September 6 - From Lake Quinault to Tokeland
DESCRIPTION: Mileage: 66 miles. Terrain: Rolling to flat. Highlights: Continuing south, we once again reach the Pacific at Ocean Shores with its flat sandy beaches. The riders will take a passenger ferry across the mouth of Grays Harbor to the sport fishing community of Westport, avoiding much of the traffic in the Hoquiam-Aberdeen area.
OVERNIGHT: Tradewinds on the Bay, Tokeland (360.267.7500)
TRIP DIARY/PHOTOS: Today was a perfectly lovely riding day! We started at Lake Quinault, deep in the Olympic National Forest, and rode out to the coast along rolling hills through spruce forests on very low-traffic roads.
Above: We had our lunch stop at Griffiths-Priday State Beach.
Above: The pelaton gets ready to head out for the after-lunch leg of the trip--from left to right: Harold, Bob, Laura, John, Barbara, Leonard, Nancy, and Larry.
Above: This coastline was the first unobstructed view of the Pacific that we riders got from our bikes; it was breathtaking! All of us stopped to take pictures.
Above: Patty, our ever-ready sag hostess, urges us to eat some snacks at one of the mid-afternoon sag stops. The hatchback is full of goodies like cookies, juice, fruit, etc. Jim, temporarily the cameraman, is riding sag with Patty.
Above: The beach in back of our motel includes a large salt-marsh with sea birds.
Above: In the picnic area on the terrace of the motel, Sandy sets out a wine-and-cheese happy hour for the group. Happy hour is a regular part of the day after everyone gets back and showered. There's beer and wine, but most bikers go for the sodas and juices. The nuts and chips are a big hit, too.
Above: Harold, Brian, and Jim are first at the cheese and grapes.
Above: Leonard takes a snooze in the sun after having some cheese and grapes.
Ride Statistics: Today we rode 65.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,182 feet. Our strongest rider, Brian, averaged 17.8 mph and clocked an extra 21 miles to boot. The next group, which included John, Nancy, and Leonard, averaged 16.0 mph, Barbara, Harold, and Bob came in at a very respectable 14.5 mph.
Special Note: One of the highlights of the day was a boat ride across the mouth of Grays Harbor to the sport fishing community of Westport. Note, I said BOAT ride and not FERRY ride. You see, when we all got to the ferry, we discovered that it was closed on weekdays after Labor Day! Sandy was able to negotiate a trip for us all, with our bikes, across the harbor in a small fishing boat. It was a fun 20-minute trip. Unfortunately, Jim had the digital camera, and he was in the car, going the 40-mile route by roads around the harbor. Maybe later I can get some pictures from some of the other riders and add them here.