Olympic Peninsula – Rialto Beach (Oct 2nd)

I decided to use my new stove to heat up some soup for breakfast.

I was in awe of how efficient the stove was! Even with the simmer ring, it heated the soup quickly – but not so quickly it burned. Some border control people drove by and asked me questions, which I thought was a bit odd. Eventually I warmed up and aimed myself toward Rialto beach.

The road out there was a blast. Cheery little two-lane road, winding past farms and forest.

Eventually I came to the ocean.

Rialto beach was nice. Countless tree bones littered the shore.

I sat for a bit to watch the waves crash into the beach.

Maybe I’ve never been at a beach nearing high tide before, but this jiggling sea foam was everywhere. It was a bit creepy.

I found a dead sea lion. Judging by the stench, it had been out there a while, but I was morbidly fascinated by it.

I wished I could explore more, but trudging through sand while wearing full motorcycle gear was tiring. I headed back to the bike, and back to the 101.

At Forks, I’d kept seeing signs referencing “Twilight tours”. I stopped at a grocery store for supplies and was visually assaulted by this display:

When I asked about it, I discovered that tourism for the town of Forks is the one good thing that Twilight has accomplished – some 70,000 fans have signed the Twilight guest book. From this article:

“Visitors to this rainy town, whose main industries are logging and two correctional facilities, have more than tripled for the first eight months of this year, compared with the same period last year, according to the local Chamber of Commerce. ”

Fascinating. I asked a couple of locals what they thought about the craze, and they admitted that it was a bit ridiculous. One woman said that she was laughing “in a good way”, because there are a lot of people who have jobs now who otherwise wouldn’t. Fair enough! I guess it takes all kinds…

I thought for once that I’d call it a day before I ended up riding on gravel in the dark again. I spied a primitive campsite on the map (these are free in this area!) and took Oil City Road to go find it. I ended up having so much fun on the gravel that I completely missed the campground. Oops.

I stood up and was going quite fast (for me), 30+mph, even through some corners and across some half-buried rock cobblestones. I feel like I’m getting more confident!

The road slouched past a set of buildings that I would hesitate to even call a town, let alone a ‘city’. The roadway was absolutely littered with cow poop. It headed into some woods and then came to an abrupt end. I turned around and went back – if I had more time, I might have explored further, as there was a hiking trail, but I wanted to set up camp before it got dark.

I was sad when the gravel ended and I was at the campground.

Puttering around, I took a wrong turn, careening through some fairly large dips and ending up in an area scattered with rocks. Once I was turned around, I managed to escape my predicament by standing on the pegs and just gunning it over the dips. I was surprised when this actually worked.

Knowing that it was going to be chilly, I set up my hammock and spent a good hour trying to figure out how to turn my tent rain fly into something that would insulate the hammock. I enjoy not having hard, rocky ground underneath me, but the hammock has bug netting and no real rain fly. I could get one, but I hesitate to buy more crap. Eventually I jury rigged something together, ate some rolls, and went to sleep.

It was startlingly cold, even with my extra layers and all the insulation I could gather. Definitely time to head south.

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