Day one of our B&B&B (bikes & bed & breakfast) trip to Lake Stevens we arrived in Lake Stevens with plenty of time to find dinner and settle into our room. We slept soundly on a wonderfully comfortable bed after the day’s mileage (36 or so total, which is more than my usual commuting).
Saturday dawned bright and early and I realized the one tiny change I’d make in our room — one set of small windows didn’t have really dark shades and the light woke us earlier than what I would have planned, given that this was a vacation.
Well, “bright” is an overstatement — the sky held a bit of an overcast. After enjoying our breakfast and plenty of coffee we packed rain gear into our bags before setting off to bike to Marysville with plans to see a movie and have lunch.
Good thing we had the gear, as it started to drizzle not long after we got on the road and kept up for most of the ride. I wore wool socks so even when the rain crept through my bike shoes my feet weren’t freezing, but would have liked to have my waterproof shoe covers.
Bicycling from Lake Stevens to Marysville meant more easy miles on the Snohomish County Centennial Trail before turning off to cross Highway 9. We rode through peaceful farming acreage with beautiful fields of flowers, corn, and other crops. While the road didn’t always have good shoulders, traffic was minimal and drivers gave us plenty of room.
Why did I plan a trip partly around the Centennial Trail as a key connection? Watch this video we created to get an idea (some of the food shots are at Mirkwood, our Arlington lunch stop from Day Three).
We came into Marysville following Google Map’s recommendations, which involved some major roads but got us onto a quiet street paralleling an arterial wherever possible. (See Lake Stevens to Marysville bike route map below.)
One particular stretch of road gave me that mix of delight and dread familiar to anyone who rides a bike: We had a wonderful long coast downhill, which meant we’d have to climb it on the way back. At least the newly surfaced street had bike lanes on both sides all the way — thanks, Marysville!
We had one of those small-town moments when we arrived at the movie theater to find an empty parking lot and a dark, silent building. At first we thought it might have closed but their site had shown a full roster of movies.
This made me wish I’d done a little more planning to have some back-up options handy. On the other hand, when you’re on a bike you’re already doing something so you can just keep riding and see what you find. But that advance planning would have told me Willis Hall Winery lay just 3 miles farther and I would have checked on the possibility of a little tasting stop.
Turned out the theater just hadn’t opened yet because the first showings started after noon and it was only about 11, so we went for an early lunch. We ended up at Applebee’s; a chain isn’t our first choice but we got great, friendly service and decided we were hobbits and should have second breakfast.
I was glad I’d brought a bag with me even though we weren’t planning to do any shopping. I often have leftovers to carry (couldn’t finish my second breakfast) or want to shed some gear. Our jackets and rain pants came on and off multiple times on this trip.
We came out of the movie to clearing skies and a mostly-dry ride home, warming to sunshine toward the end. After the long haul up that hill in Marysville, I was glad to get back on the Centennial Trail for easy bike miles back to Lake Stevens, where we stopped at the grocery store to get a bottle of Whidbey Island port for a treat along with some chocolate bars.
For dinner that night we ended up raiding the snack shelves for yogurt, granola, fruit, and hot cocoa. The Mansion Inn provides wine glasses and corkscrews, which made it easy to enjoy that port, too.
Other options considered for Day 2:
Everett: We could have gone to Everett to the Future of Flight Museum, which would have made about a 35-45-mile day (depending on the route taken) with a lot of walking at the museum.
Granite Falls: This would have been less mileage — around 17 miles round trip. If it hadn’t been raining we might have done this to see the ice caves. The catch could have been that our bike shoes aren’t hiking shoes and we didn’t know whether we could find secure bike parking at a trailhead.
Map: Lake Stevens to Marysville
Snohomish County Bikes: Bed, Breakfast, & Biking Getaway to Lake Stevens
- Day One: North Seattle to Lake Stevens
- Day Two: Lake Stevens to Marysville and Back
- Day Three: Lake Stevens to Arlington and Back
- Day Four: Lake Stevens to North Seattle
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