Today was an exercise in symmetry as half of my ride was southeast along the edge of Willapa Bay the other half returning the coast along the southern edge of the bay. Perhaps though it was more a mirror image as the ever present wind off the ocean pushed me inland in the first half, only to slow me down as I made my way westward. There was rain at the beginning and end of the day and each time I put on my rain gear after I’d gotten pretty wet and each time the rain stopped 5-10 minutes later. All in all though this was a good day’s ride, not too long, with diverse weather and of course spectacular scenery.
My day began early, too early in fact so I went back to sleep. I sort of dozed/slept till 8am and then I finally got up. The day was gray and damp and there was little wind. The tourons across the campsite were already gone, so the little primitive camp area was all mine. I made breakfast and coffee as I packed up, as is my typical routine. I was heading out around 9:30 when it started to drizzle so I pulled on my rain jacket. I turned onto 105 south, which I would be on for the next 35 miles. The rain picked up shortly so I stopped at a little convenience store to pull on my rain pants and I grabbed a (undrinkable) coffee there as well. Five minutes after I hit the road the rain had stopped. The clouds still threatened so I left on the gear. The route had followed the cost with gentle ups and downs but at an Indian Reservation (loaded with now shuttered fireworks stands) it turned inward. The wind that had been blowing off the ocean was now at my back and I enjoyed a tailwind most of the way to Raymond.
The road in this section followed the bay so it was rolling hills, through trees with sweet views of the slob and the bay. There was one or two decent climbs but nothing too epic. Traffic wasn’t bad the only logging truck both signaling and giving me a wide birth. On the top if the longest climb I ditched the rain gear, which of course brought on some misting. It wouldn’t really rain until I arrived in Raymond though. Raymond is a fishing and logging town so I was hankering for seafood here. I ended up not seeing anything tempting and once I got on this little bicycle path I quickly left town. Only a few more miles up the way was the town of South Bend in which I was dead set to get lunch. There was thus place BBQ-ing these huge oysters so I stopped there. They turned our to be cash only and I only had 16$ on me. I ordered a half dozen oysters and a coffee (I was cold) and proceeded to wait. And wait. And wait. After almost an hour I finally got my oysters and they were great, these huge things steamed and grilled in their shells with a tasty sauce. Worth the wait but I needed about a dozen of them!
I got cash and a half sandwich and after nearly two hours finally escaped South Bend. Fortunately I’d already ridden over half of the days distance so even with that delay it was only 3pm. I was on the 101 South now, which would be my route for a while. The road began flat and the headwind was now strong and direct. Then the rolling hills began and there were a number of good climbs, one even forcing me into the small chain ring, which so far has been a rarity. Then the rain picked up, the hardest so far. Once again I waited until I was good and soaked then put on my rain gear. Again the rain stopped minutes later. This time too my route came to an end as well, several miles less than I’d been anticipating. The final stretch was across a bay past the little fishing town of Bay Center and into Bush Pioneer Country Park. This campground had 10 primitive campsites, two of which were occupied. I picked one (no. 10) and set up. It was now only about 5:30pm
I quickly got my camp setup and just as I was finishing two other groups of tourons showed up, about 6 in all. They set up across the grounds from me, but one came over and asked me about how you pay, which I myself was mystified by. I said I figured they’d come by, which as of this writing they have not. Finishing my setup I stowed my gear, locked the bicycle and set off to explore. I first walked down a short trail to thus little beach cove whose walls were clay. I walked around there a bit then up to a bluff overlooking the ocean. Even on a gray day like today it’s a beautiful sight. Hungry now I walked the short ways to town and deciding to skip the little store went to The Dock of the Bay where I was able to plug in the phone for some much needed charging, as well as ingest calories. They had Fishtale beer, which I had a couple of along with rather mediocre fish-n-chips. Still hunger is the best sauce and I ate it up.
Pictures from today’s ride here
Miles ridden today: 52
Miles ridden to date: 183.5
(posted from iPhone so forgive my mistakes. I will update these post tour)