Fort Ebey Overnight Tour

Andre, Andrew, and I celebrated the first weekend of spring with an overnight trip to Fort Ebey State Park on Whidbey Island. Last year the three of us also broke in the camping season with a one nighter bike camping trip together, and hopefully that is a tradition that we keep up. Andre came up with scenic and winding route that headed up Whidbey Island with lots of time to explore Fort Casey and to play on the trails at Fort Ebey. On the way back we made a b-line for the ferry and took the highway the whole way. That was expedient and about half as many miles, but the riding wasn’t as nice.

The weather during the day was mostly great, although the temperature seemed to be going through some wild swings. I recently purchased a pair of Ibex arm warmers which got a lot of use. I also tried out a new bivy (loaning Andrew my normal hammock) and found that it worked well. I was plenty warm (maybe too warm?) and comfortable. It didn’t get too cold at night (I never even used the jacket that I brought along), but there was heavy wind for a few hours in the middle of the night. That seems to hit the bluff, blow up into our camp, and make some crazy noises in the tree canopy. Andre and I were pretty well protected behind a thick tree, but Andrew was hanging in a hammock and got blown around a bit. We had to fight that same wind during much of the ride back to the ferry in the morning.

This was my first camping trip on my new bike, Gifford. It handled
nicely when loaded. The plush Grand Bois Hetre tires work nicely on
pavement and on the Fort Ebey singletrack. I sort of wish I had set
the bosses for the lowrider rack slightly higher, it is nice to have a
bit more ground clearance than you get with the stock Tubus Tara
setup. The low bottom bracket was noticeable on thesingletrack,but I could have flipped the eccentric to raise it about 10mm if I planned to spend more time offroad.

I was really impressed with Fort Ebey. The camp sites were great. I wouldn’t mind returning there again,perhaps with a regular mountain bike and time to explore all of the trails. We only touched a small part of them.

Thankfully Andre took lots of great photos, because I took few of them. Hover over them for a caption and to see who actually took them, but just assume most are from Andre.

map GPX my photos Andre’s photos

Paying at the Ferry. Photo by Andre.

Gifford and I, loaded with basic camping gear.  Photo by Andre.

Andrew.  Photo by Andre.

Andre.  The grimace isn't normal, but it is the one photo that I took of him riding.  Photo by Alex.

Playing on Fort Casey.  Photo by Alex.

Playing in Fort Casey.  Photo by Andre.

Fort Casey Lighthouse.  Andrew reported that the lighthouse room was hot.  Photo by Alex.

A trail between Fort Casey and Fort Ebey.  Photo by Andre.

At the Coupeville Red Apple I bought 3 items, Andrew bought about 5, and Andre bought about 20.  Guess who was hungry!  Andre treated us all to ice cream!  Photo by Andre.

Kettle's Trail heading into Fort Ebey.  Photo by Andre.

This was our view from the bluff at Fort Ebey.  No wonder the group camp is called

Paraglider over Fort Ebey near dusk.  Photo by Alex.

Sunset over the bluff.  Photo by Alex.

We camped in this clearing.  It was a great size for a couple of bivys, a tarp, and a hammock.  We setup after dark and struck before light, so we don't have photos of the actual camp.  Photo by Alex.

Heading out for the ride home.  Photo by Alex.


  1. Jimmy Livengood says:

    Looks like a fun trip, and it was a nice weekend for it! What bivy did you try? How”d you like it?

  2. AlexWetmore says:

    It is an OR Alpine Bivy. I got it very cheaply because it has a manufacturing defect that I still haven”t located (something about the zippers…but they work fine for me).

    It was warm, as comfortable as a tent, and packed up small (you can see it strapped down on the rack in photos of my bike). There isn”t much room, I wouldn”t want to spend the day in it, but I wouldn”t want to spend a day in a tent either.

    There is a hoop over the head that seems kind of useless to me, but it doesn”t add much weight to bring it along. If I were buying one at retail I”d look for a lighter model without the hoop.

    We had an 8×10 tarp over our heads and torsos with gear in between. 8×10 tarp + 2 bivies is roomier than a tent and lighter than most tents.

  3. Nick says:

    Will the Gifford take the 650b Pacenti knobbies

  4. AlexWetmore says:

    Nick — Yes, it was designed to fit the Quasi-Motos without fenders. This trip was 90% pavement though, so they wouldn”t have been a good choice.

    Pre-paint Gifford with knobbies: