Trails and Good Shoulders.

14th – 15th Aug 2018

Elma to Westport (Twin Harbor State Park) 71kms

I woke up feeling a bit tired and about ready for a rest day, but we decided to carry on. We have been using a book, Bicycling The Pacific Coast, by Vicki Spring, as a guide to the facilities, campgrounds, and suggested routes. Unfortunately she thinks it is acceptable and usual to ride 90km days, so skips a lot of interesting looking places. She does give information about state parks, and which ones have showers etc, so that is one reason we aimed for Twin Harbor State Park.

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Sometimes the tables aren’t level, and our Jetboil Mighty Mo is not a super stable as we would like. Safest on the ground. Boiling some water for the morning coffee is important. Don’t blow it!

The suggested route, pretty much takes you along the Olympic Highway (number 12), but both Madame Google, and Davo had Monte Elma road, which runs parallel to the number 12. Traffic was low, the shoulder was good, and it was basically flat. We were smashing along at 25kms an hour. Nice! Before we knew it, we were at Montesano, and we’d ridden 20kms. Time for a toilet break, and a cold drink. A lovely local lady chatted to me, while Will was doing his thing, and gave me a post card from Montesano. Thank you Anne.

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Riding into Montesano on the quiet road, was so good.

From here, we head south on the 107, heading towards Cosmopolis (yes, that is the right name), and Dennis had given us the heads up, about another alternate road, that would take us off the busy 107. Blue Slough road, again running parallel to the busy one. We took it, and although it was a bit up and down, and had no shoulder at all, it also had bugger all cars, and no trucks. It was very nice indeed. We took the opportunity to have lunch by the Blue Slough, a tributary of the Chehalis river.

 

We had the little picnic spot to ourselves until we had finished our lunch. Very nice.

Madame Google, directed us through a backstreet, once we hit Cosmopolis, which looked like an industrial type place, and according to Dennis from Elma, it was once full of Whore Houses….hmmmm. Anyway, we found a bike path, that cut through the residential and sporting area, and popped us out onto another bike trail, called the Chehalis River Trail, running along the same river. It was alright, although a bit uncared for. Not the nicest area we have seen so far.

 

It was very smoky today, so maybe we didn’t see it in a good light, but it was a very industrial area, and a bit rough.

Pretty much from here, we were back on the busy roads, riding the 105, south west towards the coast. There were quite a few moderate hills, and heavy traffic. We had two knob heads, in cars, who were purposely not giving us space, and trying to scare us. Idiots. But that is just two out of hundreds hey?

Coming to the end of the day, we were getting tired, and the wind had picked up. Just then, we saw a bridge we had to cross. It was pretty high, we’d have to ride uphill for most of it, there was no shoulder, and no pedestrian walkway. Oh poop, this stuff is tricky and a bit nerve racking. Will suggests we stick as close together as possible, and ride as fast as we can. Sounds good, but I don’t have anything left for a race, and I won’t keep up with Will. So it’s every man for himself. We wait for a break in the traffic, and just go for it. Will is away, and smashing it out. Me? I’m like that animated movie with the snails, Turbo. I feel like I’m smashing it, but really, I’m going in slow motion. But luckily, everyone was very forgiving, and no more knob heads. Phew!

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Come on Jen, let’s just smash this bridge! Huh! Right!

The worst part of this route, today, was that there was no grocery stores along it. We arrived at the Twin Harbor State Park, with no food, and the shops were another 15km round trip that we were not making. Luckily about 400 meters back, there was a Subway and Shell service station. Will went back, I set up camp, and when Will returned, we had a foot long sub, a couple of beers, and all was good again. We’d bought some ice and wood from the ranger, so we cooled the beers, and lit the fire. Luckily Will had anticipated the difficulty of lighting the fire, and bought some fire starting liquid from the servo. We don’t understand how they have so many dangerous fires over here when the bloody wood won’t burn.

 

Look at that mystery bag of Doritos. We didn’t open them, a foot long sub is usually what we share, not one each. But the wine, was very nice.

It is apparently law in the USA that state parks must not turn away cyclists, and most of them have specific sites for hikers and bikers. They forget to mention that they are usually miles away from toilets and showers. Again we had to cycle to the shower, and I am very sorry, but we were not about to cycle there every time we needed a pee. Luckily, there is lots of other options. He he he.

 

These little guys were hopping around, and it took us a while to get our eye in to actually spot them. Cute as hell.

