55.6 mi / 11.7 mph / 1302 ft climbing
Staying at Lake Sylvia State Park
For today’s ride, it seemed Stephen King sent his oeuvre from its normal home in the extreme northeastern corner of the country to our extreme northwestern corner. While there had been a light rain on our tent through the night, the day dawned grey but mostly-dry. Our ride continued along the very edge of the Hood Canal (sometimes 2 feet from the water), filled with all the the images of seaside life. Eventually the waters of the sound solidified into marsh, the marsh solidified into solid ground, and we were back to the forests.
That’s when the King-isms began in earnest. First we passed the guard towers and waves of razor wire at a Washington State Penitentiary. Next a “Logger’s Tavern” that hadn’t seen a customer in 30 years. Then, at our lunch stop, on the side of a road filled with forest plantations, lay a human bone. Well, it looked like a human bone, but it probably wasn’t? I’m proud to say that discerning human bones from animal bones is one area in which I’m completely lacking in expertise. Then when I crossed over a small mound to take a leak, there were all the rest of them. Bones, many of them, but fewer than 206, scattered in a small hollow. Yeah, I should probably take a leak somewhere else.
The road, which had been beautifully-empty when riding, became frighteningly-empty as we sat and ate our sandwiches, and saw maybe five cars go by the whole time. Once we started again, one of those rare cars that passed us was a slow-moving Pontiac from another era, whose driver raised his left arm out the window as a signal of some sort to us. Finally, when we descended to the Chehalis River valley, the hulking Dark Towers of a nuclear power plant rose incongruously above the horizon.
After that our terrors became more mundane. Namely, the road to Montesano, whose devilish shoulder was filled with bits of loose gravel, and whose travel lanes were paved with such loose aggregate that it probably slowed us down by 2mph. Both were the wrong choice, but the only choice we had. Nearing the end of a tiring day, it was no fun. But Rett then powered up the final steep hill to Lake Sylvia State Park, cooked up an awesome meal of tuna-pasta with way more in it than tuna and pasta, which we enjoyed with our bottle of lake-chilled wine at another amazing campsite. Proving that even socially-distanced bike touring can still be super luxurious.