Saturday, July 03, 2004

Friday: Portland to Seattle

Slept in a bit Friday morning. Wednesday and Thursday were planned in advance. I knew the route before I left on wednesday, and had times all worked out.

My plan was fairly detailed, up until Portland. Now I'm just winging it. I have half a thought to zig zag up to Astoria, then over to Mount St. Helen's, then out to Olympia "on the way' to Seattle. I'm feeling surprisingly comfortable and not tired of riding. But decided on a simpler scenic route to get me into Seatte at a reasonable hour. ther are BARS in Seattle. TIKI BARS, even.

Cruised around Portland for a while looking around for anything interesting, wasn't too excited, but I did stop at a cafe for breakfast since there was a crowd and a Hawk parked out front. (which, I totally behaved and didn't tell they guy it was a girl's bike) Got onto I-5 North into Washington and rode up carefully observing the way-too low speed limit. In Washington, even I-5 is pretty. People drive way better in Oregon and Washington than they do in California. I felt a little guilty about a few slightly aggressive passes I made that day, which wouldn't have been notable in California.
Turned off at 12 to go East into the forest. And on 12, passed by possibly the most breathtaking Vista Point I've ever seen. Wow. Very very pretty. Again with the RV's, but I'm getting good at passing them now. Mt. St. Helen's is to my right, and the lake, and on the left is a national forest. Turned off at 123 to enter Mt. Rainer National Park. Stopped to take a photo of my bike at the gate, and entered the park. Really really pretty. Part of this road (Cayuse Pass) is closed in the winter, and of course that's a good sign. Up at the top the road get twisty, and there's snow on the sides. I wanted to double back and ride it again, but was a little worried about gas availability. Little waterfalls peek out from the hill next to the road and the views on the side are breathtaking. I'd like to come back here soon and run the other passes in the park.
This takes me to 410 and again, I haven't really studied the map. I know this points generally to Seattle, but I don't know how, nevermind I don't actually know where my brother lives. Again, the good sense of direction kicked in and I found my way to Capitol Hill pretty easily and parked with some other bikes. And sat for coffee. Called my brother, and arranged to meet down the street for drinks.

The ride was fucking great. To do it again, I would get a better map, to find the real backroads, and skip some of the crappy RV stuff. I fucking hate RV's. What is it about Americans that makes them want to get the biggest of everything? Are we getting away from it all but bringing it all with us? What's the fucking point? It's so obnoxious to all other travellers, and it defeats the point of travelling, to bring your own home and insulation from the world around you. The more of your own home you bring, the less of the new areas you experience.
Get a fucking clue, and pull the fuck over while you're at it.

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