FKT: Greg Nance - Hood Canal Traverse - 2021-05-18

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
19h 27m 24s
GPS track(s)

Set our from The Salmon Center at Lynch Cove, Hood Canal's far southeastern tip and cruised the first 21 wooded miles along Highway 106 til Hood Canal’s Great Bend then north onto Route 101. First marathon split = 4h18m. Had sharp legs and perfect conditions — a cool overcast morning with sun rays pouring thru the clouds — so pressed the pace all 41 miles up Route 101.

As planned, I exited 101 at Quilcene (mile 63) and headed for backroads and timber trails. I noted the linkages on topo maps and Google routing confirmed. Alas, the logging road was overgrown and totally unmarked. Out of cell reception, I missed the entrance and just kept going. Had a sinking feeling because I was heading SE and there was wayyy too much climbing (extra 2k of vert). Mercifully, I came across an old logger “You look lost. Where ya headed, young buck?” He told me I’d need to backtrack 6 miles. Was super bummed and frustrated at myself (lots of f-bombs and pretzels thrown into the woods) but got my mind right and got back to work. 

Within an hour mom (my beloved crew chief) arrived with a dry shirt and wool socks to double as makeshift gloves for my frozen hands. Kept shuffling north as big headwinds swept the desolate highway. Put on my mask, tucked my chin, and squeezed fingers to ward off the sting. Slowly, very slowly, reeled in Tala Point at Hood Canal’s northern terminus. Burned 13,983 cals over 95.8 miles in 19h27m24s for a World First. Mom took a couple photos where I tried posing triumphantly despite total exhaustion.

Many special adventures at Hood Canal since boyhood summer excursions. On May 17, 2021 got to add a new chapter and make a dream come true!