|Memorial Outside "Timberland" Library - Centralia, Washington|
I woke up at about five o'clock today feeling fully rested. The sky was overcast. Each long piece of grass held a single dewdrop just below its tip. I'm finding it easy to get lost in the details out here.
We were on the road headed south by six. We passed through Oakville, looking for a breakfast spot, but everything was closed. We pushed on down the road for about seven miles to Rochester. We hit the Highway Diner, just as we entered town. I had the blueberry pancakes and an egg. There seems to be a pattern here. The waitress told me that they use local blueberries. The food and service was outstanding. We went over the route for the day and looked forward to our next big stop - Centralia.
We arrived in Centralia before noon. We stopped at their beautiful "Timberland" Library. Outside, there were several memorials to recent wars and union activities. I took the time to reflect, then moved into the library. I charged my phone while checking email and learning a little bit about Centralia on one of their computer terminals. We stopped by a Mexican restaurant and grocery store before leaving the town.
Looking at the map, I thought that their would be a few hills leaving Centralia. I was correct. Centralia Alpha Road offers a pretty good climb. Luckily, I've noticed that my legs and hips have become stronger the last few days. The payoff for our toil was a picturesque glimpse of Mt. Saint Helens. I'd like to hike to the crater in the near future.
Later, we cycled down Tauscher Road. There was a huge downhill that took my breath away. It was hard to lay off the breaks. I don't ever remember going that fast on a bike. I wish I had invested in a bike speedometer.
We pulled into Lewis and Clark State Park around 5:00. The campsite host told us that we could choose any site in the park at the hiker-biker price. I'm amazed that our Washington State Parks are so empty this time of year. I encourage everyone to hit the road and visit them. This particular site was very beautiful. Upon arrival, I had dinner, took a shower and practiced yoga. I met two brothers from Pittsburg, PA. One had landed his first teaching job in Texas and was on a well-earned vacation. They had road tripped up the coast of California and Oregon and were headed to Olympic National Park. I suggested they hike the Ozette Triangle. It started raining in the evening, so I slipped into my bivy sack to finish my blog entry. We cycled fifty miles today. There is nothing else I'd rather be doing.