With the days now warm and long in the Pacific Northwest, how can one not look towards the mountains and islands, and dream of adventure? This was my inspiration two weeks ago when I was struck by the idea to take a bike trip to the local isle of escape, Bainbridge Island, located just a 20-minute ferry ride from Downtown Seattle. Nestled in the heart of Puget Sound, this destination offered exactly what my wife and I were seeking for a weekend getaway: a break from the city, a slower pace of life and wineries-a-plenty. "We could camp out, and borrow a bike trailer and tow Luna and our gear!" I exclaimed to my wife who was laying in bed, settling down for the night when I was struck with the inspiration. I was excited by the prospect of a new outing together and the idea of riding bikes to escape the long queue of cars boarding the Bainbridge ferry. And because I would tow a trailer, Luna, our dog could join us on the trip, too!
"Can we talk in the morning?" Sophia asked in an understandably exhausted tone. I can't blame her. Even my excitement surprised me for this hour of the night. After a few more minutes of searching on my phone for Bainbridge parks and destinations, I retired for the evening.
The following morning, my search continued and I found camping options at Fay-Bainbridge State Park and secured a bike trailer engineered for children, but equally capable for towing dogs--borrowed from a running buddy. Lastly, I figured out a biking route that my wife Sophia felt comfortable with (less loud, dangerous highway, more scenic road). Sophia and I were going on our first overnight bike outing!
On Saturday morning, Sophia and I, with Luna in tow, departed for our mini-vacation. The weather was pleasant as we glided downhill towards the Ballard Bridge, and onto the trail leading to the ferry. While Sophia's picked up a flat in her front tire just a half-mile from the dock, we still made it to the ferry in time to buy tickets and board. A little after 9:30 a.m., our ferry pushed off, headed for Bainbridge. We were on our way.
After docking, Sophia and I walked our bikes to the local bike shop located just up from the road from the dock. I swapped out Sophia's tube and replaced her worn tire at a local bike shop. Once her ride were fixed, we loaded up on food at the Town & Country supermarket, then set out for Fay-Bainbridge Park.
Without boring you with the play-by-play, we had a great trip! I discovered how exhausting it was to tow a trailer loaded down with 90lbs of dog/camping gear/food. How tired you ask? Like so tired my wife was biking circles around me while I huffed and puffed my way in granny gear up the rolling hills of Bainbridge.
We visited the beautiful Bainbridge Vineyards Winery where Luna romped with the founder's 11-month-old puppy. Later we also sipped wine at Eleven, an understated winery that was staffed by the approachable storytelling manager Mike.
Camping at Fay-Bainbridge was a the perfect choice. The park overlooks the scenic and calm waters of the Puget Sound. While we were just a few miles from our home in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, the song birds, towering trees and scent of pine needles mixed with the salty air made us feel much, much further away from the bustle of the city.
For an adventure that rang up to around a $100, I highly suggest giving this ride a try. We loved it!
Budget: Ferry - $18 Camping & Firewood - $25 Wine Tasting - $20 Dinner & Snacks - $30