Day Two Hundred Thirty-seven, Date Friday, October 23, 2009
Time in Saddle: 5:02
Distance for the Day: 44.43 miles From Cape Flattery To Beaver, WA
Accumulated Trip Distance: 11,647 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 428’/321’, Highest: 723’Accumulated: 2582’
Speeds: Avg: 8.8 mph, Max: 38.9 mph
Weather: 46° occasional showers, warming to the low 50s
Because of the noise from the occasional bouts of rain, I kept waking up throughout the wee hours, but did get snatches of sleep, which for me is enough to be practically as good as a solid night’s sleep. At about 6am, one car came up to and around the gravel trailhead loop where I was, but it didn’t stop, and I didn’t see or hear it or any other vehicle after, so I was good. I could hear the ocean waves whomping the coastal headlands, and would have liked to go see them, but the weather was still rotten, and I didn’t want to leave my trike alone. I waited until about 7:45am for the daylight to show before getting up and out to do my breakdown; it wasn’t raining at the moment, but everything was wet, and I spent a little extra time, as usual, trying to dry stuff off while packing it away. That’s the wonderful thing about this tent, by the way: it can be totally wet, but once you set it up and get inside, it still works just fine. I was ready to roll by 8:46am, and headed back to Neah Bay for breakfast, to stock up on supplies, and hopefully recharge my laptop as it was down to about 60%. I made it back to Neah Bay at about 10am, and got hot cocoa and a muffin ($4) at a tiny espresso shop, but they only opened for a little while, so I had to move on before I could do much with my notebook. I then went to the restaurant, Warmhouse, more to warm up and dry off than for hunger, but I got a burger, fries and hot cocoa just the same ($10). While riding the several hundred yards from the espresso place to the restaurant, a young husky dog followed me for a while, and I couldn’t shake him. He waited outside the restaurant for a while, but finally went away. I didn’t want him following me out of town, though I felt kind of sorry for him, as he didn’t seem to have anyone to play with. From 10:30am – 12pm, I ate, charged my notebook, and briefly talked to a nice couple who were doing a boat trip around the world, so we traded blogs – his is http://pachucaroundtheworld.blogspot.com/ . I checked my phone messages, and found out that FedX had a question about the delivery address for my ATM card – ack! This meant that they hadn’t sent it, yet, and that also meant that I would get to where I wanted them to send it a day early. Since I didn’t want to wait a day in Aberdeen, I called FedX up, and had them send it to my relatives in Crescent City, CA, instead. Afterwards, I continued on back down the road I came in on, but diverted south at 4:04pm onto Hwy 113, heading towards Sappho and beyond.
Notes: when I stopped at Neah Bay for lunch at it was raining, and even with the poncho my upper body still got wet. My medium gloves would get soaked, and then they’d leak into my shirtsleeves, and would then pool up in my elbows and wick further up to my shoulders. Also, my poncho would gather water off my face and leak into my shirt from my chin, so the front of my shirt would get soaked – so the upshot was: I still got soaked, Demitol. The pants worked pretty good, but once my shirt got soaked, it would begin wicking into my pants and underwear; I was able to keep warm if I kept moving, and towling-off once or twice along the way also helped, but I couldn’t stay still for long, or I’d start to get cold, again. For the record: I don’t like riding or camping in the rain. When I go fast down hills, the rain feels like stinging BBs hitting my face, and I can’t wear my goggles because they get foggy, and I need to see. So, I hold one hand up to block the rain from hitting my eyes, and zoom down with one hand steering. As long as I don’t hit warp speed, I can manage this just fine. I keep thinking of the world cyclists I met back in Zion Nat’l Park, Martin and Nadine from Germany. When asked what they did when it rained, they said they didn’t ride. I wish I could sit out rain days, too, but at this point, the longer I wait, the worse the weather will become, so it’s not an option. Sigh!
The road to/from Neah Bay was narrow-shouldered, winding, and hilly, but the traffic was light enough, there weren’t any problems. I stopped in Clellam Bay at 3:05pm for a bathroom break and food and drink ($13). That’s when I found out I lost the handle grip, cap, and ‘emergency brake’ rubber band off my right steering handle – Demitol. Not a critical loss, but most annoying because I’d known it was loose for months, and should have glued it in place – I just never thought I’d actually lose it. Poop! It stopped raining, and cleared up some. I made it up and over a semi-big mountain coming south towards Sappho, and then got to Hwy 101 and headed west and south on that. I kept finding little side roads that would lead off into the forest, and found one that looked semi-promising, but the one level spot I found to set up had a 3-leafed ground cover which may or may not have been poison oak. Not being sure, I left that site and continued on. I saw a sign for a park up ahead, but then saw a nice road on the left that said it was a dead-end, so at 6:20pm I followed it, and found there were little gravel roads leading off it that went into these little cul-de-sacs, surrounded by what looked like harvested forest – perfect! (N48 3.957’ W124 17.551’) So, I set up my tent there on the gravel. My “waterproof” mittens that aren’t waterproof got mostly dry by my wearing them, so I put on my fingered medium gloves to try to dry them out, but I didn’t wear them long enough, so they stayed pretty soggy. I dried the tent and mattress off as best as I could with my hand towel before using them, and was set up and inside at 6:50pm with book, food and drink. I ate and read until 7:40pm, and did the end of day stats in the tent for a change – I usually do them in the morning, but these days, I find it’s easier to do it in the tent when I’m warm and dry with a light, rather than in the cold dark and wet in the morning.