The last time I did this ride, it was a year ago in April. I had it as 67 miles with the Hart's Lake portion. Today, Julie and I did the ride in reverse without Hart's Lake, yet it was 69.2 miles. I think last time I didn't take the trail from Yelm (I think I probably took the road).
We started at 9:00am after Julie rode to my house. We took the road out to Yelm. When we got to the new roundabout on 510, we took the 510 alternate (a new road). As we were riding, I looked to my right and saw there was actually a bike path! We turned around and went back to the roundabout where we could get on the path. Curiously, the path is on both sides of the road. We were able to take it as far as Cullens Rd. where the alternate route (and the bike paths) end. We still stayed to the backroads and came into Yelm just east of the cinema. At that point the road is Yelm Ave./Hwy 507. We stopped at Safeway so I could get some cash. Julie wanted a Reese's and string cheese. Well, they had a buy 2, get 2 free deal with the candy so I got two Reese's and two Almond Joys (plus the string cheeses). We decided to eat the cheese and Reese's then do the loop of 702/8thAve/507 before lunch. It was only 10:30 and the planned lunch stop was only 3 miles away.
The last time I did this ride I went 507 to 8th Ave S., then 702 back to McKenna. At the 507/702 junction, I decided we should go the other way. My plan was to go to 8th Ave. EAST. It was on the map as the better road to take (as opposed to 8th Ave. SOUTH). So, we're riding along doing the rollers of 702. We come to 8th Ave. S. We go by on our way to 8th Ave. E. We pass 8th Ave. E. Ct. I'm thinking, "Oh, 8th Ave. E. will be next". Nope, next was 10th Ave. E.! Where was 8th Ave. East? I tried to look up the map on my phone, but it wouldn't load. In the interest of not adding more miles, we decided to go back to 8th Ave. S. We rode along, doing more rollers (a bit steeper ones). After awhile we stopped to take a break and eat our Almond Joy bars. We were sitting at the Lacamas Community 4-H Center. I looked off in the distance and could see a bunch of something in the air. They were parachutes, about 8 or 10 of them. I guess we shouldn't have been too surprised as Fort Lewis (or, I should say, the JBLM -Joint Base Lewis McChord) is very close and, in fact, 8th Ave. goes right through the JBLM property. I'm sure they were out doing training maneuvers.
As we continued along 8th on our way to 507, I saw this "Uncle Sam" tree. Had to take a picture! Once on 507, I was making up a little song to the tune of "The Song That Never Ends". Only this was, "The Road That Never Bends". It goes like this:
This is the road that never bends.
It goes on and on my friends.
When they started building it they made it really straight.
Although it's really boring,
They thought it would be great!
And so on...well, we finally made it to the McKenna Subway for lunch. Good thing we had had the other snacks because it was 2:45 and we were starving (Julie's butt was also killing her--she needs new shorts!)!
After a good lunch, we got back on the road. The sun had finally come out and I switched to my sunglasses (still had my long finger gloves on--it wasn't THAT warm). We rode into Yelm and picked up the trail. Our next stop was the cookie store in Rainier (it's getting to be a habit). We had our cookies, then got back on the trail for the last 13 miles or so. I left Julie at the bridge (poor thing, she still had 4 more miles to go). Made it home a little after 5:00. Long day of riding!
Total miles: 69.2
Total calories burned: 2,611
Calories eaten: Whoa, a lot!