Thursday 08.26.11: Mount Rainier National Park
There was indeed no internet or even phone access until I was half back to Olympia on the final day of the tour. I spent day 14 and 15 in Mount Rainier hiking around and taking a bit of time away from the bicycle. However on day 14 I had to ride down to Packwood to get supplies. This small town was 12 miles downhill from the campground so I did end up with a moderate amount of riding on that day anyway. I shopped, used WiFi (still no phone access in Packwood), went out to lunch and explored the town a bit.
The big question at this point was could I stay in the campground with its broken water main. Before I’d left I’d just paid for another day and put the ticket on my campsite as you normally do. When I returned would they harass me about this? I suspected not, that once I was in they wouldn’t really care. The ride back was in the heat of the day and almost all uphill, but there was a pretty stiff tailwind and of course my bicycle was mostly unloaded so it wasn’t so back. As I pulled into the campsite they were indeed stopping people as they went in but I just rode on in ignoring them. When I got to my campsite they had marked my new ticket with my departure date which is the sign that they’d checked out you and registered you so to speak. So I was all good. About a half an hour later I noticed that people were coming in, in droves and it was clear that the campground was open again. Nice, no more hiking for water.
So instead I went hiking for pleasure. But before I set out for that, while I was at the local river stashing a beer another touron pulled up. He asked if I was a touring cyclist and when I assented he asked if we could split the site. I agreed and he moved on in. He turned out to be from Portland and on a week long tour around Rainier and the local passes before riding back there. He had however down major tours including a three year long tour of Europe, North Africa, Tibet and so on. Good guy. After he set up we both set off hiking on opposite sides of the Silver Falls loop.
I’d done half of the Silver Falls loop the day before on my way for water so this time I took the opposite path and this time really enjoying the hike as opposed to portering water. Really nice walk through the woods, up a bit of hill. Of course it ended at Silver Falls and I ended up just taking the rest of the loop. At the end toward the campground there is a hot springs and nature trail so I also explored those a bit. Not too epic hiking but along with the trip to Packwood, it’d been a nice day of activity. The next day would be all hiking and no bicycling.
Mile ridden today: 26.6
Miles ridden to date: 671.3
Check out all my pictures from the tour