Last Friday S brought home a used doggie trailer. By Saturday afternoon I had decided that we were going to use it Sunday for the first time and ride almost 15 miles from Mukilteo to the dog-friendly, seaside village of Langley, WA. Sunday, after slapping some duct tape on the trailer (fixes anything right?), throwing some gear together and airing up the bike tires we were off.
Most people would take a spin around the block or something to test the trailer and how the dogs would like it first. Not us. Nope. That is not our style. Off we went with reckless abandon.
Unsure of our parking options, we pulled into the Mukilteo Lighthouse Waterfront park right by the ferry. To our pleasant surprise, a police officer was standing there. Rather than poach a parking spot and hope for no ticket we asked him where the best bike-on ferry traffic parking was. The officer said it was ok to park at the Lighthouse Park for the day as long as you weren’t in a trailer spot or park just up the hill at the Rosehill Community Center ¼ mile up the hill. The Lighthouse Park lot was full so we opted for the Rosehill parking lot.
We missed the ferry we were shooting for but since they come about every 20 minutes we had the perfect amount of time to throw the bikes and trailer together and zip down the hill to catch the next one.
Dogs are only allowed on the ferry car deck so during the crossing we took them out of the trailer, enjoyed the view and snapped a couple of photos. Chester thought it was no big deal but Gretel was kind of chilly and got a little nervous with all the noise and commotion.
When we got off the ferry we stopped to take a picture of this little guy before heading up the hill. At least someone is working around here.
The group was the Whidbey Island Chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby. They are working to create the political will for a livable world. As you know, we are all for protecting the environment we so much enjoy. Go Citizen Climate Lobby!
We followed a rural island road we found on the cycling map we got during our Deception Pass Trip a few weeks ago. The shoulder was fairly wide by biking standards and the traffic was light. When we rolled into town we stopped at the overlook park with the boy and dog statue to get our bearings, wipe off the sweat and take in the beautiful views of Camano Island and the Cascade Mountains.
We locked our bikes to railing, hoped no one would steal our doggie bike trailer and wandered around town. There were dogs everywhere you looked. They were standing on the streets, window shopping with their owners and strolling the waterfront trail along Saratoga Passage. Soon we started to notice that about every other business had a doggie water dish out front.
This Dog friendly, artsy little town has several art galleries, a historic one-room movie theatre, a pet supply and gift store, a little shop selling colorful, handmade cloth dog harnesses and a brewery. Langley is also home to a glass blowing studio housed in a historic firehouse, several coffee shops and the Spoiled Dog Winery (so named because of the two dogs who watch over the vineyards). Pretty little garden walkways connect the shops along first and second streets.
Before we went I had looked up pet-friendly restaurants on BringFido.com and found the Braeburn (The Dog House Backdoor Restaurant and Tavern listed on this same site has sadly been closed since 2010). Dogs are allowed in their quaint garden seating area around the side of the building.
I was excited that they serve breakfast all day because it is my favorite meal to eat out…especially in the middle of the afternoon. Also, the seasonal fruit that comes with it wasn’t your typical cantaloupe and honeydew. My little dish was filled with apples, grapes, oranges, blueberries and strawberries. This is a great little restaurant but come prepared because they only take cash or check. There is a little cash machine inside in case you forget though.
We stopped at one little shop at the end of town and when the man found out we biked to Langley he told us he biked to work every day. When we told him what route we took he said, “So you rode the Bob Galbraith Hill of Death?” Apparently so.
He said it was better to take Zimmerman Road and the multi-use trail and cut out the hill of death. We took this route on the way back to the ferry. It was still hilly with short, steep ups and downs. There were also several gates designed to keep motorized users off the trail we had to navigate around. In the end, I think I almost would have rather taken the main road but it did feel like it cut at least 15 minutes off our time….and I wasn’t the one pulling the trailer.
The fare we paid on the Mukilteo side of the ferry is also good for the return trip so we were able to cruse right onto the back of the ferry in just before it left.
After riding up a quick, short hill on the other side we were back at the car. The whole trip took us about 6 hours.
The trip went great. We enjoyed the town and there were only minimal issues with the dogs in the trailer. Actually, Gretel was cool with it but Chester ended up being kind of a complainer. All the way back to the ferry he was barking and whining so picture a bike pulling a barking trailer with a madwoman following behind yelling “No Barking” in a stern voice. This is the part where the test run around the block may have come in handy.
I don’t know why we waited so long to get a doggie bike trailer. It’s great. We no longer have to choose between getting on our bikes or doing something with Chester and Gretel. This trip definitely spawned future adventures. I am already planning a week-long bike tour for us 🙂