6/16/21 – Rockport to Diablo Lake

That Adirondack, last night, was so appreciated! Torrential downpours pounded us the entire night, which would have had us packing up wet tents in the morning. On top of the rain, it was freezing cold, so neither of us slept very well. I say that, but I know that Ed slept a little sounder than I did, as in right through some loud rustling and crunching coming from our picnic table. I knew it was a critter getting into some food left out by one of us, so I hollered and blasted it with my headlamp, and that’s when I discovered that it was a huge feral cat. It just sat there and looked at me while it kept on munching. Can you believe it? It really only stole a few bites out of the packet of Ramen noodles, because I got out of bed and chased it away. And Ed heard none of this! On top of the rain, it was REALLY cold all night, so neither of us slept very well. Because we had a short day (38 miles), today, we stayed in bed till it warmed up a little and got a late start.

Our route for the day was, of course, scenic, with yet more lush green forests, more river views, and more beautiful ranch land. We cycled on quiet little two lane roads that skirted the Skagit River for the entire day.

Just after the confluence of the Skagit and Cascade Rivers, about 12 miles into our day, we arrived in Marblemount. We had been looking forward to a hearty lunch in one of the two restaurants there, but both were closed for the day–on a Wednesday, with a ton of tourists in town and full campgrounds all around. We were shocked and disappointed and above all hungry. We had no choice but to buy food at the little convenience market in town, and the choices were limited. Ed ate an extra huge microwave burrito, I ate a Banquet “Mega” frozen entree, and both of us were suffering later. On a positive note, while shopping in the store and sitting outside eating our lunch, we met several really nice people, like the couple below from the San Francisco area who had a LOT of questions about the details of our trip.

Another 12 miles down the road, was the Visitors Center for Cascade National Park, and as you may already know, we specialize in checking out museums and visitor centers, so it was also something we were looking forward to. Once again, we were disappointed to find it closed–on a Wednesday. Seriously? The only sign of life, besides a bunch of other disappointed tourists, was this taxidermied bear.

We had to pass through some tunnels today, and because this state is very pro-bike, they have special lighting installed and special speed limits for when bicyclists are in many of their tunnels. Of course you have to trigger the lights by pushing a button.

Ed demonstrates pushing the bike safety light button outside the tunnel.

The Skagit River is a huge watershed for the electric company in Seattle, so today, we passed a dam and power generation facilities. They even have a company town with houses for employees, like the Arizona copper mines used to have, back in the old days.

When we got to our Diablo Lake Campground, we set up camp, then went looking for water and showers. I was hoping our neighbors with the New York license plate knew where the closest water spigot was, so I struck up a conversation. They turned out to be some of the nicest people with the cutest dog ever. Lee, Dee and Zoe invited us to join them for a four course dinner, featuring cod they purchased on the Quinault Indian Reservation, and not only did we enjoy the meal, but we also enjoyed a delightful evening with them.

Zoe doing her circus elephant pose.
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