Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Stealing Home

This year I was lucky to see so many lands on a bike, came back from Africa to find that I could ride a 400k North and 600K South, that's stealing home plate.
The 400k was lovely, Noel Howes one of my Roomies gave us a Samish treat. Though I have no great taste for raw oysters, there was plenty of Tabasco to make this one go down smooth. Got to see a lot of old friends; Andy Speier, Ken Carter, Kathy and Charlie White, Elaine and Don Jameson, Tom Brett, Steve Davis, Bill Gobie, Jeff Loomis, Peg Winczeski, Steve Davis and More. Much Thanks to the Organizers and Narayan For Very Witty company for most of the ride and Chris Willett for the ride home. East or West Home is Best.
I volunteered to Pre ride the 600K with the Kind Permission of Organizer Albert Meerscheidt.
I met up with Mike Richeson at the start, but for the first time this year I was to ride this Brevet solo.
Started Pedaling from the GuestHouse Motel in Auburn and soon into the warm up climb; Peasley Canyon, a clement one. Ran along the ridge to find a nice bike trail that Albert had thrown last minute into the course which was quite pleasant. Oh boy the first leaves have started falling, and I had a crescent moon.
Through Fife, I get to Tacoma, the Sunrise in Ruston is spellbinding. Then I crossed the Narrows and drop into Gig Harbor, this I have missed. Heading through Olalla towards Port Orchard Ah! I have forgotten how rude Orchard can be. Stopped at Waterman Point a little Pier and Viewpoint, I can see Bremerton and Sailboats enjoying Labor day weekend.
Up from Port Orchard towards Gorst, nice rollers after a little climb, I find the Belfair Valley road to Belfair then the Hood Canal to Purdy Cutoff then to Shelton. No! Wait! cannot blow by the farms just before Purdy Cutoff without Ice cream on a warm day.
Shelton to Matlock  to Brady, look for the Satsop Towers ominous looking. Elma to Montesano (you know the drill). Through Blue Slough to Cosmopolis, I push on toWestport, You cannot miss the Shell station its in your face but you will miss the ocean at Westport. No Worries! continue on SR-105 'cos the ocean lies this way.
By Raymond it is getting a little dark and I load up my Bags and Bladders and get into SR-6. I have been fighting a wind from the west for much of the day, hoping for a big push in the Chehalis Gap, it was not to be, the wind died down. Nothing reasonable open in Pe Ell, no Manna falling in Rainbow Falls, No problem! I was stocked, did not even check at Chehalis,
Had enough left for a night cap at the motel in Centralia. 4-5 hrs sleep, ignored the 24hrs Gas station and Subway facing the Motel, stuffed a couple of pastries from the breakfast hall into my back pockets and gulped a coffee, filled bidons with water and went out to tackle Centralia Alfa.
Now in Cascades foothills, Big meal in the Thriftway in Morton. Sustained Climb and Descent brings me to Elbe where you will meet the worst railroad tracks ever. A segment of DORMAR (reverse RAMROD) brings me to Enumclaw and yes! its Home when I an hating on the flat Green Valley that brings me to the Finish.
Mike Richeson is waiting for me what a Dude! He furnishes me with a cold one applied immediately to the palms to alleviate numbness then I sink it to instigate generalized numbness, good to be home.
Mexican dinner and a ride home what else can I wish for. Stealing Home!