Garmin Data can be found here. (Map, distance, elevation, etc)
Today was a special day ~ we actually got to go down a big hill right at the beginning instead of doing a big climb first thing in the morning. We awoke to another beautiful morning that would turn into another hot day further down the road. After breaking camp we had about 40kms before the town of Randle, where breakfast awaited us. The nice thing was that we had 25kms of twisting downhill and another 15kms or so of flat, so we made good time. On the descent we saw logging helicopters, but mainly we had the roads to ourselves to enjoy the scenery and swift speed.
When we pulled into to Randle, we stopped at the Mt. Adams Cafe for breakfast. It wasn’t too busy and we ordered breakfast and kinda freaked out the staff there. I was hungry so I ordered 2 breakfasts and the nice waitress informed me that they plates were quite large. “That’s what I was hoping” I responded. She later told me that they were betting that I couldn’t finish back in the kitchen. I proved them wrong. That is one of the great things of bike touring ~ you can eat like a horse and still burn off the calories by the end of the day. Just after the food arrived the first Harleys started arriving and by the time we left there were close to 30 bikes in the parking lot. I guess it was a popular spot for bikers to have breakfast and meet other riders. Good people and lots of eye candy to look at.
From Randle we took highway 112 towards Morton and had a slight headwind most of the way. It was funny because one of the waitresses said that there were some big hills between Randle and Morton, but after what we had done the last couple of day, they just seemed like rollers to us. At one of our guardrail breaks, a cyclist came by and told us about his trip down the coast a few years earlier. The more I hear about it, the more I want to do it some day. Some day!
In Morton we stopped for some drinks and snacks and we met a couple that were coming back from a Phish show at the Gorge. They saw Tai’s NWSS shirt and started talking to him. They were from Portland and had been a few times and were heading back to do a show (they were also musicians). Tai told them that he got to play up on stage and they were really encouraging.
From Morton we headed north on a quiet winding road towards the town of Elbe, where we would bush camp again. The road had a good deal of climbing at the beginning, but the grade wasn’t that bad. It was a fairly scenic and quiet ride that was broken by the sound of gunshots. I wasn’t that surprised as a lot of the signs in Washington state were shot to hell. There were at least 3 people in the woods shooting at something and there were a couple of semi-automatics that could be heard. I think this made Tai a little nervous as he picked up his pace until we were out of earshot. It was also the first time we got a good view of Mt. Rainier.
When we got into Elbe we tried a couple of campgrounds, but they were all full so we had another night of bush camping. Elbe was kind of touristy and had a running steam train running up to Mt. Rainier and back. We hung out for a bit checking them out before finding a flat camping spot beside a water tower in the state forest. There were a lot of mosquitos, so we set up camp fast, had dinner and were in the tent quickly. This was the first day we did over 100kms in a day since we left Portland and it felt good to put a good distance. Tired, we would sleep well.
It’s getting dark and there are millions of mosquitos, so I will write more tomorrow. Today we heard people shooting guns in the woods. I was nervous. We had a big breakfast and saw a lot of motorcycles. In Elbe we saw a steam train. It was so cool!!! I am tired tonight. Today was so hot again! Today was beautiful and we got to ride down a huge long hill. We saw logging helicopters.