, it should take less than three hours to get there. However, in the summer ferries fill up fast and it’s not unusual to not be able to get on the first ferry and then wait for the next one. So it’s normal to sit at the ferry terminal for an hour or so. Luckily there are usually coffee shops all around to keep people from rioting.
There were some Harley bikers on the ferry, taking selfies with a selfie-stick and giving each other bunny ears. That was definitely the cutest thing I saw the entire day!
Port Angeles is pretty cute too though.
It’s a coastal town with a busy port and views of Canada.
Marissa and I got into town Saturday afternoon and walked around for a bit. Not a whole lot of action in downtown PA, so we quickly headed over to Rooster Hill Inn, where we had rooms booked.
The Inn is on the outskirts of town. It’s run by a lovely couple with two dogs, Coco and Odie. Forget all the chain motels that line the main street in town! If you can, stay here! It feels like home.
I loved my room. It was very comfortable.
Marissa’s room next door was even nicer!
Her room had one of the largest bathrooms I’ve ever been in!
We liked our rooms so much (and the dogs and the deck and the general atmosphere of the place) that we decided not to go out to eat that night. Instead, we shopped for some tapas-like snacks and bottles of rose at the local natural foods market.
We ate the food and drank a bottle and a half of wine and stayed up late (but not too late), chatting and getting eaten by mosquitos.
Now, I realize that I write often about drinking. I’m starting to worry that I may be coming off as quite the lush. But I’m not! Not really… I mean, three glasses of wine before a marathon is normal, right? I hardly ever drink anything stronger than wine. Really. Am I sounding defensive now? I guess what I’m trying to say is that I like the good life! I like some good wine and good beer once in a while and I also like to exercise and take care of myself. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive!
Everything in moderation, folks. Live life. As Jay-Z says: “life is for living; not living uptight.”
Anyways, we were good at trying to get to bed at a decent time. I went to bed around 10 pm and fell asleep shortly after. Wake up call? 4:15 am!
A shuttle was leaving from Port Angeles at 5:15 am and taking the marathon walkers to the start line in Blyn, which just happened to be at a casino. Luckily, I didn’t see anyone pulling an all-nighter on the slot machines.
At 6 am we were off! I thought walking a marathon means walking it… But every one of the “walkers” immediately started to run! Ummm…. I’m thinking that I need to learn how to run, at least a little bit if I’m going to improve my time. Because that was the first lesson I learned from this marathon walk. “Walking” means mostly walking. This isn’t the Parish Walk and no one is disqualified for running!
My second lesson was that I didn’t need to layer with a long sleeve. I’m so used to being chilly, especially at 6 am, that I wore a long sleeve over my short sleeve and ended up taking it off after about quarter of a mile down the road. Note to self: you get warm quickly while moving, especially when the projected high for the day is 90 degrees.
Third lesson: now is not a good time to be making friends. For some reason some people along the course were very chatty. So I’d slow down and chat with them, but later I realized that they were most likely trying to sabotage my time! Yeah, that’s right. From now on I will turn up my music and will ignore you, because I need to come in under 7 hours next time I do this.
Lesson number four: energy gels and energy chews are horrible for my constitution! I thought I learned this lesson before, but apparently not. These energy loaded concoctions taste pretty good, especially the chews, but they give me the runs! TMI? I’m just saying… I don’t digest them very well. Or I digest them too well? I know you’re suppose to drink lots of water with them and I do try to drink as much as I can, but it still seems that I have to hit the port-a-potty about fifteen minutes after consuming one of those products. And no, it’s not the kind of pit stop you can go in the bushes for…
Lesson number five: bring a tiny bottle (or a tube?) of sunscreen. I’m looking pinker than I’d like to now. The sun and I will never be on friendly terms.
Lesson number six: yes, blisters do form during a walk that’s over 26 miles long. I started to get them (on my heels) at around mile 14. I still love my Hoka One Ones, because they remained fabulously comfortable, even after I got those blisters. And now I know where to put blister preventative band aids.
The North Olympic Discovery Trail is supremely beautiful. I mean it. It was a lovely 26 (almost 27) mile walk. Very enjoyable. I would do it again. I may do it again next year!
- This Walk: 26.9 miles (according to Strava; I didn’t stop it at the finish line and started a little bit before… And then add the bathroom detours. Adds up to 0.7 miles?)
- Elevation Gain: 971 ft
- YTD “Urban” Hiking Miles: 71.5
- YTD Biking Miles: 588.4
- YTD Hiking Miles: 36.8