51.3 mi / 10.9 mph / 1774 ft. climbing
Home: Bruceport County Park campground
The morning continued on a totally empty country road, one that was unusually filled with a lot of “country”: those relatively rare areas in Washington where areas of trees are cleared around a river valley, opening it up to farming in a way that makes it feel more like the eastern half of the country. And one of those farms was filled with sights and sounds of animals rare to see anywhere. Braying donkeys, a small herd of buffalo, and, most-spectacular, giant-horned cattle, apparently modeled after Darkness in the film ‘Legend’.
We stopped in Montesano for a second-breakfast of biscuits and gravy and milkshakes, eaten out at a picnic table while we planned our next days now that the Internet had returned.
Back on US-101, we had a bunch of hills to climb, with a variable shoulder. We talked to our first fellow touring cyclist, a cool guy from San Diego who shared a lot of our touring philosophy.
In Raymond, we got an Elderflower Mead from Wildman Brewery (and Meadery) and drank the giant 32oz can over in the city park like a couple of miscreants along with our cucumber-hummus sandwiches.
On the Willapa Trail that parallels US-101, Rett was so angry at an RV driver that hadn’t moved over an inch (it seems about half of RVs are actually slot-cars, completely unable to deviate from their dead-center position in the lane and come within inches of our handlebars), that she was bashing straight through all the root-bumps, in a way that actually made me excited to see her learning a new skill, since previously she had been much more timid with her speed on any rough patches.
We had a long, rare, flat section of riding, but then had to finish with a small but brutal climb straight into the sun on an unexpectedly hot (82 degree) day, which is probably the last time we’ll feel 70+ degrees for months.
We got a hiker/biker price in the county campground, on a bluff overlooking Willapa Bay, with a partial view of the red sunset. It’s a freakishly close analog to Fair Haven State Park in upstate New York, one of Rett’s “home” campgrounds, even down to the chain-link fence keeping people from falling down the bluff into the water to the North.
Caprese Mac-and-Cheese (with paneer!) and wine filled us up after our longest day yet.