Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010
After two days of procrastination (I was originally planning on leaving Tuesday, the 9th), I rallied my will, took a deep breath and set out again. It was SO difficult to leave! The thought that I could delay the departure just one more day was painfully enticing. What helped was the knowledge that so many people are expecting me to do it; like I'd somehow be letting them (you!) down.
So, with the mercury hovering right around 36°F, at 8:20AM, I set out.
You don't know how close I came to turning around and going back home; mulling excuses for why I couldn't go: There's a problem with my bike; I'm just not cut out for a journey like this; It isn't the right time of year, etc.
But I kept going. In spite of the fact that I've got a weight problem––not personally, but on my bike. I'm going to have to ship some stuff back home. I'm carrying about 70 lbs. of gear, approximately 15 lbs. of it in camping gear I didn't have with me on the Olympic Peninsula leg. It's a problem. When I get to Portland I'm going to have to trim some fat: get a smaller, lighter tent and sleeping bag, shed the water filter and camping knife, etc. I figure I can probably safely cut about 10 lbs. of weight. 60 lbs. is not unreasonable for a solo, self-contained tour.
Here's a photo of me as I set out:
Despite the cold, the morning was beautiful. Riding through old Puyallup, I passed the Meeker Mansion. Completed in 1890, this is the home where Ezra Meeker and his wife lived for about 20 years:
Ezra is one fascinating character. We have Ezra Meeker to thank for the remnants of the Oregon Trail being preserved and protected to this day. Read more about him here.
About 4.5 hours into my ride today, it started raining. But about 5 minutes before, I snapped these pics in downtown Roy, WA:
After a miserable 2.5-hour ride in the chilling rain, along highways 507 and 510, with cars and trucks spraying me with water and road grime, the rain abated and I shot this video:
As soon as I'd shot that video, I realized that today is Veteran's Day and the statue in the background is dedicated to the fallen soldiers of WWI. Here's a photo of the statue:
The inscription on the pedestal reads;
TO THE MEMORY OF THE CITIZENS OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES DURING THE WORLD WAR 1917-1918
Tonight I'm in the guest room of Dana and Dudley Doss just a few blocks from the capital building here in Olympia. Tomorrow I ride to Castle Rock. Supposed to be better weather tomorrow. I hope!