Have you ever looked at a route on the map and thought it
could be a decent route but you just never work it into your ride schedule?
Last summer I was searching the map for a "off the beaten path" ride that
was somewhat short and I could ride after work. I have done
allot of boating
in the Puget Sound and one of my favorite boat rides was through Nisqually
reach and back around to the Narrows. My map shows a road that loops around
the end of the land mass that extends out toward Nisqually reach. For some
reason I just never got around to it last summer. I got off work a couple
hours early today and thought it's about time I ride this route.
I loaded my route onto my Garmin and got my camera gear and
set off for a brief fuel stop and then my planned route. If you have read
some of my other trip logs that cross the Narrows, you will notice I tend to
jump off hwy 16 and take the back roads through Gig Harbor. I do this
because there is allot more scenery then riding hwy 16. I rolled through Gig
Harbor at a blazing speed of 25 mph and then made my way up Peacock Hill Rd.
I never get tired of the great views of the water and boats. Peacock Hill Rd
intersects with 144th in 3.3 miles and then it's a left turn onto 144th.
Within 1.6 miles I approached Purdy Dr Nw. Along with this road came mega
traffic! I should have know that this time of day folks were rushing
home. The wreck nearby didn't help things either. The .6 miles south
bound on Purdy Dr Nw was a slow mover. As I approached the Purdy bridge my
luck changed for the better. The traffic jam was south bound on Purdy Dr and
not on the bridge heading west. Crossing this bridge is always a pleasure as
you get a water front view from both sides. It's very refreshing on a hot
summer day. Once across the bridge I forge onward on hwy 302. This hwy turns
off in 5.2 miles and I veered left and was riding on the Key Peninsula Hyw.
The next 14.1 miles were a combination of shaded road with sun breaks, wide
open areas. I enjoyed this stretch of road as I got brief views of
Flucy Bay and several views of Car Inlet. This really is a good ride for a
hot day. In this area there were some fun twisties. Not allot of them but
some are always better then none. The roads were pretty good until I neared
the end of Key Peninsula. At that point, the some what smooth concrete
surface transitioned to coarse. My next turn was right on 76th St KP S. This
road took me over a small bridge and gave me a great view of Taylor Bay. The
tide was out so the mud beds were exposed. I took this opportunity to stop,
stretch my legs and snap a few photos.
76th St KP S was only 1.7 miles in distance and it
just became Whiteman Rd which extended 4.3 miles with very few turns. At the
end of this it just turned into the Key Peninsula hwy heading East. I rode
this for 3.3 miles where I turned off onto Lackey Rd. It wasn't long and I
was riding down hwy 302 up and over the Purdy bridge with another
spectacular view of the water. This area is very popular with the locals so
if you ride this route in the summer time parking along this road is tight.
This is a great place to stop and walk down to the beach. Parking is allowed
right on 302 and your walk to the water is only approximately 35 yards.
I won't bore you with the remainder of the trip as it was
just another ride up hwy 16. With the exception of the great view of the
Narrows when crossing the Narrows bridge. I should say Narrows bridges as
the new East span is almost completed. And I would like to point out that
after mid July your return trip over the east span will cost you $4 as tools
have been set up.
A short 72 miles but allot of scenery. Not a bad little