And Keeps Going!
This morning I left my house at nearly the butt-crack-of-dawn. Okay, okay, maybe I'm exaggerating just a little BUUUUTTTT, it was 6:40. On a Sunday, I think that qualifies as the butt-crack-of-dawn!
I met Lorraine at Blue Heron Bakery (I bet the bakers there had to get even EARLIER than the butt-crack-of-dawn! Probably O' Dark Hundred! I digress...).
Lorraine thought, perhaps, we would just go to Aberdeen and back. The only problem with that plan is that it would not have been 100 miles for her. So she said she would see how she felt at Aberdeen. Off we went.
The great thing about this ride to Westport is its similarity in terrain to the STP. It is not overly hilly, but there are a couple of moderately longish hills--most notably the hill after crossing the Wynoochee River just beyond Montesano (and, of course, the climb up Old Hwy 410, but that one comes pretty early in the ride).
We made good time taking short rest breaks including a potty stop at the fire station just off the exit to Brady. We got into Aberdeen at approximately 11:00. It was too early for lunch at Subway and we hadn't gone 50 miles yet. In my mind, the only choice was to go to the next nearest Subway on Hwy 105 (the "on 105" being important here because I'm sure there was a closer one in Hoquiam). That Subway JUST HAPPENED to be at the turn-off to go the last 4 miles to Westport! How convenient! Besides, it was only another 20 miles...
I must say, that particular 20 miles always seems kind of long! There are more hills, but nothing too terrible. As we went past the Ocean Spray plant, we could smell the cranberries and sugar. It smelled like jam to me (which, of course, smelled delicious...could have had something to do with the fact that I was getting pretty hungry).
Finally, we passed the sign saying 3/4 mile to Twin Harbors State Park. The gas-station Subway was about 1/4 mile BEFORE that. Woo Hoo! Lunch was near!!! Even though it was a gas-station Subway, there were two tables to "dine-in" (the fact that they were directly across the aisle from the pharmaceuticals made for an interesting ambience).
We ordered our sandwiches. Lorraine usually orders a 6 inch Turkey (I usually go for the Footlong Veggie Delight). This time Lorraine ordered a Footlong Turkey. She said she would just eat what she could. That turned out to be the whole thing (she seemed surprised at her level of hunger). We refilled out water bottles, re-chamoised and turned back for home. In hindsight, I should have asked Lorraine if she wanted to ride the last 1/2 mile or so to the beach access so she could say she rode her bike to the ocean. Oh well, close enough!
The ride back to Aberdeen on 105 was was pretty pleasant with just an occasional side wind. Back in Aberdeen, we successfully negotiated the streets and bridges, including a grated bridge deck (never fun) and returned to US 12.
We took a short break in Montesano. I asked Lorraine how close she was to breaking 100 miles (I had already done so about 8 miles earlier). She had about 4 miles to go. We decided to stop when she hit 100 and commemorate it with a photo. That moment came just after the Satsop Exit. In the photo below of Lorraine (making a 100 with her hands and mouth), you can see the cooling towers of the never-operational Satsop Power Plant in the background.
Of course, the ride didn't end there! We still had another 27 miles to go to get back to Lorraine's car at Blue Heron.
We made reasonable time with a couple more short rest breaks. Even though the sun was shining, we got caught in a short bit of spitting rain. It wasn't enough to get too wet, but I did stow away my Rocket 2.0 (it doesn't like getting any water on it). Back at Blue Heron, Lorraine's odometer said 127 miles! I calculated with the 12 miles I had left to go, I was going to finish at 149.6 miles. It was so close to 150 that I opted for a slightly longer route home for a grand total of 150.3 miles. This was also the longest one-day ride I have done since my previous one-day STP ride in 2009. I feel confident that I have another 50 miles in me to complete the 204 mile STP on July 14 this summer.