Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Continuing South: From Shelton to Lewis and Clark State Park

After leaving Shelton, we continued to travel south but decided to deviate off the ACA route once again. The route takes you east to Elma then back west to Centralia, which adds about 40 miles and a bunch of hills to the route. We decided to take the more direct highway route and skipped Elma altogether. The route was quite beautiful, and there were several beautiful places to stop and take breaks. For lunch, we stopped at a beautiful little pullout overlooking the bay.

Enjoying delicious ham and cheese sandwiches with a beautiful view.

Leaning the bikes on a tree while we enjoy lunch.

About an hour and a half after we stopped for lunch, we stopped for our next snack break. I pulled out my phone to check the time and take pictures. Ethan looked in his handlebar bag to pull out his phone and… it wasn't there. He checked his pockets. Not there either. A quick search revealed that it was nowhere to be found. Thankfully, Ethan has an iPhone with the “Find my iPhone” feature turned on. I tried to load the iCloud website on my phone, but we were in a pretty remote area and we couldn't get good enough service to get the webpage to load. So, what to do. I called my mom but the connection was terrible and she could only understand every other word. Finally, I got some text messages to go through so I could explain the situation. Mom was at work, so in the end it was my dad who logged into iCloud and located Ethan’s phone. Turns out, it was right at the spot where we stopped for lunch, a solid hour and a half ride in the opposite direction. Although we had originally planned about a 40 mile ride for the day, we stopped there and biked to the nearest campground, Margaret McKenny State Park about 2 miles north of our location.

Our route from Shelton to Margaret McKenny State Park, 26 miles of riding for a total 213 miles ridden so far.

Once at Margaret McKenny campground, Ethan asked the campground host if he could hitch a ride for the 20 miles to get his phone. Thankfully, the host was willing to give Ethan a ride. Armed with the GPS location courtesy of my dad, Ethan was able to drive straight to it and locate it!

Two very happy campers holding one returned iPhone!

Margaret McKenny is a “primitive” campground meaning they don’t have flush bathrooms or potable water and definitely no electricity. So, we pulled out the solar panels and tried to squeeze out the last bits of electricity before the sun went down.

We propped up the solar panel to angle it towards the sun to get as much electricity as possible before the sun went down.

The “bathroom” was just a hole in the ground with a toilet seat on it. In order to get clean water, Ethan walked to the creek and filled up his water carrier to pump water through the filter.

Ethan pumping water out of the water bag through the filtration system.

We celebrated the return of the iPhone that night with cheese, crackers, salame, and a bottle of wine I had been lugging around in my bags (if you’ll remember my last post about the air mattress, there are some things that are just worth the extra weight. At the end of the day, what doesn't kill me can only make me stronger).

Wine, cheese, salame and crackers to celebrate the return of the iPhone!

Dinner that night was a more traditional backpacking meal, freeze dried Spaghetti with Meat Sauce. These things are great for backpacking because they are lightweight and all you have to do to have a hot meal is add boiling water. Plus, cleanup is simple since you can just throw away the bag when you’re done. Much easier than our usual cooking but also a bunch more expensive.

Our delicious spaghetti dinner.

After dinner we had s’mores by the campfire and quickly fell asleep exhausted from the day of losing and finding the iPhone. We were too lazy to repack all our food back in our bags and instead just left everything out on the table. Well, the birds must have appreciated it because half our food was gone in the morning. The only evidence the birds had even been there was a pecked through Hershey’s chocolate wrapper.

Damn birds ate an entire, unopened chocolate bird!

I was hoping chocolate was bad for birds like it is for dogs to get some petty revenge for stealing my food, but unfortunately I don’t think that’s the case. The birds also got our last ham and cheese sandwich as well as all our marshmallows.

Anyway, we continued travelling south even without our marshmallows and my ham and cheese sandwich stopping at Lewis and Clark State Park.

Our route from McKenny to Lewis and Clark State Park, 39 miles for a total 252 miles ridden to date.

We pedaled mostly uphill for the beginning of the route. Slow, gradual uphills aren't too bad and even though you can definitely tell you are working harder, they don’t slow you down too much. Then, finally, at the end of one big hill, we got to reap the rewards of our gained potential energy in the form of a steep downhill.

Finally, some downhill!

Yup, you read that right. 16 percent downhill grade.

No need to have feet on the pedals when it’s a 16 percent downhill grade!

Coasting down this hill was awesome. Most of the steeper hills end very quickly, but this one was steep and long. According to the speedometer on my bike, I topped out at 40mph which was both thrilling and terrifying. Thankfully we were on a back road with pretty much no cars.

Lewis and Clark State Park was very nice. We met back up with Thomas the French guy and met four other bicycle tourers—a group of three girls traveling together and another guy travelling alone. It’s been awesome meeting all these different people and hearing about their stories. There have been several recent college graduates.

Our campsite at Lewis and Clark State Park.

This is also where Ethan bent my wrench trying to take off his clip pedals. See his post on knee problems for more details. He ended up only being able to get one pedal off and had to pedal with one regular pedal and one clip pedal!

Ethan’s unique one clip, one traditional pedal set up.

By this point, we were really starting to feel like bicycle tourists. We had enough miles behind us to feel like we were actually on our way and to start getting into a routine. I was definitely ready to see the Pacific Ocean though! Anyway, more to come about the RV resort we stayed at in my next post!

No comments:

Post a Comment