In my opinion the second day is the real start if any tour. The first day you start at home, late and rushed so you don’t properly enter into the touring mindset. It takes a few days to get away from familiar environs as well, making that first day more akin to a rec ride, albeit with ten times the load. On this the second day of my tour I awoke a little early, around 7am. I’d slept a bit fitfully as is usually the case at the start of a tour, but not terribly. I had taken advantage of being in a motel to wash my clothes, charge my electronics and replenish my supplies – it was almost a fresh start. Nevertheless this day had more miles and I was sure to be a bit less vigorous then the day before so I wanted an early start (for me).
I made it out the door by 9:30 and was shortly on the road only to discover I’d left my water bottles in my rooms fridge. D’oh! Back to the motel it was, luckily only adding a scant mile all told to the day. Back on the road I backtracked a bit on yesterdays route but after two miles or so turned onto to new roads. Like yesterday I was retracing the tail end of my 2007 tour, however on this day I was on almost entirely new roads. In that previous tour on this section I’d ridden on far too many freeways and heavily trafficked roads, so I’d worked our an alternative route. This route was mostly in the woods, or through clear cuts and while not devoid of traffic it was pretty minimal. The surfaces were mainly chipseal but often there was a border on the shoulder of smooth asphalt. The terrain was mainly rolling, with a couple of good hills but none epic. The scenery included numerous lakes, streams and rivers. All in all a sweet bit of country riding, save for the wind.
The day was overcast and cool in stark contrast to the previous days clear, bright heat. There was a persistent wind blowing from the southwest – the direction I was heading. It was always there and it got stronger, and stronger as I neared the coast with increasingly powerful gusts. Things were as described for the first 35 miles or so, mostly in the woods with few towns or services. This was nice but I was ready for lunch. I turned at this point right into the wind on the worst chip sealed road to date- rough, beat down with high traffic to boot. But five miles later I was in the little town of Montesano where I got classic diner fare of grilled cheese, onion rings and blackberry pie Ã la mode at the Bee Hive Restaurant. Thus along with a beer revived my flagging spirit, which had been beat down by the wind.
I’d ridden over half the way there and the next ten miles would be pretty similar – following a river (a slough actually) through the woods. A bit more traffic at first and hillier but still nice riding. I made it to the small town of Cosmopolis which turned into the outskirts of Aberdeen. At this point dear readers the good times were over. From Aberdeen to Westport on the ocean, there us only one road, hwy 105 and it in itself was no thrill ride. But the wind was grueling at this point and there were several, long endlessly long, hills as well. Additionally there wasn’t a dingle store over the 17 miles and I wad about drained of water by the end. I was of course tired, hungry and ready to be done so this was a slog. The worst bit was at the end were there was thus steeply arching bridge with no shoulder I had to cross. I was buffeted by the winds up there and a couple of gusts physically blew me around. Scary.
I made if though, just a couple of miles later I was at Twin Harbors Beach State Park setting up my campsite. I set up and ate a sandwich and drank a pale ale I’d gotten right before the campground. I chose the sandwich as I had been worried about the wind interfering with my stove, but it wouldn’t have been a problem, in fact I later made some tea. I spent the rest if my evening walking around camp and to the ocean, my first sighting of it on this trip. It was too windy and cold to linger long, so back to my camp where I am now. As I type I’m in my tent listening to the ever intriguing croak of frogs.
Miles ridden today: 73
Miles to date: 133.5