Cycling Day 11 – Centralia to Chehalis
Woke up this morning in the Travelodge in Centralia and was a little bit slow getting out of bed. We had spent the last night with internet access concentrating on updating our blog and finding a solution to the issue we are having with the gps in that it can’t show more than the first 200 points of the route down to Mexico. In the end, the updating of the blog took precedence and we ended up going to bed pretty late but satisfied that we had some new content up. After blogging last night about how fantastic my body feels after the first ten days, it decided to pay me back by providing aches in every muscle from the hips down for the majority of the day. We rolled through the back streets of Centralia towards the south east. We passed a farm with some baby llamas (or maybe alpacas?) before settling into a nice gentle ride for the first 20 km. We found the road getting more and more rural and I was thinking to myself how nice it was that there was basically no traffic. We did see some funky clouds and some pylons that looked like angry little men. It was at this point we approached a dead end, and realised with the help of some locals that we had gotten lost taken a scenic route to see the Centralia open cut mine. Suddenly the decision to focus on blog content rather than a working gps didn’t seem so clever. While the route had generally not taken us too far from where we needed to be, there was the unfortunate issue of a mountain range between us and our intended route which meant we had to backtrack about 16 km before beginning again near to Centralia.
Funnily enough, the road that we were supposed to take Andy had somewhat smugly looked at and said “I’m glad I’m not riding up that hill”. While it wasn’t as tough as the slopes around Whistler, it did give my body ample opportunity to complain about our fourth consecutive ride. It did however give us the opportunity to descend a rather prolonged 16% descent on the other side which got us up to 66.2 km/h which can be a little scary on a bike this heavy. We pushed on slowly and realised that we didn’t really have any food as we had expected to be at a shop much earlier. Once we were nearly there, Andy spotted a fruit stand on the side of the road where we were able to get a kilo of juicy apricots and nectarines for the bargain price of US$2. We were eventually saved by Mary’s corner deli, which had some pretty awesome sandwiches and salads. By this point we were pretty exhausted and rolled down the last few km to Lewis and Clark State Park, the first campsite that we’ve been to which doesn’t have any lakes or ocean. We just got the only hiker/bikersite before another couple of riders came in and set up our tents quite slowly, getting ready for the next day. Just as we were remarking about how stupid we were not to purchase a beer at the general store, the lovely couple Davon and Sarah from the campsite next door offered us one having seen us nearly dying on the way in. We stopped by their fire to have a chat and they gave us lots of tips on where to go in Oregon, and they offered us a very useful map to show us some of the route we are going to have to take away from the Pacific Coast in order to see Portland.