Day 5

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rest Day 

0 Miles except for walking 

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. ~ Ernest Hemingway

This trip is the opposite of the 2011 coast2coast. There we had no rain for the full 50 days of the trip and other than a couple of mountain ranges, a basically flat trip. Here flat equals hills and constant rain is the norm. California Sun, where art thou?

The reason we chose to ride north to south: prevailing winds in our favor. Three days of 15mph plus winds from the South are rapidly dissipating our former beliefs.  

Back to this rain.  In Ketchikan it is referred to as “liquid sunshine”; perhaps I should view it as that and as an inexpensive wrinkle treatment. The moisture has to be good for my skin.

As we went to sleep on Saturday night the winds continued at 18mph from the south with no lessening in sight for at least the next 48 hours. 

Gusts are expected up to 50mph; rain over an inch.  In some ways we are fortunate: many parts of the Seattle area are flooded and without power.  It could be much worse. 

On my list at the next bike shop- a rain jacket that keeps the water out rather than in; my Isis was still dripping at 8pm last night, six hours after we finished our day’s ride. 

Joe keeps on asking for topographic maps to see elevation profiles. Adventure Cycling includes them when they feel it is warranted; there is not one with the Washington map; thus they feel it is basically flat. We must be wimps. 

I remember now why I chose the Mississippi River route over the Pacific Coast on the first long bike ride. I prefer flat, easy rides. So here I am several years older, a bit rounder and not in shape doing this thing. Naive?

But back to our current situation: Hunker down and wait out the weather for a day or risk almost certain flooding and miserable cold headwinds?

Currently the winds are constant headwinds of 23mph plus from the South; gusts are forecast up to 50mph. 

We chose to hunker down. 

Joe gets NFL Sunday Football; both the Seahawks and the Broncos(go Peyton!) are playing at separate times. My wishes: the movie “Don Jon” with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and a new functioning water repellant rain jacket. Too bad the REI a mile away does not open until October 4; I will try the local bike shop a few blocks south of here and cross my fingers they are not sold out. 

The bike shop guy’s comment on yesterday’s rain: in 24 hours it rained the equivalent of two months.  More of the same is expected today; I am now prepared with my WarmShowers eVent coat. 

The lights flicker as we eat this evening. 

Who, other than the Weather Channel, knows what tomorrow will bring?

Day 5


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