I didn't get a real early start this morning because I was talking to Palu (note correct spelling) and Jeff. That was okay because a bunch of my ride today would be downhill. I got back on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, and continued my quest for THE TUNNEL!!! Now, I was riding in the forest. It didn't really seem like I was climbing, but I was (I noticed it when I was coming down the other side). I went through a tunnel.
But not, THE TUNNEL!!!
I went along Lake Kacheelus.
Pretty low on the water.
I passed a number of hikers, mostly women. I talked, briefly, to a couple. Not long after, I arrived at Hyak, and...THE TUNNEL!!! But first, I decided to sit and have some lunch. A couple of the hikers, Sandy and Jean, joined me. Then a few more came, then some more. They all wanted to know about my trip. Sandy gave me cookies. They were delicious! About a half hour later they had to get back on the bus. I headed to...yep...THE TUNNEL!!!
As I came around the bend, I could feel the cold air. I put the sleeves on my jacket. I turned on my headlight and headed into...THE TUNNEL!!! It was dark (no kidding!), but my headlight is good. Way off in the darkness, I could see a tiny bit of light.
That was the light at the end of...THE TUNNEL!!!
THE TUNNEL!!! is 2.3 miles long. The surface is mostly smooth dirt. There were spots where water was dripping, but not too much (perhaps more if it's raining). It was quite cool, but I got used to it.
I came out the other side to a beautiful view.
It took three tries to get most of me in the picture!
Now, it was downhill all the way to the end of the trail. It's a gentle (2%) downgrade, but enough that I could maintain 14 or so miles per hour. Of course, I stopped along the way to take photos.
The avalanche thingy.
One of several trestles.
It's a long way down!
I-90 is still way down there.
Soon the trail spit me out onto Cedar River Rd. It was a rather unceremonious ending.
However, there was a more "official" trailhead back a ways.
I came to this from the road. I was looking around for camping. Well, there isn't any. Not here or at Rattlesnake Lake (a county park). As I was looking at my Garmin, some guys from the Cedar River Watershed Security drove up (the watershed is just up the road). One guy asked if my GPS was telling me I could go through the Watershed (you can't). Although that is indeed what Google maps had said, that's not what I was looking for. I asked him about camping. He said there wasn't really any place, but if I hid myself away, he wouldn't care if I camped at the trailhead day use area. He was closing the place in the evening. So, yay, camping!
I was walking down to the lake to filter some water, when I stopped to talk to a guy who was on a bike picking blackberries. I picked a few too, and we ended up talking for a couple of hours. He finally had to head for home. I set up my tent and cooked my dinner (I never did get water, but I had three bottles still full).
Now, tomorrow will be more than Google maps said it is to get to the Fauntleroy ferry to Vashon Island, but it shouldn't be too much more. Garmin will be in charge of route finding for tomorrow.
Total miles today: 42.3
Ave speed: 9.6