Friday, October 30, 2009

Day Two Hundred Thirty-nine, 091025 - Hoquiam, WA

Day Two Hundred Thirty-nine, Date Sunday, October 25, 2009
Time in Saddle: 6:56
Distance for the Day: 62.27 miles From Queets To Hoquiam, WA
Accumulated Trip Distance: 11,764 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 10’/3’ correct this, Highest: 540’ Accumulated: 1503’
Speeds: Avg: 9.4 mph, Max: 28.5 mph
Weather: 42° overcast, light wind out of south
Expenditures: $10

I woke up at 6am and got up at 6:20am. It was still dark, but I couldn’t see any stars, so knew it must be pretty solidly overcast. I broke down and packed away my gear by 7:02am, and could begin to see that the sky; it was overcast. I took off and went to the mini mart I went to the previous evening, but they wouldn’t open for another 20 minutes, and I didn’t feel the need to wait, so I left and continued south down Hwy 101. I stopped at 8:30am for a quicky breakfast of meat stick, PayDay candy bar, and a Nature Valley breakfast bar. At 9am, it started to rain a bit, so I put on all my rain gear (jacket, pants, poncho), but then went a few hundred yards, and of course, the rain stopped. I took off my poncho, and kept going. The shoulder on Hwy 101 thus far was variable: sometimes barely wide enough at 2 or 3 feet, down to a nearly non-existant 6”. Sometimes it had this relatively new looking covering of a black, medium-grade gravel that I’m sure is great for car tire traction, but was slightly too rough for my trike; it made my teeth and trike vibrate, and these stretches of road came in miles-long stretches – it was pretty uncomfortable, but still better than a sharp stick in the eye, no shoulder at all, or a shoulder ruined by a buzz strip. Every now and then, they did get the shoulders very right, with a 6’ wide shoulder and 4’ of clean, smooth pavement, free of the black gravel texture.

Spare notes: One of these days, I’m going to have to re-set my tires so the beads aren’t pinched. It’s a minor problem, but when I go fast, the front-right and rear tires go “bump-bump-bump,” and it’s mildly annoying. Also, nowadays, my right leg seems to be more problematic than my left. It’s muscles and knee joint are prone to becoming somewhat painful when I go up long hills. I can fix it for a while by doing the leg extension stretch, and resting it a minute or two – it’s not debilitating, but noticeable.

I continued on, and made Holquin at 3:51pm. There wasn’t much there, so I continued on over the Holquin River bridge into Aberdeen – that gave a bit of trouble. There was no walkway on the bridge, so I had to take one of the two available lanes to cross. This was going fine – traffic would come up to me, and they patiently (I think) went around me. Part way up the incline, I came to what looked like it might be a walkway to get across the rest of the bridge, though in thinking back (Clue #1), it seemed odd that it should only start at that point on the bridge (not much use to pedestrians, if they had to walk up the roadway to get to it). Nevertheless, I tried taking it, and (Clue #2) had trouble getting my trike onto it as the entry to it was a little too narrow, but managed it anyway. I rode it for a short while, to where the bridge started going downhill, and discovered that it ended without making it all the way across (Demitol). So, I had to pick the front end of the trike up and swing it to face back, went back to the narrow gap, got through it, and waited for traffic to clear so I could get back into the lane, again. What a waste of time – I hate it when that happens. I finally made it across into Aberdeen at 4:15pm, and found a Radio Shack to see if I could get the SD card reader and Joby tripod, but they didn’t have either item. I got to talking with the guys there, and they checked the weather for me (it was going to be rainy for the next several days – ugh!) I backtracked through town to a Subway, and got a meal deal and cookies ($10). I talked with a couple of young people there about my trike and trip, and then went out to a church right on Hwy 101 to see if I could overnight on their back walkway. It wasn’t raining, yet, but I thought it would later, so I wanted to try to be under an eave, or something. I found some people there, and got their permission to set up my tent (N46 58.490’ W123 51.652’). It wasn’t a great site, as the main street on the front side of the building had a lot of traffic, and the noise would reflect off the surrounding buildings directly into my tent. That’s the way it goes, sometimes. I wouldn’t get a great night’s sleep, but I can get by on very little. I set up my tent on a walkway under the building’s eave, as planned. I got in with my book, trailmix, and strawberry soda at 6:23pm, and planned to get up at 6:15am like I did this morning, to get out of there and be on the road just as the light of day started to get sufficiently bright. About an hour after I got settled in, a bright set of car headlights lit up my tent, and a guy said, “Is anyone in the tent?” Turns out, it was one of the church’s board members, who didn’t know I’d gotten permission, and was just checking me out. I described the guy who gave me permission, and he called the actual church’s pastor to get more official permission, and after that, it was cool. As expected, despite the use of earplugs, the reflected traffic noise would wake me up every now and then, plus, it did start to rain, and unfortunately, the wind blew it in under the eaves, so being under them was no help. Hmph!

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