Journey to the East: 1 May 2012

Tree over snow-melt fed stream

“The older you get the stronger the wind gets – and it’s always in your face.”

– Pablo Picasso

[note: I wrote these posts for the first couple of days of the tour after completing the tour]

After a rather fitful night’s sleep (my camp was pretty close to the road) I arose to find my rear tire had gone flat. Well preferably to discover this in camp then on the road. On changing it I was unable to find the puncture and discovered that it was the valve. At that point I noticed that one getting the new rear wheel the shop had provided a new tube and it was a Kinda! The very same brand that I had four valve failures in my 2009 West Coast Tour. I changed this, tossing the old tube and was on my way. This was a classic spring day – sunny and windy in the morning and then in the early afternoon a sudden and intense downpour. By the time I had my raingear on it had stopped. This would be the pattern all day and I eventually would just stuff my rain jacket under my pannier covers when it wasn’t raining. My route continued on 106 past the bump in the road that is Union and then I took the Purdy Cutoff to 101. The Cutoff is an excellent side road that is almost always empty of traffic and follows a stream through moss strewn trees. The streams were swollen with snowmelt and spring rain with that fantastic aerated blue/green color that the pictures only sort of capture.

Tour 2012 day 1 - Atlantis on Mud Bay: the end of the Puget Sound

Atlantis on Mud Bay

The cutoff interests with 101 right before a mile+ long climb along a stream. Not super steep, but it does go on. At the top one pretty shortly comes to Shelton and the 101 becomes less pleasant to ride along – more freeway like with on/off ramps around which one has to be extra cautious. I’d duck off on frontage roads when I could but missed a turnoff that would have spared me a good chunk. So it was mostly highways until I could get onto Mud Bay road. From there it was a long climb up to West Olympia then downhill into downtown and up again toward the capitol where my friend lives and I would spend the next three days.

More photos from today or the entire tour can be found on Flickr.

sound of water all around  –
a fierce spring wind

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