Day 4 ~ Fairholme Campground, WA > South Beach Campground, WA

Garmin Data can be found here.  (Map, distances, stats and graphs …)

Dad/John

P1050983From the campground, we turned onto Highway 101 and would stay on it for the rest of the day.  Right from the get-go we had a nasty, steep 3.5km climb to start and were warmed up when we got to the top.  Between the top of the hill and Forks, some 50+kms down the road, there was only a cafe and gas station in between ~ and we stopped at both.  The road was flat and there were stretches that were straight as an arrow and just disappeared into the distance.  We rode through forests, clearcut areas that allowed you a pretty good view, and some pastoral lands.  The one constant was the logging trucks.  A lot of people warned us about the logging trucks, but the drivers were very courteous with us and gave us plenty of room.  You could always hear them crossing the center rumble strip line when the came from behind, and that was music to my ears.

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Hungry Bear Cafe

When we came upon the Hungry Bear Cafe, we pulled up, parked our bikes and went inside.  Coffee was quick and the breakfast was good.  We chatted with the lady behind the counter and we saw in the front page of the newspaper that our ferry made front page.  We talked about that for a while, had a big cookie and were back at our bikes.  11 or so miles up the road was a gas station and we stocked up on a few snacks.  I really liked this stretch of the road because you were fairly isolated and it felt good to have the mountains and trees surrounding you.

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In Forks we stopped at the Olympic National Forest info centre and met with 3 British and a German cyclist that had stayed at the same campground the night before.  We chatted for a while then were off.  We figured we would see them later in the day as they were looking for lunch.  We still had another 50+ kms to go before we made it to the west coast, and our campground for the night.  It started to roll a bit more and the scenery was pleasant.  At one of our guardrail rest breaks, an Irish woman cyclist stopped and chatted with us.  We were heading for the same campground and would probably meet later.

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As we got closer to the west coast, the vegetation got lusher and salt was in the air.  We had some climbing to do, but there was also a downhill slope to the coast that made for great end of the day cycling.  When we hit the coast, there was still another 11 miles to go before making it to our campground.  It was part of the Olympic National Park, so the roads were in beautiful condition that was only matched by the scenery.  Late afternoon sun felt nice on an otherwise cool day for us.  There wasn’t much of a shoulder on the road and this is where we started seeing big motorhomes towing a car behind.  We had a break near a river gully and it felt like something from the dinosaur age ~ big ferns, old trees, and a beautiful golden hue.  We pushed on and made the campground only to find out that they were full.  It was a big campground (around 200 sites) and I didn’t want to go looking around, so we pushed on to South Beach Campground 4 miles down the road.  We got the 2nd last spot!

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South Beach campsite

The campground was exposed to the ocean and a good breeze had picked up.  We set up our tent and cooked dinner while chatting with Cory, a school teacher from Texas that had the summer off.  She had no fixed plans and was just out exploring.  There was talk about a campfire on the beach later but I retreated to the tent and sleeping bag that was so cozy.  Having the fly on made a big difference and it blocked out the wind while keeping the warmth in.  It was a cool day and it felt so nice just to lie on my sleeping bag in that warmth.  Tai was out roaming about and got me out of the tent to see the sun go down in the ocean.  It was his first time seeing it and I hadn’t seen it happen in a while either. It was a great way to end a long day and many of pictures were taken.  Once the sun had set, we brushed our teeth and were in sleeping bags to talk about what we had seen that day.  Somewhere mid sentence, Tai feel asleep and I wasn’t a response away.

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Tai

We woke up at 5:30am and left camp at 7:14am. Had a big hill to climb rite at the beginning.  After that we had a long strat flat road to Forks.  In Forks we stopped at the info centre.  We saw 3 British cyclists and a German that were at the same campground as us. We also met an Irish lady that took our picture on the side of the road.  Now we are at South Beach campground.  I had chicken and rice for dinner.  The beech is butifvile.

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