May weekend in Washington

New to the group, having enjoyed the trip reports and other posts, we thought we would have a go at posting reports of some of the trips we made during 2010.
This first report covers our early May weekend ride in Washington. Future reports will cover rides to Keremeos/Merritt area, Jasper/Edmonton/Lake Louise, Olympic Peninsula/Oregon Coast.
Plans for 2011 include Oregon/California, Eastern WA/Idaho.

Day 1 – Friday, after work ride.

Warm sunny evening and quick entry at Pacific Hwy border crossing. Dry roads and moderate traffic. Decided to leave I5 at Bellingham and take Chuckanut Drive. The low sun at that time of day required extra care in and out of the shaded places on the winding road. Want to do it again faster at another time of day or northbound to avoid the glare. At the southern end of the Chuckanut, we headed first towards Burlington across the flats, then west to Anacortes, facing the intense glare of the setting sun again.
The Anaco Inn was a pleasant surprise – comfortable, welcoming and reasonably priced. The owners are very biker friendly and enjoy guests during the Oyster Run. It was Art Walk night in Anacortes, busy on the main street and eating places crowded. The Brown Lantern turned out to be a good but busy choice for dinner.

Day 2 – Saturday.

This was to be a leisurely weekend and it was a very cool morning, so we explored the town on foot till around 11:00. Heavy traffic on the way over to Burlington for lunch, including a good number of guys out riding, ranging from aggressive sports bikes (sounding real good) to the typical jacket and chaps men on their Harleys.

We wanted to check out Hwy#9 as an alternate to I5 for future trips to mountain routes and to southern Washington. *From Sedro-Woolley to Arlington it is a pleasant easy ride, but nothing challenging or fast. The town has some interesting history and was worth a few minutes break and some pics.

South of Arlington, #9 appears to be a service road for fast growing industry interrupted by traffic lights about every km. and very slow compared with I5 of course. Nothing to recommend it - best avoided. We got back to I5 near Lynwood as we had a call to make in Edmonds before heading back to Marysville.
I5 traffic had been moderately heavy and the faster riding made a good contrast to the earlier part of the day. On-going construction had created some bad surfaces and diversions on some sections.
From Marysville, we took the coast road, Tulalip Drive/Marine Drive to Stanwood where we joined the Pioneer Hwy. Stanwood is worth a few minutes exploration. Instead of just driving through, we turned west towards Camano Island to the older part of town where there are some early homes still in good shape, then north up the Old Pacific Hwy, rejoining the Pioneer Hwy north of town.
At Conway, we went west on Fir Island Road, stopping for gas at the old Rexville store on Best Road. Lots of character, it still has the old style pumps, bar and food – quite a local gathering spot it seems. Well worth a few minutes stop of a drink or snack.

Continuing on Best Road, we turned left on Chilberg Road to La Conner, did a circuit of the town and then over the bridge to follow the Reservation Road back to Hwy 20 and the Anaco Motel in Anacortes.