This was my one day of not cycling of the tour but due to the spread out nature of the various services I did end up riding a bit. I didn’t get up too much later then usual, but it probably was the best nights sleep yet – it was very quiet here away from the main road unlike the other campsites. I went through the usual morning routine then unloaded the bicycle but for laundry in the saddlebag and set out. First of was back up the two miles to Amanda Park to get cash. I also was able to get some HEET which was good as I was down to about my last use of the alcohol stove. I then parked myself in an Internet cafe for an hour of two, drank coffee, worked on the journal and let the phone recharge. Then it was off all the way to the other end of the road to the Rainforest Resort to use the showers and laundry.
It was a beautiful nearly completely clear day and u enjoyed thus weather during the wait for the laundry hours. But first I showered which I have to say I was overdue for. I washed my shoes on the shower and all my clothes. I had bought a cheap pair of shirts and had one clean shirt that I wore- everything else went in the laundry. During the waiting period I walked around the resort and down by the lake. I saw the worlds largest Sitka Spruce. There was a restaurant and lounge here but they didn’t open till 4pm which was a pity, I could have enjoyed a beer and lunch during this time. Instead I had a terrible bagel with cream cheese and a cranberry juice. I put the laundry in the drier then went and walked into the rain forest.
The woods along the road are permeated with trails that penetrate various distances into the rain forest. I was able to do a mile-mile and a half loop during thus time one that followed a babbling brook. It would have gone to a falls but as is quite common the trail was closed due damage from the 2006 November storm. My laundry done I bicycled back to camp and put things away- including the bicycle which I was done with for today.
I spent the rest of the afternoon hiking, starting with the trail from my campsite that follows the Willaby River. This joined up with a signed Nature Trail which I happily followed die a while. The forest here was filled with big trees, dripping with lichen and moss and the excited jubilation of the river. The trail then merged with a longer loop trail, one they was a bit too much for this afternoon. But I followed it till it joined with another out to a big cedar. The sign for thus had been smashed and a little further end I found a tree had flattened the trail marquee. On one sign was a number if dated notes from hikers describing the trail conditions. It sounded bad, trees down all over and only one group had made it to the tree. A river fording was the half way point and most notes said you could make it there. So I decided to make that my destination.
The trail started out nice even in its undamaged state you could see it was much less traveled. There was a long sawed in half tree you had to walk on and some plank walkway over marshland then untrimmed bushes to push thorough. But now and again would be sections where many trees had fallen and you had to clamor over them. Several points I would walk from tree trunk to tree trunk or up a long trunk to get back to the path. Near the end I ran into a fellow hiker who told me how lost the trail at the river crossing, which was okay as I wasn’t gonna go further. The final approach to the river was like a bomb, no a bombardment had devastated the forest. The river was stunning though, wild carving through rocks and falling trees, with a shallow bit that people forded it at. I lingered for a bit then retraced my steps back to camp. This was an adventure especially ad I was just in my cycling sandals and any injury would have been extra bad. But I really enjoyed it and wish I could spend more time in these forests. I’ll return for sure.
On these trips I always like to go out to one nice place for dinner. With my body and clothes washed and the Roosevelt Room at Lake Quinault Lodge at hand tonight was clearly the night. There turned out to be a classic Thunderbird competition/show at the lodge with a gods dozen and a half of these cars parked on the lawn out front. Only in America. Due to this they were busy but I was squeezed in. I had a salad, pan fried trout and a blackberry cobbler. All good but not as good as they were charging- being the only fine dining around pretty much allows for that. I hiked the mile back to camp and here we are.
A really nice day off the bicycle and it was definitely the better place for it. Also I think this was a better locale then the closed campground would have been. More services at hand and a lot more to do.
Miles ridden today- 9