It was good to be in my own home last night and this morning. There were several last minute tasks and fixing things I might have forgotten. Top of that list was gettin the St. Christopher medal that my good friend, Pete Miller had given me prior to the start of the last ride. I also got my Dad’s dog tags from his service in WW II.
Rain was in the forecast today and I didn’t get on the road as quickly as I would have liked. I tried to pack so that rain gear would be accessible if needed. The day started off overcast, but dry. I got my last views of the Puget Sound as I left Olympia.
Until I reached Montesano, the route was identical to a ride I had done with the exchange student we had hosted this past school year. With Edoardo Pariani, Hidalgo and I rode to Ocean Shores on a somewhat overcast, but dry day in June. Today, I got hit for the first of many times by rain, just outside Montesano.
After lunch in Montesano, I could tell, I was going to have more rain for the final 30 miles to Raymond/South Bend. I had to fight headwinds, scattered showers, some inevitable PUDs (Pointless Up and Downs). Of the 2700 feet climbed today, at least 1,100 was spent in rain getting to Raymond and South Bend. You can see further details by selecting ride statistics.
When I finally arrived in Raymond, I got a little lost looking for a bike path that led to South Bend and my hotel. I noticed another biker only 30 meters away and decided to follow her as she seemed to be on the right trail. Once I caught up with her and her male companion, I tried to suppress my anti-social tendencies and asked where they were from and where they were going. They were newly married, from France. They were taking a sabbatical from their jobs so they could tour the Pacific coast from Seattle to LA. And they were going to the same hotel I was! I had made my reservation weeks ago, but they decided to stay there because the rain had dampened their spirits and plans for camping for the night.
We had to check in at the restaurant area as the main hotel office was closed. We both got checked in and headed to our rooms across the parking lot. There was a couple that had come in on a motorcycle sitting outside the room next to mine. I opened my door and found that the room had not been prepped since the last guest. Still very wet and getting cold, I had to go back across the parking lot to explain the situation and get a different room. Hidalgo was patiently waiting for me in the first room.
After getting settled and showered in the new room, I began the ritual of washing the bike clothes in the bath tub and drying them as best I could. In most places, I would use a hair dryer to speed the process. This place didn’t have one. After calling Becky, she asked about what kind of breakfast I will get tomorrow morning. I vaguely remembered that breakfast was included. I also remembered that when we had checked in the manager said they will be closed tomorrow, so “just leave the key in the room”. It was then that I realized that I wasn’t going to get breakfast tomorrow. I gathered my leftover Subway sandwich from this afternoon with plans of getting a beer from the bar and calling that dinner. When I went in to the restaurant, I asked about my promised breakfast that might not appear because they would be closed. The lady just reiterated that they would be closed tomorrow and so “no breakfast” – no compensation either. I went ahead and asked if I could sit at the bar, so I could get a beer with my sandwich. She directed me around the corner to an unmanned bar. I told her I’d just sit at a regular table. They brought the menu which had both beer and their food. Since my sandwich was going to be my breakfast I ordered a dinner and a Bud. “Oops, we’re out of Bud”. The food was actually good, so I guess they were 1 for 4. The couple who had been sitting outside with the motorcycle entered and we ended up eating together and had some great conversation and story trading. They are in there early 70s, Canadians who came there from Holland as 4 year olds. In spite of rain and a motel that couldn’t do things right, it turned out to be a lovely evening. I guess it wouldn’t be an adventure if everything went as planned!
The Lone Rider