Vancouver to San Francisco Tour 2016 – A Cycle Tour by someone who’s never cycle toured before – Day 6 – Lake Quinault to Twin Harbors

Today was a long day, at least, compared to what I had done so far. But it’s OK, I’m getting the hang of this now.

One of the things that we tried to do as much as possible was to stay off the 101. This was because the other routes are always going to be prettier and quieter. So we take a route off the 101 through some rural but residential areas. There were some nice long stretches of nothing so you still felt isolated which is a great feeling to have. Luckily we had a tech-whiz in our crew (Oz) who was the man with many digital maps and GPS. Made the detours a little ‘safer’

Creatures

Whilst riding down these back lanes of Washington we came across some of those creatures that always appear in cliched scenes in films when bicycles are concerned. Dogs. I’ve never really been the biggest dog fan in the world (I’m more of a cat person!) and meeting these dogs today was an example of why.

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Little did we know what was ahead of us at this point – woof (gas station in Humptulips) – Photo Oz

Passing a parked car and horse box, a nice looking rottweiler sat between the two, saw some people on some bikes (us). (S)he seemed to think we looked interesting so it gave chase. Now, we didn’t realise this at first as we had passed the parked vehicles with ease. However we heard the dogs owner shouting loud with some authority behind us

“BAxter . . . BAXter . . . BAXTER . . .COME BACK!” [this is not the real name].

I looked over my shoulder and there Baxter was running after us, he stuttered at the voice of his owner, but then continued, barking as he went. He didn’t get so close but close enough to hear his claws scrape on the road. I put this down to some extreme peddling on our part.

Man, it scared the jeepers out of me.

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At camp in Twin Harbors

But it’s OK, if that wasn’t enough we had 2 more run-ins on this part of the ride. Bastards. The next two were held in by fences and were equally big enough to not want to be chased by. However one was running along the length of the fence to what looked like an open gate at the end. based on our speeds he would have met us perfectly. Luckily (s)he stopped and we were safe as houses.

Aberdeen

We reached Aberdeen for lunch time. This was the largest town that we had seen so far in the States. If I’m honest, there wasn’t much going on there. Talking with Oz, it used to be a relatively prosperous logging town but had fallen on hard times since that industry had somewhat fallen behind somewhat. It wasn’t quite the place that you would want to spend too much time in. We did have a nice guide who led us to the Safeway which was nice, although we weren’t quite sure if we should start talking back to this guy. He was also on a bike but it was a good few sizes too small . . . as was his t-shirt for his belly

We stop off at Safeway and I of course over indulge in food. Chinese chicken bits, a big sandwich plus goodies for camp – chocolate. We sat down on benches outside after some err locals left. I stayed to watch the bikes. It was pretty much the hottest day of my life. Sitting there surrounded by concrete and Sun, I was itching to get some air flow through my ‘hair’

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Lunch in Aberdeen. A lunch for King Paul and Prince Scott (Photo Oz)

Bellies full, we decided, without even really needing to say anything, there wasn’t much to see and we should probably continue on out of the city. So we take a nice decent size bridge out of town, a long-way-round short cut along some sewage lines and get back on the 101. We were warned not to pick up hitch hikers as there was a ‘Juvenile Prison’ near by. Don’t worry, we were full.

After Aberdeen, I was very much just excited to get to camp. It was by far the busiest of campsites that we had been to date – We had the very last spots – but when you realise you were less than 100m from the beach then you could hardly complain.

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A pretty walk from camp through to the beach. Paul taking the lead

We had seen Scott and Andy on every stop throughout the day and low and behold, they were also here at Twin Harbors. They arrived after us, and although we had taken the last spots, they assured the park rangers we wouldn’t mind sharing with them – how presumptuous of them . . . but of course they were right! ha! It’s tonight that I found out exactly what their story was. Scott is from Brisbane and Andy from San Francisco. They had met each other 25 years ago doing this same trip and this was their reunion tour (although they had done many tours since – AU and NZ). This made me think . . . will I do this in 25 years time? hmm

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Paul and Andy on Twin Harbors beach

We all went to the beach to watch the sun set. This was the first time that we stayed on the beach and my goodness it was just wonderful. The sky was blue without any clouds but the wind was surprisingly cutting. We stayed there for about an hour to watch Sun Set. This was the first ever sun set I had properly seen. I mean, first time I had seen the Sun set on the horizon. It was just out of this world. You wouldn’t get this in London!

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Families were out, kids flying kites and doing stunts, and us. It was a perfect way to end the day. It’s scenes like that remind me what I am doing this for and why I am here.  I slept extremely well on this night, I didn’t need my iPod for my ocean soundtrack!

  • Route can be found HERE

Cheers, Scott

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