Day 1 – May 16, 2015 – Saturday
It’s five am. There’s no alarm. It’s not like school where my mom would come into my room and quietly say “Honey, its seven am, time to get up and get ready for school.” Still, I’m awake, suddenly and completely. I get off the couch and back onto the continually deflating air mattress where my husband is still sleeping. I gave up waking with my head and feet in the air and my butt ever closer to the floor hours ago. We stayed at my best friend’s house because it’s closer to the drop off location and we don’t want to get too late a start. My Parents and my husband and I leave the house around 7:10 am, stop at an Ihop in McCleary, Washington and then end up at a Chevron station in Elma.
I go into the Chevron and emerge donning biking clothes (Dad dresses in the car). It’s so cold and overcast that I put on a big portion of the clothing I’ve brought for the trip. Dad and I have done a bicycling trip before so we know every ounce counts. We have packing down to a science, although my dad has a bit more of a toss it all in the bags style of packing and I have an each thing to its specific pocket style, because I hate looking for things, when I could simply designate a pocket and always find it easily.
We both shop for some last-minute items, mainly Gatorade and snacks. Finish loading our packs, take pictures, look at the map and we’re off.
We take several back roads then ride on Hwy 12 for a while stopping at the Chehalis Tribal Center for a bathroom break. We go through Rochester and end up in Centralia. Stopping at Safeway in Centralia, I buy Dad some water and we asked a guy if he knows about local camping. He wasn’t from there, but after asking us where we were from, amazingly he can tell us more about the Okanogan valley than Centralia.
Today’s ride has been pretty easy, but cold enough that we stop at a Nike outlet so Dad can pick up a long sleeve shirt and a windbreaker. It’s crazy busy so He’s in there a long time. I study the map and realize we passed the only camping, at Harrison RV Park, when we came into town. We never ride “back” very well, so I ask two girls on a bench about local hotels. They say they don’t live here either. HA! I have a gift for finding the only tourist and asking them for local information. Anyway, then I ask a janitor, emptying the garbage cans, and he gives me the scoop regarding local hotels.
Dad finishes shopping and we discuss our options. The next camp ground is 20 miles away. It’s 3:30 pm and we have gone 35 miles in 3 hours (that is ride time – actual, butt in the seat, pedaling time). That would put us at the camp ground at 7:30 or 8:00 pm. We decide to get a hotel.
We ride south through town and end up in Travelodge room #128. There is a local teriyaki place so I go out and get us Spicy Teriyaki Chicken for dinner. I put it on the front of my bike, where I discover the built-in pop-up clamp on my bike rack is super handy for holding food! “I love it when a plan comes together!”
Later in the evening dad discovers he lost his toothbrush. He takes a short jaunt to the closest store to get one. I’m not sure where he went, but he came back with a toothbrush, so mission accomplished! End Day 1.
Daily stats as indicated from my speedometer: Ride Time: 3:10.07 Distance: 36.09 Average speed: 11.3 Max speed: 23.1 Odometer: 36