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!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

You Know It's a Nice Day...

When all the dogs along your route are outside and, of course, barking furiously as you spin by.
What a beautiful January day! The photo was taken from Yelm Hwy by the strawberry fields on the way to Yelm. I was just going to do my usual loop to Yelm and take the Yelm/Tenino and Chehalis Western trails back, but it was so nice I decided to ride through Yelm and take Morris Rd. over to 148th and back into Rainier. Then, get on the trail. 148th (hmmm...I think that is the name...or is it matter) is the road with the beautiful views of Mt. Rainier. And beautiful it was today! I should have taken my camera (instead of just my phone).

I wore my new Pearl Izumi Barrier Lobster Mitts. Hands stayed toasty warm! I do give up some dexterity though. Somewhat impossible to grab my handkerchief out of my back pocket!

The rain is supposed to return tomorrow. At least I had today!