Tour 2007 – day 5

Throughout the night it rained sometimes just the dripping of the trees but st other times pouring down. Whenever I’d wake in the night I’d hear rain. I began to worry about the next day, it was a decent distance and riding in the rain like that us taxing and can be dangerous. Yet this wasn’t a great place to stay what with the store closed and not much around. Luckily when I finally got up if had stopped raining and there was only drops falling from the trees. In fact by the time I was done with breakfast there was patches of blue sky and sun!

I did a bit of exploring before I set off and the place had changed with some sun. The lake was brilliant blues and turquoise and crystal clear- a glacier fed lake. The trees look no greener anywhere this side of Ireland and they sparkled in the sun. Pleased with thus change of events I headed off. Now the route today really isn’t much to speak of for the bulk of it. All on 101 through wooded rolling hills with clear cuts the only break. The real story for today was the weather.

As I rode away from camp it seemed I was leaving the sun behind. It became increasingly cloudy and some of these clouds were pretty threatening. The road went up and down and the clouds moved brusquely in the wind. Ah yes I don’t think I’ve mentioned the wind yet. There has been a westward blowing wind pretty much the entirety of my ride on the peninsula. This would continue and only get stronger as I neared the coast. Soon drops of rain began to fall, which became a drizzle and as it was nearly a light rain I spotted the Hungry Bear Cafe.

Well I was a hungry bear, or something and I needed more coffee for sure. I’d been hankering for pancakes and a classic greasy spoon such as this, with its breakfast served all day would be sure to oblige. I got coffee right off but was informed they were out of pancake batter! The busy weekend she apologized. No matter French toast and hash browns sounded just as good. I snuck some power for the iPhone as I was waiting (still no real connection) and watched the rain. The food arrived and was hot off the griddle and excellent. I pretty much wolfed it down. I ate half the toast then dump the hash browns in so they could mix up a bit and as Huck says “things go better”. By the time I was done the rain was as well, so off I went full and mostly dry.

Now as I said before the real story of this day was the weather. Well from about this point on I was always seeing these patches of blue sky and then these big bock clouds. The sky would clear nest me then the road turn toward the dark sky. Of course it seemed that every time I hit a hill the sun would be out and heating me right up and die every descent the clouds and must would be there to make it extra cool. This pattern kept up all day but from the Hungry Bear to Forks it was mostly clouds and the occasional drop or two.

Forks is another of these typical little old logging towns. Kept going by the remaining logging and tourism they are always an odd mix of the two. I’d planned for lunch in Forks but was still full so I only stopped long enough to shop and visit the forest service center for some maps. The road continues as described out of Forks but the super huge shoulder disappears and the road quality goes down. There was a big descent not far out of town and the shoulder was completely deteriorated in parts. Also chip seal began to put in an appearance, and not a welcome one.

I was really beginning to feel the effects of five days riding on this section, the constant headwind, the bad road, the rolling hills, all were taking there toll. I decided I’d make mt rest day at the next campsite. The road seemed to dip in to the national now and again the most significant being at the Hoh Rain forest, a place I’d like to spend some time at in the future, but for today ride past. Not too far from the Hoh turnoff I finally was approaching the coast and man did the headwind pick up. Luckily it was flatter for thus directly west bit but it was a real slog. At last the road turned south and I caught a glimpse of the ocean.

There was five miles on the coast to the campground and they were the hilliest of the day. Insult to injury indeed. The weather had cleared up finally but periodically chill mists would envelope everything and it’d be like the cold and rain was upon me again. It wasn’t though and when I got to the Kalaloch Campground it was all blue skies. Enough so they after setting up and eating dinner I was treated to a brilliant sunset.

Distance ridden: 65.8 miles

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