06/22/1981 at 01:00 AM EDT
What better place to start a bicycling tour in the scenic Northwest than on the western approach to Mount Rainier at the Ash-ford, Wash. Hostel? The 90-mile route north to Seattle alternates between rolling foothills and level farmland, with two hostels on the way. Seattle's Sea Haven Hostel is somewhat seedy but is not far from the city's attractions. After ferrying across the sound to Bremerton, cyclists can pedal 55 miles north to a hostel in Fort Flagler State Park, whose saltwater beaches recall Cape Cod's. Thirty miles farther north, at the sound's mouth, is Port Townsend. Hostelers can bunk in barracks at Fort Worden by night and enjoy the town's celebrated American Victorian architecture by day. After a short ferry ride to Keystone on Whidbey Island, it is 35 miles to Anacortes and another ferry to San Juan Island's Friday Harbor. There, a European-style hostel offers saunas and hot tubs, as well as proximity to sailing, horseback riding, hiking and hill climbing. Going on to Sidney, B.C. by ferry, bikers will find themselves only 15 miles from picturesque Victoria. Though there are no hostels along this stretch, campgrounds abound. Cyclists can take a breather ferrying back to Seattle—flanked by the spectacular Olympic Mountains to the west and the Cascades to the east.