Twin Harbor State Park – Raymond 53kms

After a rough night, my mat deflated, (luckily I think the out valve wasn’t shut properly, but we’ll check it later) and I had to pump it back up, I was feeling really odd. I even had a bit of vertigo. Oh bugger, it is annoying. The fog was back, and it was really humid. The air was thick with moisture. We weren’t expecting to see the sun today, but it wasn’t going to be cold. Breakfast was a stale bagel, with cheese, tomato and ham and a coffee. There was no point hanging around. We packed up, and headed off, with a brief toilet stop on the way out. We hit the 105 again, and enjoyed the decent shoulder, fairly light traffic, and mild weather conditions. There are heaps of little shanty villages, as the beach was just over to our right. We couldn’t see it without a small detour, but it was maybe 500 meters away. Nice houses, run down houses, lots of motor homes (being lived in) and caravans (or trailers). It was a real mix of abodes.

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Jacket on, jacket off, jacket back on. The breeze made it cool, because it was humid.
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Holy cow, we found Optimus Prime!

Again, we had a relatively flat ride, with a few small humps as we detoured around the bays. This road was very close to the Pacific Ocean all day, and it was great when we finally came up and around, and there it was. All dark sand and drift wood. 

 

A nice family also stopped to enjoy the view, so came and offered to take a picture of us, we did the same for them. Greg and his family were from Tacoma, which is about a 2hr drive North East of here. This was the first time they’d come this far. Wow.

We really enjoyed our ride today, even though we were both feeling a bit tired and in need of a day off. We’d decided to stay in Raymond, after this short day, and get on top of some chores, like washing and blogging, and a bit of bike maintenance. So it was pretty easy to push ourselves along, knowing we could have a day off. Actually, it was super, with a slight tail wind, reasonably flat terrain, to be averaging about 20km/hr. It was pretty, and most of the time had a good shoulder. After Tokeland, an Indian Reservation, with a hotel and Casino, there was nothing but mudflats (it was low tide), wetlands and rainforest. I loved it.

 

We started to see more farms closer to Raymond, but this area is also renowned for Cranberries, and of course tree farming.

After about 25kms, we started looking for a lunch spot, but there were no pull over spots, no rest stops, or anything, so when we spotted a roadworks quarry, we pulled in and pulled out what was left of our food. Hmm, not a great deal. But hey, we weren’t starving, so we ate our last stale bagels, last bit of cheese, last tomato, some gummy bears, and a packet of mystery Doritos, Will had bought yesterday. Well, Will ate the Doritos first, and his reaction convinced me to go for the gummy bears. He reckoned they were almost as hot as the chillis Mike and Pat had fed us, and they turned his fingers red. They’re all yours buddy. He couldn’t eat many, we still have them. God knows why, I’m not eating them.

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Not the most flattering picture, thanks Will, but hey, it’s hard being on point at all times. It wasn’t a bad lunch, and we ate the last of Mike and Pats apples.

While we were sitting there, another cyclist (a solo lady) rode past, and gave us a wave. We’d seen her at Twin Harbor, but she’d got in late, and left early, so we thought she’d be well ahead of us. Luckily, we caught her up again after lunch, while she was stopped on the side of the road, picking and eating berries. See Will, I’m not the only one who likes berries with bear pee. Madison was from Vancouver, BC, and looked to be about 19, or 20. She said she was just doing a three week ride before going back to school. How brave is she then, hey? She had done a huge day the day before, from Potlatch to Twin Harbor, about 130kms. Wow, biggest she’d done ever, and impressive. I’m sure we’ll cross paths again, it was nice chatting to her. She carried on eating, we carried on riding, and before we knew it, we had reached Raymond. Another logging, wood industry town, that looked a bit forgotten. We rode around, and decided we needed to find some Wifi, and figure out where things were. There was a Dairy Queen, so we headed in that direction, but then noticed an old style diner which appealed more. We headed in, and it was very cool. Lots of old posters and signs, and booths, which we sat at. The waitress, gave us menus, and the Wifi, and even said it was okay to charge stuff under the table. I got to that, and then we ordered some clam chowder, and drinks, and got to sorting our stay. 

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All along the coast was these signs for Tsunami evacuation. The first few kept directing us to run parallel to the coast. That didn’t sound good, shouldn’t we look for higher ground?

Eventually, we found there is only two motels, and one convenience store in town, so we got what we could (bugger all) from the store, and booked into the cheapest of the two motels. They are across the road from each other, and the expensive one is also a pub. As our room wasn’t ready, with the last minute booking, we parked our bikes (inside the large room, the owner was so nice and even put a blanket down for the bikes), and went over for a beer. No dinner was required, we’d eaten heaps, and had a few beers, so we were happy to just shower and relax in the room. Tomorrow is jobs day, and a bit more planning ahead.

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Coming into Raymond on the Willapa river.
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Outside the Diner, they had left our parking Bay free. We need it!

One thought on “Trails and Good Shoulders.

  1. Great going team WilJen.
    We used a gas canister stand with our little cooker – helped stabilise the canister but the 4 little arms of the burner could have been a bit bigger to help stabilise the pot!
    Happy cycling, Al & Julie

    Like

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