Who would have thought there would be an opportunity to do a ride covering three counties (Thurston, Mason and Grays Harbor)in January! My original plan was to ride out to Oyster Bay and back. I knew it was a dead end (another one of those "No Outlet" roads where they really mean it), but still, I've never been out there. It was a nice ride about 6 miles round trip from 101 back to 101. Since it was such a nice day, I decided to continue north on 101 after the Oyster Bay part. First, I was just going to go to the next available crossing to head back on 101, then I decided I would wait for an actual exit where I wouldn't have to cross traffic on the hwy. Well, that meant the McCleary Rd. exit at Little Creek Casino. That was fine. I would go down McCleary Rd. and do the Hurley Waldrip Rd. loop back to 101. As I was riding along McCleary Rd., I wondered how far it was to McCleary. I saw a milepost that said mile 10. Hmmm...I bet that means McCleary is 10 miles. When I got to the turn for Hurley Waldrip, I stopped and pondered the possibility of riding all the way to McCleary. I figured I would have plenty of time so off I went. Also, I knew there was a Subway in McCleary and I could stop and have lunch.
After about 3/4 of a mile, I saw milepost 9 so I knew I was right about the distance to McCleary. There were a couple of long hills, and not always the best shoulder, but all in all, not a bad road (beware of the log trucks though). I did see an interesting road kill--a beaver. Possum, yes. Raccoon, most definately. Beaver? That's a first! Also saw a hawk take off BELOW me! That was pretty cool! Rolled into McCleary about 12:45. Had lunch at Subway then rode home via Hwy 8 to Hwy 410. Got rained on for most of the hwy part but the sun came out again as I came onto Mud Bay. Nice rainbow! 67 miles in 5 hours. Not too bad for a 3 county ride in January!