Thursday, April 16, 2015

Raymond - Cosmopolis - Grayland Loop

Highway 101 from Raymond to Cosmopolis accounts for most of the climbing in the 80-mile loop. Featured are blind curves without shoulders and log trucks, making it kind of an unpleasant ass ache. 

Although twice the distance, State Highway 105 is more scenic, less traveled and far flatter than 101. There's campgrounds, ocean vistas and less traffic. For those heading up or down 101, it's worth considering. 
Following Google led me to this deadend
The mud of Grays Harbor County. So much mud. 
Made it to Grayland just before sunset. About 50 miles. The campground was soggy and almost deserted. bought wood for a campfire, hauling it precariously back on my bike, but forgot kindling, and when I failed twice to get a blaze going, I gave up and went to bed. Cold night, poor sleep, up at dawn. 
The ride from Grayland to Raymond along Wilapa Bay was a far better ride. First, cranberry fields. There is something charming about the orderliness of unflooded cranberry beds, and makes them come off as friendly and also foreign, like your friend's immigrant grandma. It's April, and despite the rash of sunshine, everything was wet. As though a gigantic sprinkler had just watered all in sight, everything glistens, the sun dazzles, it looks like the fresh, early days of summer. little red flowers in the fields, the pavement, even the moss hanging from tree limbs, glistening. Farmer names are hand painted on whitewashed boards and nailed to the side of barns. Im sure there is some Function in doing so, but i fancy the farmers straightening their backs when seeing their names, and knowing everybody sees their names, and Feeling proud. The Quinby family figured prominently. The structures were peeling, fading, and some are listing as though starting to sink into the bogs, but the drapes are clean and pressed and drawn. Front doors stood open. Trucks were left in driveways with doors wide open. Everybody waves back. Good morning. Good morning. Giant birds fly in circles. 
Willapa Bay. Think I got some sun. My nose is red. Ok shoulder, not too heavy traffic, but cars and trucks hauling ass and not always giving enough space. 
All that remains of this Raymond house, wiped away by fire, is this proud erection made of brick. I ate bacon and eggs and drank coffee at a diner here after securing my bike and equipment. It was excellent. In the local paper an A1 standalone speculated about a mystery sawdust truck wreck on 101. I had passed it the day before. The southbound lane had been closed, and flaggers were alternating traffic. Once i got past the wreck (tow trucks, men peering below the buckled trailer, scratching their ball caps) i reckoned the closed lane helped, Making it so all the vehicles had to pass me in bursts, rather than a steady stream. Thank goodness for the newspaper, which ran an obituary of a local woman that caught my eye. In the photo accompanying the obit, the woman isn't looking at the camera. She is looking down, with a funny look on her face. The obit accounted for her hobbies and things she liked, mentioning, finally, back rubs. I wondered if that was Victorian code for something. maybe she was just one of those people. It made me think of a Bob Dylan lyric I heard earlier on the ride to town: 'I go to pet your monkey and I get a face full of paws.' about 30 miles, head winds most of the way
Pacific County Courthouse, South Bend
There is nothing associated with the government of Kitsap that is this beautiful. 

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