I left Kelso just before 7:00. For most of the day, I allowed Siri to direct me. After riding this bike path into Castle Rock, I was on the STP Route until Vader (going the opposite direction, of course)..
I was only on this path for slightly more than a mile before getting off to head over to the Westside Hwy, and the STP Route.
Where the STP Route turns onto Westside Hwy from Vader, I went straight. That little section on S. Military Rd was the hardest part of the day. It was an out-of-the-saddle-in-the-easiest-gear little climb. Fortunately, it wasn’t too long. Nothing like Green Mountain from yesterday. There were some nice views along Military Rd.
Rainier and barn
I rejoined the STP Route in Napavine, then departed from it in Chehalis where it goes around the airport (except for one semi-major intersection, going along Louisiana Ave is fine, and cuts 1 3/4 miles).
I remained on the STP until Tenino. Even though I was starting to feel the occasional drop of rain, I still stopped for some lunch before riding the final 12 or so miles home. I arrived home about 3:00ish and just under 74 miles.
Interestingly, today I saw three other touring cyclists. They all stopped to talk. The second couple had started in Tacoma, and were headed to Patagonia. Their gear was all fresh and clean looking.
One final photo...
How to get a forced break.
This was a good tour. It’s funny, I was never more than a days drive from home, but it sometimes seemed like I was very far away. I enjoyed the Scenic Bikeways; some more than others. My favorite was Sisters to Smith Rock...well, the destination of Smith Rock was the best. The ride there was fine, but nothing overly special (especially since I had had numerous views of the mountains for days). For the Bikeway itself, I’d say Old McKenzie Pass was my favorite. Cape Blanco was another great destination.
One thing I really liked about this tour were the hikes I did. I really enjoyed Cape Arago and Smith Rock, but Cape Lookout, Humbug Mtn, and La Pine State Park were good hikes too.
So, even though I had done much of the route on one tour or another, I still felt like I did enough different things to make it seem mostly new. And, of course, I met some great people!