Day 9 – Bruceport

Today brings a new wave of energy, and I find myself changing my route for a more direct shot to the Oregon coast. It’s time to get out of these backcountry roads filled with tons of logging trucks and no shoulders. I’ve been in a rather negative mood about cycling in traffic since a couple of instances of cars seemingly playing a game of “how close can I pass this poor cyclist without hitting him.” If I am going to go out, I don’t want it to be exploring the interior of Washington’s logging industry roads… this is not the adventure I signed up for.

It’s been a few days since I’ve written, so let me bring you up to speed. My night in Port Townsend proved to be much needed in a way I didn’t realize. Human connection. I had been going a bit stir crazy cycling alone for several days. Normally, I would be able to enter a meditative sort of mental state, but that wasn’t possible due to the need to look out for cars constantly.

Lys, my host in Port Townsend, and I had a great conversation before I took off in the morning. She showed me her garden, how she composts, her food dehydrator, and jarring techniques. She rigged an old air pump to suck the air out of a PVC pipe that she then puts a jar full of whatever dehydrated food she is planning on saving. It seals the jar without any air, thus preserving the food indefinitely. She let me try some dried raspberries and mangoes… to die for! I want to have a fully self-sustaining home/property at some point in the future, so I love to learn about these topics from people practicing this lifestyle.

I set off in better spirits and reached another beautiful state campground to spend the night.

The next day, I crossed the ferry from Bainbridge to Seattle to go see my good friend Jay from college. I hadn’t seen him since 2018, and I was super excited to spend a couple of days catching up.

I witnessed his sense of community in the city, met his friends, and shared some laughs and meaningful conversations. Jay is the kind of guy that you can’t help but be happy for. He’s full of positive energy and constantly crushing life, diving deeper into the meaning of life deeper subjects like success, and focused on living as fully as he can. He constantly tells me how lucky he is to have found such a good group of people and community in Seattle, but I remind him that it’s him that brings about this contagious goodness wherever he goes.

This detour means a lot to me. I consider Jay one of my best friends, and words can’t do justice to how good it is to see him after so many years.

I left Seattle on the ferry towards Bremerton to reconnect with my original route south. I didn’t check the weather beforehand, but I left just in time for a massive wind and hail storm. After three different times of intense rain and a ridiculous amount of headwind, I make it to a state park, only to set up my tent before another hail storm. The winds just about rip my tent apart, and I run (yes literally) all of my things to a picnic building for a night of shelter. This part of the park was closed, but it saved my butt that night.

The next day was just as brutal with the wind and the aggressive drivers. I barely make it the 80 km that I needed to reach Elma RV Park. I wasn’t excited about the prospect of sleeping in an RV park, but little did I know that this little gem would get me ready for making it to the coast of Oregon.

Luckily, I had found a Mexican restaurant and ordered a stupid amount of refried beans, rice, guacamole, tortillas, and chips. I left a couple of hours before sunset and arrived at Elma.

Dennis, the manager of the RV park, immediately offered me fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies when he saw me arrive on my bike. They had a beautiful little park to set up my tent, and everyone was so friendly. The bathrooms were ridiculously clean and the hot shower was 2 cents for 3 minutes… a great rate in my opinion! They even had wifi and a charging station. If you are reading this and planning a trip through Elma, definitely sleep here for a night. You won’t be disappointed!

Dennis advised me to cut my inland route short and get to the coast faster by taking Highway 101. I did the math, and it looked like it would save me 2 days. The next morning, another guy named Jerry walked over and told me that he has cycled both of the routes that I was considering. He informed me that I would be seeing the same backcountry logging roads and nothing new or memorable if I follow the original route with 4 more days inland before reaching the coast. He told me I should go for the 101 and I was sold! He gave me advice on a great grocery store in South Bend before reaching Bruceport Country Park.

That brings me to where I am now, Bruceport Country Park, overlooking the Willapa Bay as the sun sets. The park isn’t even open for some reason, but the camp hosts let me pitch my tent and get some water. I go crazy and cook two full cans of refried beans and pumpkin. I haven’t been this full in a long time. Another 80 km day… I earned it!

If all goes well tomorrow, I should cross the border into Oregon. I’m feeling re-energized and ready for more adventure!