16th – 17th Aug 2018
Rest days are not really rest days, just not riding days. Generally we just do washing, bike maintenance and update blogs. There are also bills to pay, and shuffling money around, that sort of thing. Usually we try to wash our riding gear daily, in the shower or the bathroom sink, but washing by hand isn’t as good as a machine wash, so it is important to do a proper wash regularly. Things start smelling like something died in them, and that is not pleasant. So today, that was my job, so I gathered all our stink rags, and walked the two blocks to the “Coin Laundry”. A million machines, but half of them out of order, hmm, but luckily, there were plenty. $1.50 for a wash, it takes quarters (25c) and I only had three. Bugger. There was another machine to get coins, cool, but I’ve only got $10 notes. Ten bucks of quarters, oh great! Anyway, what I discovered was that laundrymats are a great place to sit and listen. All sorts of people use them, and listening to their discussions gives a good view of how things are going. It seems life is tough for lots of people all over the world. The struggle is real. Work shortages, housing affordability, and families living in poverty. It is everywhere.
A strange town, with some interesting things. A guitar repair shop? A really groovy playground, and some very nice metal sculptures.
Will’s jobs were blogging, bike maintenance, route planning and accommodation for the next couple of days. It felt like a pretty lazy day, but we achieved a lot. We took a walk around town to get a feel for it, before popping over the road for some food and a beer. No lunch for us today, we didn’t need it. Nuts and berries for breakfast, so a steak sandwich with salad and one beer, was a winner. We also had a good chat to Mike, who is a local (actually the Mayors son), who works for the Conservation Department. He gave us some interesting facts about the tree farming in the area, and the other industries.
A few shots from our wander around town. It’s pretty hard to get lost in Raymond. Distracted, maybe.
Raymond to Ilwaco 76kms
We have decided to improve our departure times, and Will had set the alarm (against my cycling rules), to wake us at 7am. But things were a bit noisy outside this morning, with workers leaving, and an annoying knocking on someone’s door, every 10 minutes or so. So getting started early wasn’t an issue. No breakfast or coffee as we’re heading to a restaurant down the block. As we’re loading our bikes out the front, the banging continues next door. An older lady walks up to the door, opens it and a Jack Russel bolts out. Aahuh! There is the culprit. “He’s been banging on the door for ages.” I say to the lady. Who just nods and says “Yup, he does it every morning.” Like it doesn’t bother anyone else. Hmmm.
Just for something different, we have breakfast with the locals, and are quite shocked and surprised to have three old boy farmers, sitting at their table with bits and pieces to make bullets, and discussing what is the best combination. Not something you see in Australia, that is for sure. So we gulped down the food, got on the bikes, and headed off to the grocery store over the bridge. Oh, not before getting stopped for a chat by the ladies on the road crew, and helping them sing Happy Birthday to two of their co-workers. Next we did the shopping, and rode down the Willapa Hills Trail, which took us along the river, out of the traffic, all the way to South Bend, where we popped out onto the 101.
Along the bike trail, there was a repair station, toilets and water fountain. Good work team, this is what we like.
For the rest of today, we would be on this road, and there was going to be a few moderate hills, and lots of smaller ups and downs. The first of the bigger ones, came up sooner than we thought and right after some roadworks. It worked out well, because it was only one lane for about a kay, which meant that after we got through, they let the other traffic go, giving us about 5kms of riding without worrying, and we just got to the top of the the hill, when the first batch came past us. This is what it was like, for the next hour or so, until it all caught up.
That big line of cars just waiting for us to get through the roadworks. You can see the extent of some of our ups and downs today. Pretty though.
A pretty days ride, lots of rain forest, and a few small creek crossings. These were called a Slough, but I would have called them creeks. A bit of research tells me, that a Slough is actually a term for a wetland, swamp, or shallow lake system, usually a backwater connected to a larger body of water. Hmm so there you go. We did ride past many areas of wetland, and they did all connect up to some decent sized rivers and inlets. They were shallow.
Lots of signs (poop) of deer and other animals, but no sightings. Bummer.
We wound our way around the coastline, and we managed to smash out about 55kms, before having a good break for some lunch. Not bad going, with all the ups and downs. Cars and traffic was fairly moderate, and we didn’t have any dramas today. Not long before we reached the Willapa Wildlife Refuge area, we pulled down a side road for lunch. After riding 10kms, looking for a good rest stop area, off the road, we had given up, and this was our only option. They don’t do rest areas in Washington State. No time for rest?
Once we stopped for the purpose of eating, we realised we were quite hungry. A couple of ham, cheese, tomato rolls, and a vegemite one for me, did the trick.
Now all we had to do, was ride the 20 odd kays, into Ilwaco, and find an RV place that will take a tent. Turning onto the road in, we lost our good shoulder, we were feeling fatigued, so the cars were being dicks (they weren’t really, but it felt like it to us). On top of that, there were two last shitty little hills, to get into town. Ugh, poop, poop, poop! But roll in to town we did, and found the Fisherman’s Cove RV Park, and Spencer (the volunteer manager) squeezed us in. It was chokka block full of RV’s and fifth wheelers, big pickups, and fishermen. Bloody Salmon season. Anyway, we were buggered, and couldn’t be bothered cooking, so went to the marina, and enjoyed a fantastic dinner of steamed clams, fish and chips (salmon no less, in a light tempura batter).
Squeezed in between a permanent van and the laundry, next to the road. Oh well, it’ll do us.
Our dinner view. Not bad really. All fishing boats. No sail boats.
It was very nice, and by the time we walked back to camp, we went straight to bed. An easy day tomorrow, 20kms to “The Bridge”.