Some of you may have seen some photos of my first overnight cycle tour to Larabee Park a few weeks ago from my social media posts. I wanted to give you a more formal story of what that small adventure was like, an adventure used as training for the real deal of cycling across Canada on a fruit based diet.
This will be fun! It’ll have photos, provide do’s and don’ts, and some extra tips on what else to do in the area.
My Gear Set-Up
So the week of this trip was a recovery week of training meaning I didn’t want to pick a place too far for my first overnight cycle tour. After contemplating a couple of options I decided to take a co-workers suggestion of Larrabee Park.
I started from where I work, M.E.C. Langley and the finish was Larrabee Park Campground. Google Maps said it was 68km but it turned out to be about 76km.
I won’t focus too much on directions from the Canadian side of the border.
To keep things familiar I’ll use some photos of directions from Google Maps. This is a photo of the Google Maps route.
Tip: I do recommend using Google Maps the find the route that matches the one I used. I would also zoom in and take screen shots that you can later refer to when you’re in the US so you don’t have to use your phones data. You may need to download an app to take screen shots.
Tip: Instead of taking your first left on the map to head towards Hannegan Road I recommend continuing about 10 – 15 minutes farther down the 539 and taking a left on Front Street because down Front Street there’s an open public washroom, great for cycles passing through. Yes, those are bike locks if your buddies aren’t willing to take turns 😉
Tip: Now, if you like fueling with fruit like me and you got all your stash confiscated from the border officials then you can pick some more up at the grocery store on your left hand side, about 5 min past Front street on the 539. You’ll just have to turn back and take a right on Front street.
The rest of the route is nice and like almost all the time I’m quite happy with the route Google Maps chooses.
The 539 is the fastest option but the taking Hannegan road is quite a bit nicer and not really out-of-the-way. It was still fairly busy when I went but it at least took me through some countryside.
When you get closer to crossing the I5 (the big orange line/road on the map) you’re right down on busy roads. Just follow the directions to Fairhaven (the small town before Larabbe Park.
When you get to Fairhaven you’ll get to State street which turns into 11th street. 11th street takes right through the town. This isn’t bad because you can see any restaurants you may want to visit that evening. 11th street will turn into 12th street which will take you out of the town. Once you get out of Fairhaven you’ll take a left onto Chuckanut road which will take you all the way to the Campground. This road is a bit narrow and can be busy but there are laws against big trucks. Plus, I think you’ll enjoy the ocean side views.
Tip: If you need one more place to take a break from cycling then there’s Fairhaven Park just after you turn onto Chuckanut Drive. It’s quite nice and offers a good place to sit at pick nick tables.
After cycling along the rolling ocean side you’ll see the park campground on your right hand side. It should take 10 – 15 min from Fairhaven Park to arrive at. It’s got a big gate and you can’t miss it.
I found the campground at this time of the year to be quite nice. There were other campers there, mostly in RVs.
The campsite was a good size with a fire pit and pick nick tables. There’s enough space for a truck to drive in and park encase someone wants to meet you there instead of cycling with you.
Fairhaven Town & Amenities
Well as you will see from cycling through the town on 11th street there’s a lot of small shops and restaurants. On this adventure I had a family member meet me down there and later we went out for dinner. We stopped in at one place and asked if there were any vegan friendly places to eat at for dinner. There wasn’t much but one option cam up.
We had dinner at the Paper Sister, A Mexican-style restaurant. I thought the menu was a bit limited for being a Mexican-style restaurant because there weren’t as many simple bean and rice dishes. The service was ok, a couple of times I thought the waitress could be more pleasant.
We got one free bowl of chips and salsa.
I had an Enchilada. It was pretty good! But I wouldn’t absolutely rave about it.
We were happy with overall food but thought the service would’ve been better. It was still a good time out after a long 🙂
The second place we went was Town Cafe for breakfast. The staff was friendlier here but you could tell the waitress was a bit stressed when we were asking for vegan pancakes. Plane and simply, the cooks weren’t willing to accommodate a request for vegan pancakes even though they are so simple. I ended up getting a vegan burger which was really good!
(sorry no photo)
Interestingly, two of the waitresses had been vegan for a while, but weren’t anymore. One had a child and craved ice cream, the irony.
After going to Town Cafe on Harris Ave you’ll be able to get the idea that there are spots to go for a walk all along the town side. If you continue down Harris Ave there’s the Marine Park. This is a small spot with a green belt, washroom, pick nick tables, and a great view to relax by.
I would like to thank you for reading.
I hope you enjoyed this read and motivated you to think about doing this trip yourself. I quite enjoyed it and will certainly do it again at some point.
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