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bike trip day two

June 17, 2010
Day 2: 6 June; Potlatch State Park to Lake Sylvia State Park (Montesano), 51 mi.
We took US101 to WA108 to WA8. the 101 and 8 were fine, the 108, however, had a poor road condition, heavy traffic and narrow shoulders. The rain didn’t help either. The main idea motivating us was the thought of a hot meal in McCleary, an old logging town with an aging population and more or less no economic development-more vacant buildings, even in the downtown area. We had a couple of sandwiches at the “Rain Country Restaurant.” After stuffing our faces with sandwiches and fries, we left and quickly realized that we were not at all full. At the restaurant, we ran into a couple of Canadians who were bicycle touring from Victoria to Tijuana, which makes our trip look like small fries.
It’s interesting to see the rise and fall of towns as industries fill in/out of favor or move off shore. The lumber mill was absolutely massive, reminding me of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks intro scene.
WA106 before McCleary was full of tree farms. It’s hard to ignore the devestation the lumber industry enacts on the environment (in addition to carbon emissions).
Taking WA8 west, the smell of wet pasture grass wafted into the road as the old Hanford Nuclear Reactors loomed to the south. Slowly, the air grew increasingly wetter until we were pedaling through an awfully rainy headwind. Fortunately, a couple of bicycle tourists, who we later learned were from West Virginia and touring from Seattle to Santa Barbara, turned right in front of us. It was then that I learned the value of drafting, as I was having a very hard time holding the speed at 10mph in the wind, but riding behind these guys Liz and I were cruising along at 14mph without issue. After reaching Montesano, Liz and I picked up some groceries at the first of many depressing small town grocery stores, before heading up the hill to Lake Sylvia StatePark, where we ate a meal of carrots, brocolli, rice and japanese curry, while watching the anglers fish along the bridge over the lake.
***by the way we will have pictures up when after we arrive in san luis obispo
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