2192 Feet of Climbing
Last night’s flight to Bellingham arrived late, but I had already decided against assembling my bike in the Airport, so it didn’t really matter. I ordered up a good old fashioned Yellow Cab van and was dropped at the curb of the local Days Inn. It only took about 40 minutes to reassemble the bike, after which I lost track of how long it took to get all the grease off my hands. This morning, Ed woke up early, but he knew how sleep deprived I was and kindly let me sleep in. After cramming all my gear back into its various bags and hefting it and the bike down the long flight of stairs, we finally hit the road at 9 AM. Before starting our first day of the tour, we headed downtown for breakfast and the traditional wheel dip in the Pacific Ocean.
Washington is green and lush and beautiful. We spent most of the day riding on two lane roads that wound through trees, past wildflowers and grazing farm animals, up and down endless hills, along Whatcom Lake and Skagit River, and past some spectacular vistas. Did I mention that we even saw a Sasquatch? And then there was that section of a Rails to Trails trail that lasted almost a mile, before we found a better alternate (let it be know that pea gravel is not our preferred riding surface.) And I could really get used to this cool weather. This was my first ride in a long time where I didn’t worry about getting heat induced cramps in my legs.
In Sedro-Woolley (who names these towns, anyhow?), we stopped at the last grocery store on today’s route to get some snacks and provisions for our next couple of meals.
A little further down the road, we took a little side trip to see the town of Concrete. The local history museum was closed, which is lucky for us, because if it had been open, we would have stopped, which would have put us in danger of riding in the rain for the last part of our day. The 5 PM weather forecast called for rain in Rockport.
Pushing on toward Steelhead Park, our camping spot for the evening, the rain came early. After four wet, cold miles of drizzle, we were partially drenched and not looking forward to setting up our tents on wet ground, knowing there was going to be more rain. I called the phone number on the door of the campground office and pled for mercy, and just like that, our tent site was upgraded to an Adirondack. I frequently ask myself–am I lucky or am I blessed? And I can tell you, I am both.