The day started with a sore butt, the result of last night’s fall off a bar stool. I swear I wasn’t even approximately drunk. Julie will vouch for me. Right, Julie? You know, Julie What’s-Her-Name.
What was her last name anyway?
Having name amnesia is no way to win friends or provide eye witnesses. It took me two hours but I finally solved the puzzle by combining “Julie” with specific details of her life that she shared with me last night. Suffice it to say, if she wasn’t a rolfer, her last name would still be a mystery.
Having solved the puzzle. I moved on to first breakfast, rolled oats with strawberries, a mixed berry scone, and coffee.
Then I carried all my stuff down 1 1/2,flights is stairs at the hotel/hostel and road off toward the sun. For the first time since I left home I was pointed in that direction. And I had a terrific tailwind. Over the course of the next eight hours I road much of Thursday’s ride in reverse. 600-foot climb? No problem. Downhill at 40 miles per hour? As you wish.
Every hour or so I stopped for a snack. I had second breakfast too. This time eggs, bacon, hash browns, and coffee. (Anybody hungry yet.)
I had no worries because I was planning on camping in the town park in St. Helens, like my Adventure Cycling maps said.
I stopped in Rainier for ice cream. No hurry.
I admired unusual signs.
And acvolcanic mountain (St. Helens) and a broad river (the Columbia).
After about 68 miles I arrived in the town of St. Helens and went to the town park to set up my tent. I called the police to get permission.
Had I read the addendum to the Adventure Cycling maps I’d have seen that camping in the Park was no longer allowed. Now it’s 6 pm on a Saturday night, there’s a county fair and s rodeo in town. The only hotel room in town was over $160. Dang.
I tried places ten miles away but nobody would answer the phone!
So I went back the the Best Western and threw myself on the mercy of the desk clerk. Once he realized that I had ridden over 4,000 miles, he cut the price of the room out of pity.
I checked in and called it a day.
Miles: the easiest hilly 70.5 miles ever
Tour miles: 4,240.5