Friday, July 10, 2015

Days 9-10: Humptulips to Manchester State Park

Written by guest blogger, Craig Skiles. (Posts 10-11 of 14)
Originally posted here and here.
Commentary [in green] provided by yours truly.

Day 9: Humptulips to Schafer State Park
Monday June 15, 2015, 61 miles (98 km) - Total so far: 478 miles (769 km)

We escaped our mosquito infested camp at about 7AM. Another nice cool morning and the miles flew by. We turned off of Hwy 101 south of Humptulips and turned on to Youmans Road.

We're leaving Highway 101.
Though the highway treated us well, we're anxious to ride on quieter roads.

Getting off of 101 was a genius idea. Thank you, Sarah, for being prepared to get us off the big road south of the Olympic Mountains.

[Sarah: Neither Craig nor I had kickstands on our bicycles for the trip. So, whenever we stopped to get off our bikes, we looked for a place against which we could lean our bikes. If we found no such leanable location, then we just layed our bicycles on the ground, as shown below:

One of our many second (or third) breakfast stops.
Notice how Craig's bike is laying on the ground.

It took us nine days into our trip to realize that we could lean our bikes against each other, as shown below: 

We leaned our bicycles against each other so that we didn't need
to lay the bikes on the ground.

This would help prolong the lives of our panniers and prevent us from having to do any heavy lifting. What brilliant (albeit slow) geniuses are we!

Craig has a nice "I'm from Florida" tan. Though he was careful to apply sunscreen everyday, I was definitely the sunscreen nazi. Everyday at 9am, I would yell, "Time to pull over and apply sunscreen." On this particular day, we pulled over, leaned our bikes up against an abandoned gas station, and then got to work lathering up. After a few minutes, Craig looked up and noticed a perfectly crafted hive. I don't do well with yellow and black flying creatures, and so I found another spot where I could finish applying my sunscreen. Craig would have none of my wussiness -- he was completely intrigued by the hive.]

The hive.

I guess we're all a little unique in what piques our interest. While Craig was infatuated with the hive, I was infatuated with a row of vehicles and farm implements on the side of the road. They were all for sale!]

A most picturesque yard sale.

Cheap trucks -- so much potential...

...and a chicken tractor, too.
Forget the chickens...Sarah could live in there!

The ride into Montesano was glorious in the morning light. Montesano is also a nice town that has yet to be spoiled by chain stores and strip malls. We hit the supermarket and then hung out at the city park eating lunch and calling our Mothers.

After this nice mid-day stop, we continued on to Schafer State Park. Schafer has hiker/biker sites, but the ranger is letting us take any site we wish since it is still a slow time for this park. We picked a site next to the Satsop River and enjoyed a swim in the cold clear water. Journalling, reading, and chatting with the few other cyclists in the park made our evening quite busy and enjoyable.

My downtube has just about completely cracked off the bottom bracket shell. The crack has not opened up but has advanced to cover 2/3rds of the tube circumference.

Today's route:

Day 10: Schafer State Park to Manchester State Park
Tuesday June 16, 2015, 72 miles (116 km) - Total so far: 550 miles (885 km)

We got our usual start at about 6:30AM. Sarah had our day's route dialed in. She even had a turn-by-turn cue sheet. We made about a million turns down all manner of roads to the point that I was completely lost within about 20 miles.

Craig makes friends with a unicorn.

[Sarah: As we were riding along, we noticed a pretty, shiny black car pulled off on the side of the road. What caught our attention was a note taped to the window of the car. It read: "There is nothing in this car to steal. Please don't break my windows. Have a nice day." So far, the sign was effective.]

Craig, reflected in the shiny paint,
contemplates breaking into the automobile.

Most of the roads were pleasant to ride on. We did have a few unpleasant miles on Hwy 3 through the town of Belair. While in Belair we stopped at a Safeway to buy a lunch. We then acted like complete vagrants and ate lunch crouched on the steps outside the Safeway while shoppers gawked at the homeless bums on bicycles.

[Sarah: About midway through our dining experience sitting on the steps of Safeway, we noticed what appeared to be a dried pile of vomit off to our right. We laughed, shrugged it off, and kept shoveling food in our mouths. Oh yes, hungry homeless bums are we.]

While riding, all I could think about was that my frame was going to snap in half while descending at an incredible speed. This constant worry didn't make me the most interesting riding partner Sarah could have had. But she seemed ready to get back to Seattle and we hammered along and made good time.

Manchester State Park was full of motorhomes, but did have some secluded hiker/biker sites.

Our hiker/biker site at Manchester State Park.

We took a walk along the beach and commented on how much algae was growing in the water. I wonder if this is a normal condition. Seattle can be seen across the water, and tomorrow we will complete our loop around the Olympic Peninsula.

Today's route:


  1. I have gotten the same "homeless" look when I am wine tasting after a long day riding. I think it might be the man musk!

    Damn I feel very bad about the frame and its affect on the ride enjoyment!

    1. Ha! A homeless bum who wine tastes ain't so bad! :)

      Yeah, bummer about the crack. :( Craig was super-duper brave (or perhaps nuts) to even ride the bike after the crack was discovered. I wouldn't have been able to concentrate on anything except for my life crashing before me.


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