Sunday, August 21, 2016

Chores Ride Chores Bed - Olympic Peninsula Loop debrief

Beach 2, La Push
Last week I rode my bike around the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, mostly on Highway 101, but also on some logging roads. Here are some of things I thought. 

-I love riding alone, I love riding with friends. I think I love riding with friends more. 

-Less than 300 miles. It wasn't very hard at all. Kind of felt like a slacker. Only steep climbs that presented big challenges were on the forest service roads, and that was mostly because of gravel.

Shortest day: 15 miles, forks to la push
Longest day: 70 miles, kalaloch to wynoochee 
Bear shit: lots
Queets River

Tthere is a lot of natural beauty on the peninsula. That natural beauty can be found on the public transit bus too. The unhinged woman clutching the stuffed animal as though it was a living service animal telling dick jokes to the man with the softball sized neck goiter all the while upsetting the drunk woodsman who complained to the bus driver and told his fellow passengers to 'knock that shit off' were all very beautiful and natural. 
-Witnessing the Sunday morning walk of shame from second beach at la push was one of the lowlights of the summer. I hate to say it, but maybe national parks needs to ban overnight camping there, or limit it somehow with a lotto. People right now are getting bent out of shape over some navy airplane noise above the park - which I heard while I was there and agree shouldn't be allowed, no doubt - but the bigger threat to the 'pure' nature experience and public health has got to be turning one of the state's most beautiful places into an open toilet. That said, I had a fire, hung out with a friend, got drunk, wandered around in the surf and wore beach two sand for days. So I'm just as guilty. 
Beach 2, La Push

-Getting off the highway shoulder and into the woods (kisses fingers) the best decision of the ride. What struck me was how vague the maps were when the road, tho narrow in places, was well developed and fit to be ridden by a president.

-Saw a lot of bear shit on the 22/23 road.
Kalaloch Campground

-The paranoia and pissyness of western Washingtonians seems to be greater than their eastern counterparts. Also, you see more wildlife in the east. On the peninsula this go round I saw only a tame doe and her tame fawn hanging around the pay station at Fort Flagler. 

-The hornets get aggressive this time of year, late summer early fall, out foraging and fucking shit up. On the 23 I stopped for some sardines and chill and almost immediately was accosted by some big, mean looking hornets. Shy of an inch in length. At that size you can really make out the detail of these fearsome creatures, straight out of the depths of the forest primeval. I swatted at them, told them to back the f up, used a water bottle to bat them away, which made a very satisfying sound. The hornets fled and knew who was boss. Having solved that problem with brute force, I set about my business. Little did I know, I had underestimated my new horny adversaries. within seconds twice, three times as many hornets were up in my face, seeming to say, oh hell no. Break yourself, fool!- I gathered my stuff, quickly, like i was fleeing a cartoonish cloud of enraged hornets, which I was, and ran away, never eating my sardines. 

- Spent two nights on the foggy coast, much of it without shoes, and saw only brief glimpses of the sun. I love the sun.
Beach 2, La Push

-Mac and cheese, the good kind, with the sauce packet, and a package of tuna fish, is such a satisfying dinner. It takes away a lot of weight from the luggage, bonus! This was the best meal of the trip. Even better than beach hot dogs. God it was great.
Forest Service Road 22

-Returning to real life is tough. It's so much more complicated.

-Here is a map of the route of Forest Service roads 22 and 23
-I still want to eat everything. I'm so hungry all of the time!


Because of the remoteness of the peninsula, riding solo, and spending six nights in a tent without access to battery recharging facilities, jams were a real luxury. A luxury worth cannibalizing my head lamp and rear bike light. Nothing like jams gooses your morale, makes dinner by headlamp feel extra fancy, or helps on grueling climbs while on your sixth hour in the saddle.

'Panda' by Desiigner
-last summer had so many sweet jams. This summer has not really had many except this one. Hope you killas understand me. 

-'beyond the sea' and 'mac the knife' by Bobby Darin
 I'm into Darin, but only his nautical themed work. 'Ya know when that shark bites with his teeth, babe/
Scarlet billows start to spread'

-60s garage, like '96 tears' by Question Mark and the Mysterians, the gentrys, Danny and he juniors. If it's about a specific kind of dance or dancin' lady or taking a double shot of my baby's love, I'm into it. Surfin' Bird. 

-FM stuff, stuff you wouldn't know the band or the name of the song, but you know some of the lyrics. 'Judy in Disguise,' 'I love you more today than yesterday,' 'sweet city woman' (And she sing in the evening/Old, familiar tunes/And she feeds me love and tenderness and macaroons), 'express yourself' oh and the list goes on. 

-'the perfect way' by scritti politi 

-'alive and kicking' simple minds 

- the Weeknd, pretty much whatever. He's R & B for depressed devil worshippers. 'It's like eviction number four now / Go 'head and ash it on the floor now'

-creedence, man. - CCR on the dirt and lesser trafficked roadways 

-Mrs Officer - by Lil Wayne. I know you wish ya name was Mrs. Carter, huh?

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