Thursday, January 27, 2011

Longest Ride of 2011!

Of course, it is only January! Today's forecast was for partly sunny skies and warm temps. Sounds like a good day for a long ride! I opted to go south where, sometimes, the weather is even nicer. I'd say that was true for today.

As I was riding along the Chehalis Western Trail, I noticed one of those big sprinklers watering a pasture of nothing. Okay, so we've had some nice weather for...two days. Is it really time to water?

I got to Tenino and knowing that my potty shack opportunities were going to be slim after Tenino, I stopped at the ball field to use the restroom there. It was locked! I've never known that one to be locked (even in the dead of winter). I continued on and went down Crowder Rd. I have never stopped at "The Pond" garden shop and grocery on 507 where Crowder ends. I figured there must be a restroom so I stopped. The gal was very nice and let me use the facilities. I always feel guilty going into a business just to use the restroom, so I bought some dessert to go with my packed lunch of peanutbutter, honey and raisins sandwich, chips and a banana. She had all kinds of things in there including fishing bait (there is the Skookumchuck River close by).

I continued on down 507 to Bucoda. I turned there and stopped at Volunteer Park and ate my lunch. Then it was up Tono Rd. I think only one car passed me the whole way (including Big Hanaford Rd. past the Centralia Steam Plant). As I passed the steam plant, there wasn't much action. I usually like to watch the huge dumptrucks. Of course, they are dwarfed by the giant piles of coal (which powers the steam plant--no duh!). I turned onto Teitzal Rd. which takes me over 3 miles of rough pavement to Little Hanaford Rd. I had thought of turning left onto Little Hanaford and working my way around the Hanaford Valley to south of Centralia, but when I went to leave this morning, my rear tire was flat ( blasted sharp little bits of gravel on the shoulders!). So, consequently, I got a later start than I planned. Instead, I turned right and headed back to Centralia. That road comes into Centralia and the bridge goes over the multiple train tracks. The tracks were busy today. I stopped to watch 3 trains go by. One was the Amtrak Cascades.

From Centralia I just rode back up 507 to Tenino. I was going to take Hwy. 99 back into town, but I realized there would probably be a bunch of flat-causing sharp bits of gravel on the shoulder. I took the trail back instead (adds about 4 miles).

The weather was quite nice today. I was never cold. I wore my new favorite mid-weight Marino Smartwool shirt under my thin jacket and a pair of tights. The calendar says January, but it feels like Spring!

Total miles: 67.8

Curious to know what's with the watering in January???

Good shadow picture!

Bucoda...the heart of Western Washington...not!

Lunch spot at Volunteer Park in Bucoda.

Blue sky and a deserted road. Doesn't get much better!

Trains in Centralia. While I was watching the Amtrak Cascades also went by.

The end of a great day riding!

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