Saturday, June 20, 2015

Day 3--A Three Chapter Day

This day was long with lots of climbing, both Elk Pass and Oldman Pass (well, Oldman wasn't bad, it was Curley Creek Rd that was worse). There were three distinct parts of the day, so I've decided to do a "Chapter" blog post. 

Chapter 1--A Night Ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl

This first chapter is actually about last night. I retired to my tent at the late late hour of 8:00. I read for awhile, then turned to go to sleep. At some point, I turned over to my left side. All of a sudden, the tent was spinning. I closed my eyes and held on to my sleeping pad. It was as if I was on the Tilt-a-Whirl at the Fair. The spinning finally subsided, and I went back to sleep. Later, I turned over again and the spinning started again. When I turned back to my other side, it stopped. So, I tried turning my head very slowly. That seemed to help in that it only spun for a little bit. This continued throughout the night, but only when I would turn to my left side. It was like vertigo, but I was lying down...horizontigo. I was a little concerned, because dizziness and bike riding don't really go good together. But, when I got up in the morning, the Tilt-a-Whirl was gone. I wonder if it will happen tonight? I think it might be caused from hunching my shoulders throughout the day. Today I made a more concerted effort to drop my shoulders.

Chapter 2--More Touring Cyclists!

After I had slogged my way up Elk Pass (where there is no summit sign, but I took this photo anyway),
I enjoyed the descent. Then, began the climb back up to the Clearwater Viewpoint of Mt. St. Helens. As I pulled up to the parking area, what should I see but two bikes with panniers! Woo hoo! More bike tourers! This tour just keeps getting better and better! We exchanged the usual info and took photos.
 They are Lydia and Cody from Maine, but soon to be from Chicago (they're both recent college grads). They are doing Sierra Cascades from Bellingham to Yosemite. So, we are even going the same direction (for today and tomorrow, anyway)! We ate our lunches and continued chatting. This is their first tour. Since I was sure I was a much slower climber (and I am), I took off, fully expecting them to pass me at some point. We had decided we might share a site at Paradise Creek CG (if they didn't decide to go on to Beaver Creek instead). They didn't catch me, but that's because I didn't really stop except for occasional rest breaks and one longer break at McClarren Viewpoint. I've done this route before, so not as much desire to stop.

Chapter 3--Leslie and Gordon...Not on Bikes, but Still Seeing the Sights

I recalled from my last time on this route that there was another viewpoint not on the ACA map. I remembered this because I had gone whizzing by it before I realized it was there. I remember thinking, hmmm...maybe I should have stopped there. Anyway, given another chance, I stopped this time. I would have stopped there even if I had stopped before because this time I was going uphill, and I really needed a break!

I pulled in, and there was a couple with a trailer. They were having a snack at one of the picnic tables. When they saw MC, they were quite shocked (this has been the reaction from most everyone--the Da Brim on my helmet has pretty much take a backseat to the fat girl). We talked about our respective trips, and various other things. Leslie and Gordon are from Gibsons, BC. I rode through Gibsons on my Bike and Boats Tour. They were a very nice couple, and I enjoyed visiting with them. 

Here's the photo from the Viewpoint.
Again, a paltry amount of snow on the ol' girl.

Epilogue--All Good Chapter Blog Posts Should Have One

I arrived at Paradise Creek and found a site suitable for two tents in case Lydia and Cody decided to stay here too. Sure enough, about 30 minutes after I arrived, they rolled in. We are sharing a site tonight, and therefore, splitting the cost. That's nice because these Forest Service campgrounds are expensive!
Cody, Lydia, and their tent.

Total miles today: 51.3
Average speed: 6.3 (with lots of time going 2.4mph)

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