Friday, October 30, 2009

Day Two Hundred Thirty-six, 091022 - Cape Flattery, WA

Day Two Hundred Thirty-six, Date Thursday, October 22, 2009
Time in Saddle: 9:08
Distance for the Day: 79.90 miles From Port Angeles To Cape Flattery, WA
Accumulated Trip Distance: 11,602 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 451’/428’, Highest: 663’ Accumulated: 4688’
Speeds: Avg: 8.7 mph, Max: 41.5 mph
Weather: 41
Expenditures: $10

I woke up and got up at 5am. It was still dark out, with beautiful stars and the faint glow of dawn above the eastern horizon. I broke down and was just about ready to roll at 5:56am. I was a little *too* early, and wasn’t quite willing to ride in the dark along the highway. There was an “espresso shack” conveniently in front of the business where I spent the night, so I stopped there and got some hot cocoa and a toasted bagel w/cream cheese ($5), and ate that while waiting for the daylight. I took off at about 6:30am and made the Rte 112 junction to Neah Bay by 7:38am. I had actually mistakenly passed that junction the day I lost my fanny pack – on that day, a tragic car accident had occurred, which I read about while staying with Dennis and Paula. A couple of people died, and I remembered seeing police and ambulance when I passed by. A sad thing to see, to be sure. The day eventually got light enough for me to turn my lights off, and I stopped in Joyce at 8:20am to pick up food and drink ($5). The weather became a light overcast – I could see the sun through it, but it was still pretty cool at about 50°. I stopped in Sekiu from 12:45 to 1pm for a hot dog and pear ($3) – just something to hold me on the way towards Neah Bay – I knew it would be close, what with the days getting shorter, and all. I made it with pretty good time to spare, but had a lot of trouble trying to get to that last compass point. First, I tried the route Street Atlas showed, which took me up a steep, hard-packed dirt road. It went up a couple hundred feet, and then went up and down for a ways. I ran into a local in a truck, and asked him about the road. He suggested going back down to the paved road, and following that out to my westmost point. I didn’t want to do that, as I was already nearly halfway to it via this route. He said the route I was on might not be do-able with my trike, but I hate going backwards, so was determined to at least take a look. I continued on the road, and put in a huge effort to climb some pretty steep hills, before ending up in the local dump(!) Hmm. I checked my GPS and map, and found I’d passed a fork to my true route. When I found it, I saw that the local was right: it had become an impassable (to me) two-wheel jeep track. So, I tucked tail, and went back to the nice paved road to Cape Flattery. It was mostly a flat route, so I made pretty good time, but at the end, it became a somewhat long not-too-steep uphill grade that got me to my vaunted “westmost point.” The *true* westmost point could only be reached via a hiking trail, which my trike couldn’t do, so I got as far as I could go and declared it the final compass point at 6:17pm (yay/whew!) It had started to get pretty dark, so I picked a spot away from the parking lot, up by the trailhead, and set up my tent right there. I got in by 7:10pm with food, drink, book, Subway sandwich, and chili cheese Fritos, with strawberry soda – a real celebration meal! I gobbled and read, and it started to rain just before 8pm, but I was already in and dry, so was literally a happy camper, though I did have to use earplugs to quiet the noise of rain hitting the tent, which kept waking me up throughout the night.

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