Sunday, April 15, 2012

Joyce General Store to Crescent Bay/Tongue Point

Joyce General Store; same location for 103 years.

Gotta check this place out; it's a bit of Americana that has almost completely disappeared nowadays. They don't make 'em like this any more. Stop in and buy some snacks and sugar water.  Check out the bulletin board to find out where you can buy next fall's firewood, a large reptile cage with heat lamp, or a yellow '87 Trans Am (85% complete! Best Offer!). Or farm-fresh free-range eggs.
(Caution!  Bicycle Riders!  Hey!  That's us!)
Take the little road that goes (North) behind Joyce Gen Store, and a right at the Y takes you to Crescent bay in a couple miles, of fairly fast rolling up and down country road, with a sharp descent to water; careful, it's steep and twisty on the way down that last little bit.

 Here's Crescent Bay.  You'll pedal on the flat road next to the bay for about a mile to get to Salt Creek Recreation and Wildlife Area.  Not a bad place to stop and lock up and take a stroll down the beach.  Or ride your bike down the beach; I didn't see any signs specifically prohibiting it.  If you stay close to the waterline, the fine sand is usually hard and rideable even on skinny tires.  (here's the parking lot and restrooms)

Or if you want to check out the Salt Creek / Camp Hayden campground, that's another minute or two up the road.  Day use is free of charge.
Ride into the park for picnic tables, restrooms, etc. and go left as far as you can into the camping area through the trees, and there's a staircase going down to Tongue Point, where you can wander around the tidepools looking at sea life (when the tide is low enough).  Not really a good place for biking shoes, unless you like to get them gummed up with seaweed and dirt and rocks. (Edit: check tide tables if you are considering this side trip.  A zero or minus tide is the best time to visit.)

(This is looking out over Tongue Point at a fairly high tide, mostly submerged.  Those little islands you see going up the middle are the higher points that you climb around on to get to the tidepools that are so much fun to poke around in at a minus tide.)

(There is a deer in this photo, can you find it?)
Camp Hayden, the site of Salt Creek Recreation Area is an old WWII military base with bunkers and big guns to turn back the Japanese warships that were just constantly trying to poke their noses in the the Juan de Fuca Straight back in the day.

You can walk or ride out to check out  few bunkers while you're here, with several spooky, dark, dank inner chambers to poke around in, and some disarmed (I hope) ordnance casually strewn about.

(The shells are disarmed, but my custom bike is da bomb.)

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