Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Days 6 and 7 - Quinault to Raymond to Ilwaco

Here is the itinerary for our Africa trip.

Quinault to Raymond

Good wines support local causes. Every bottle has a specific charity.
Since today would be about 100 miles, I made sure to leave early on the road by 6:30. For the first time, the fog lifted before noon and we were in the sun at about 7:30. The ride itself today was uneventful. I did have a couple of people follow me for a while thanking me for being a windbreak. It isn’t often that I get that opportunity as I tend to be significantly bigger than most of the other riders. We did follow the coastline more today and I saw more birds along one beach than I have seen on spring bird trips. I met some birdwatchers there, but they had not seen anything special, just enjoying the sun and birds.

Gulls, gulls, and more gulls
We did have about 15 miles of strong headwind as we rode from Aberdeen to Westport, but once we hit the ocean and turned south and east towards Tokeland and Raymond, the wind became to be a big supporter. I arrived in Raymond at 96 miles so I rode around town a bit and a little further down the coast to end at just over 100 miles – my first century.

One of about 20 Raymond sculptures
Raymond is doing pretty well for a small coastal town dependent on the sea and the forests. There is quite a bit downtown and the Pitchwood Alehouse with live music and good food.. Our camp is right next to their small live theater that does five productions a year – one being a children’s show. Their goal is to keep theater alive in Raymond and the volunteers I met certainly seem up to the challenge. The town is well-decorated with sculptures representing the various aspects of the city and they have built a nice bike trail that heads towards Ilwaco and Long Beach.
Mural from railroad days

 Raymond to Ilwaco

The last ride would be another short one of about 50 miles so I was in no hurry to get started. I took so much time I was one of the last to leave camp and therefore one of the last to arrive in Ilwaco. The fog lifted almost immediately providing some lovely views over the water. We followed the new bicycle trail to South Bend. South Bend is the county seat of Pacific County by virtue of the fact that they stole it from Oysterville on the Long Beach Peninsula. I tried to get more information, but the online sites ignore this interesting bit of history. The first 20 miles were almost perfectly flat followed by another 20 miles of rollers, most of which only slowed us down a bit. The whole length followed the coast of Willapa Bay providing some beautiful riding.
This fog lifted quickly after providing a nice morning view

After navigating through town we arrived at Cape Disappointment State Park and more rollers before reaching Waikiki Beach and the end of the ride. Some of the riders did a ceremonial dip in the Ocean before loading up for the ride home. Lines became the order of the day as over 200 of the riders rode the buses back to Seattle. Bicycles are loaded in one truck and bags into another. Of course, the first part of getting a bag into the truck would be finding it amongst the 500 or so lying on the blacktop.

Find your bag

Stand in line
After lunch and goodbyes to new friends, Linda picked me up and we left for the Shelburne Inn where we would have dinner and spend the night. Reputed to be one of the best restaurants anywhere, we were somewhat disappointed, but we did have a nice drive around the Peninsula and a short walk through the wildlife refuge at the north end of the peninsula. Next year the ride will begin here and end in Walla Walla where I’m sure we will find some time for wine tasting.



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