How a week seems to fly by. 7 days ago I was still in Vancouver blissfully unaware of how much FUN this was going to be.
So the hot weather continued. My English skin was taking a pounding even with sun screen on, but I did all that I could in order to prevent an evolution into a Lobster happening in a few days time. As it was a windy day, there was a bit of wind chill going on, I had my long sleeves on. This was my answer to the sun burn.
We stayed on the coast the whole of this day, hugging Willapa Bay. Because there was no where to cross the Willapa river on the coast, we had to cycle up to Raymond and then back down the other side of the river. So although on the map it looks like a short ride, you’re having to do a lot of back tracking. But this is fine. It gives us another opportunity to see another town and stock up on food. It was also an opportunity to have my first ever Dairy Queen. Now, Oz was pretty excited by this . . . and although I didn’t have any ice cream, I can’t honestly say I understand why. It must be an American thing right?
By now I was starting to get the hang of these rides day in day out. I knew what it felt like to cycle 40-60 miles a day with a loaded bike, so my confidence was rising and my body was adapting. This was important because each day didn’t fill me with unknown dread any more. This meant that I could enjoy the experience a little more as I knew what laid ahead.
Saying this, I did start having an overwhelming urge to stretch. One of the things that I didn’t do much on this tour was stretch. At night I would feel that my quads were super tight and sore. Rolling from my left to my right side whilst sleeping wasn’t much of an option. They were so sore that the ground felt like the most knobbly foam roller ever created by man. If I was to do one of those movie-like morning stretches my legs would burn and feel the lactic acid which remained in there. This is something that I would come to realise would stay for the whole trip. That being said, everything else was fine. The neck ache had gone, the same with the shoulders.
This aside, the views for this ride were just incredible. Miles of sea and what looked like mud flats. Along the coast men would be picking razor clams from the sea bed which was left exposed by the tide.
There were a couple of stretches today that I thought had me. A couple of miles of Straight road, with a relentless headwind. It felt like you were cycling through treacle and we just weren’t making any distance. These bikes were not the most streamlined of vehicles. In my hand written journal the word “grind” appeared quite a few times. This was a time for no chat but head down. The hardest of which were when crossing the Niawiakum River and South Fork Palix river which where pleasantly exposed. Were we home yet?
We pass a ship which as it turned out, Oz was very familiar with. Once upon a time this ship was moored up in Newport, Oregon. It was nice to see Oz with an old friend. We weren’t properly introduced.
Anyway, after Paul steamed on ahead we missed the shortcut to the KOA . . . another first for me, and took a slightly longer route around. But it’s OK. We got there. . . but not before Scott and Andy. Surprise surprise.
One final surprise we got was we managed to get some extra food that night. Already stuffed from my own cooking, a nice lady came over from her RV saying that she had lots of left over pasta from a wedding reception she had been to. She must have been wondering what on earth we were doing and thought we needed a good feed – ‘poor boys’.
I rest easy that night
Route can be found HERE
Day 8 can be found HERE