Pacific Coast Tour: Day 3
Day 3: South Beach Campground, Olympic National Park, WA to Aberdeen, WA
Approximate mileage ~ 76 miles
Approximate total mileage ~ 271 miles
Approximate elevation gain ~ 1900 feet
Approximate total elevation gain ~ 6600 feet
Last night I was continuously reminded how I chose to save weight and space by not packing a sleeping pad or sleeping bag. It was a really beautiful setting with the surrounding thick forest, ocean beyond the cliff and light mist and fog hovering above. Although the cool temps combine with mist and solid ground didn’t allow for any more sleep than the previous night. So I woke up around 5 am and walked around a bit in attempt to warm up. I was never so appreciative to use an outhouse as it provided a slight amount of shelter from the mist and breeze to help with the warming efforts. Jim, who we had met the previous night, stopped by around 7 wearing little more than shorts, raincoat, and helmet. This guy had undoubtedly done this before. Joel fixed a flat in his tire the previous night but for whatever reason the tire was flat again in the morning. I hung around, still attempting to regain feeling in my feet, while he fixed his flat for the second time. By this time I was ready to get on the road and keep heading south.
It was consistently raining very lightly the whole morning. Everything I was wearing as well as carrying in my pack was thoroughly saturated by a short while down the road. Once exiting the roads of Olympic National Park continuing on highway 101 once again there were numerous logging trucks whizzing by at great speeds. This stretch contained a very few very small towns and numerous dense forests. Clear cutting of large sections of forest was a frequent sight as well. It was obvious that logging is one of the few main industries inland on this section of the 101.
By this time on the trip my appetite was in full swing. There was simply no way to be able to eat enough and still have enough time to cover the miles I had intended in addition to finding a place to sleep each night. Luckily, Joel had mentioned a little café with free wifi which seemed like the perfect place to refuel and just as importantly recharge my phone and extra battery pack – both of which had been depleted. After about 30 miles I spotted the café! It was called the Quinault Internet Café. It was warm, dry, had free wifi, and a great breakfast menu from which I selected a feast of 3 pancakes, 2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon, and one huge cinnamon roll. Perfection! This massive quantity of calories came in handy over the next approximately 40 miles to the next stop at a town called Hoquiam.
There happened to be a small bike shop in Hoquiam and it was still open. It turned out to be a bit longer of a stop than intended. Even though, the owner and coworker were very nice and aired up a low tire for me. Hoquiam is a town just west of Aberdeen, WA. Once again, there was no solid plan for a place to stay for the night. I did have an idea from Joel about a campground just south of Aberdeen which would be a good place to stay. I also reached out to one family on Couchsurfing in attempt to find a place warm and dry for the night as the previous two nights had been the exact opposite. While riding around Aberdeen in search of a restaurant and grocery store I received a message back from the family whom I contacted on Couchsurfing. They were willing to host for the night! At this time that was some of the greatest news I could’ve received. So I found a subway for a quick sandwich and restocked on nuts and energy bars at a nearby grocery store then headed to my host’s home.
Up to this point there had been some gentle hills for the day but nothing extreme. This changed abruptly as I made a very steep climb up several blocks to my host’s home in a very nice neighborhood. Upon arrival, I was greeted by Lorena then later her husband Matthew and their four children. They were all incredibly wonderful people and I still cannot express how thankful I am for them allowing me to stay on such short notice. I had a nice warm shower for the first time in 3 days then we watched a little bit of Netflix. We conversed and they shared information about their work and the surrounding area – all very interesting. Around 9 pm everyone left me to the couch and I slept more deeply than any other sleep, ever. Once again, Thank You Lorena and Matthew!!!