Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Belfair, WA to Shelton, WA
24 SOAKED Miles
Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race. ~ H.G. Wells
Today’s winds: Southwest; our direction: Southwest. We are going to look for better Karma! This comes after a weekend of record breaking bad weather; there was even a 110mph tornado the next county from us two nights ago. The weather has to improve. I look at the forecast and see all these round, golden orbs starting Thursday. Yes!
I am modifying routes yet again; this time we will use neither the Pacific Cycling nor the Adventure Cycling Routes– instead a Susan’s Special. It may save 20 miles and some hills off of the Adventure Cycling option and it will certainly keep me away from the 5 mile long shoulderless Astoria Bridge. This creates some sadness for Joe; hopefully he will recover. Instead we get a 1962 9 car ferry($2for bikes, $1 per person), indeed the only remaining ferry, over the Columbia River.
We opt for WA Route 3; within less than a mile the slight drizzle metamorphoses into a downpour. I find shelter under a church entrance, don my rain pants and hood, convince Joe to do the same, though skeptical does not even begin to describe his look. Remember he is a tough buzzard; rain gear is for sissies. We trudge on in what feels like hail; this is a bitter, wet cold. I actually get ice cream headaches while riding. The expected high today:42. We share the narrow, 24 inch shoulder and its associated wash with RVs and logging trucks. The shoulder is at times a river, at times a lake, at times nonexistent and always strewn with debris from the winds and the floods of the last several days.
Yet another deluge as the skies seem to dump buckets of rain on us 4 miles from Shelton. This time Joe seeks shelter, under the awning of a gas station pump.
The rain eventually lets up some and we ride the last few miles into Shelton, where paradoxically the sun is out and suddenly there is not a cloud in sight. Joe sees a Subway and asks if there is any warm liquid to be had. Soup; we stop. Joe admits fuzziness in his head and nausea throughout the morning. I look at our maps; survey our options which are basically 28 hilly, possibly wet, miles to the next dry destination. I spy a Motel sign up the street. Joe is unwilling to give up this window of sun. I suggest he go outside and warm up in the sun; he says it is too cold as he shuts his eyes and drifts off. I make the final decision: we stay put, warm up and dry out, the safest choice.
My motel choice, the City Center, is our cheapest yet, $42.00 including tax. We are on par with cheap Mexican lodging; I am not sure this is a positive. I explain to Joe I think we are in a transient motel. He has no idea what I am talking about, but the place appears to be clean, there is a hanging flower basket outside, only one room has a broken window and the price is right.
Joe asks that I turn the heat on; he is more chilled than I realized. I immediately make a pot of hot tea; Joe begins to improve immediately even before he takes a hot shower. Those cloudless blue skies: they are completely gone; the omnipresent grey, storm clouds encompass the sky yet once again as the heavens open up for yet another inevitable downpour. Joe is already snoring as I finish this piece at 1pm. We made the right choice.