Ride Home, Day 3: Olympia to Longview
I rolled today! 75 miles of rolling to be exact.
Day 3 route.
Yesterday was such a windy, slow day. Today I was determined to make the best of it.
Even though the shower was a trickle, the water was hot. It wasn’t going to stop me from being in a good mood.
I left the hotel at about 9 AM. The sun was out and the temperature mild. I got a bagel and started peddling.
Due to the nice weather, I rode with my camera strapped to my body so to be able to take photos along the way.
Having the camera inspires me to notice things.
Samantha (the voice in my GPS) took me on a ‘shortest ride’ route and it worked out well. I passed some pretty scenery.
This is someone’s front yard.
Old Highway 99 was a decent road with few steep inclines and a good amount of shoulder. Cruising at 15 mph wasn’t hard. Yesterday, because of the wind and hills, I was lucky to ride at 6 mph on average.
Passing through towns is like sampling flavors at the ice cream parlor. You can get a taste but you really don’t know the place.
Each town has its own character.
Former Tenino bank.
Smaller towns have remnants of a time gone past as compared with the bigger towns which have given way to large streets and drive-through fast food joints that don’t warrant a photo.
In the image above you can see the smooth edge of the street in the middle with the rough road to the left and the gravel to the right. I rode on the smooth spot as long as possible. In a car, rough asphalt usually means a bit more road noise. On a bike it means more friction and that slows you down.
There were several signs for coffee, bait, ice cream, etc.
Traveling like this reminds me of road trips I took in a car.
Curve in the road.
Everything is somehow less vital in a car.
On a bike everything is right there, in your face.
Banner in Bucoda.
The mention of Portland on this map got me thinking I could make it home by midnight.
Bucoda area map.
I imagined surprising Gwenn and decided to not stop riding until I got home.
A new form of greenhouse.
When the rough road came to an end I was so happy I pulled over to get a photo. While shooting the picture below, a couple of kids came speeding down the street and rounded the curve nearly uncontrollably. Thank goodness I was off to the side as they passed.
Rough road ends.
It would have been nice to take a little more time to stop in places but there are only so many hours in a day (and only so much energy in one body).
No time to stop, not place to put a purchase.
The guy riding in the passenger seat of the gray pickup truck in the picture below barked loudly at me like a dog (ough, ough!) as they passed very close. Then he looked at the woman who was driving as if to get her approval. You can kinda see him doing it in the photo.
Mentality of a dog.
In Centralia there was an interesting trailer parked in town. It had a bunch of wanted criminals on it.
Wanted for crimes.
It looked like some kind of art installation!
Wanted for a $26,100 crime.
In Subway there was a sign by the register advertising reusable sandwich bags that you could buy for yourself or your kids. Why doesn’t Subway give them away? This is a company that gives you a plastic bag to carry your sandwich ten feet and then discard. They also call their employees “sandwich artists.” Now that I think of it, why do I go there at all? Oh yeah, $5 vegetarian ‘Veggie Delight’ sandwiches in the middle of meat country, that’s why.
Great idea! Reusable bags.
What if the sky turned yellow. Would that make people care about the environment?
The sky and the clouds still look good.
Follow the rules.
Horses don’t care about color.
Cows lying down.
Camelot is a dead end.
I liked dogs.
By the time I reached Longview it became very clear that there was no way my body would be able to continue another 5 or 6 hours to Portland.
I checked into a motel and set out to get some food.
The first thing I do, however, is get out of my wet clothes. I dry my over-shirt using the fan so it’s ready for the next day.
I’m in the middle of town, surrounded by chain stores, fast food and big roads to cross.
There’s a health food cafe just down the way that opens in the morning. Guess where I’m getting breakfast!
One more day to go…