Olympic Peninsula Circle Tour – 2019

Day 3 – Bogachiel State Park to Amanda Park

The next morning , I cooked up a quick breakfast of oatmeal, banana and a cup of coffee, then packed up and hit the road south to my next food venue!
Lots more scenery to rubberneck at with nice views of the Hoh River after which Highway 101 turned southwest towards the coast.

It was easy to tell that I was nearing the coast as the sea breeze has a distinct odour. I passed the entrance to Ruby Beach and soon after got my first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean through the trees.

First Glimpse of the West Coast Pacific Ocean
First Glimpse of the West Coast Pacific Ocean

I was now riding along the coast proper and was delighted to soak in some of the views of the ocean beaches in between breaks of the tree line. I passed the entrance to Kalaloch Campground just before reaching Kalaloch Lodge and general store.

West Coast Ocean Beaches
West Coast Ocean Beaches

I soon arrived at the lodge/general store in search of food and drink for my lunch. Quite a few tourists were milling around but it wasn’t overly crowded. I chose some food from the store then found a nice quiet spot on the lawn next to the lodge to sit, eat and enjoy the sunshine and wonderful vistas.

After lunch, it was so warm that I just had to have an ice cream before I left! I also filled up my water bottles in case I decided to camp a short distance south at South Beach Campground which has no potable water.
After a 4 km ride, I arrived at South Beach which was fairly well full with RV’s so I checked out the day use area at the top of the bluff, no one there, so it was tempting to pitch the tent there as I was told a few years ago by the ranger that it was ok for cyclists to overnight camp there just for one night. However, it was still early in the day and the sun was really cooking up the temperature which made me decide to carry on for another 45 km to Amanda Park and perhaps snag a motel room there – avec le air conditioning!

It was a hot ride to just north of Amanda Park and instead of going 3 km down the hill into the village, I opted for the motel at Northshore Road (Waypoint “4” on the map) which was located next to a small grocery, very convenient!
I checked into my room, hauled the bike in then unpacked a bit. Had a nice shower, first one for three days – it was required! I contemplated walking down to the pizza place but it was 3 km downhill and 3 km uphill back in the hot sun, nah! So I foraged in the small grocery for some microwavable goodies, oh, and some cold beers! Back to room where I sat outside on the shady porch and enjoyed the cold beverages, some snacks and peace and quiet, life was good!

Day 4 – Amanda Park to Montesano

Amanda Park is a small community close to the western shore of Lake Quinault, a very popular place in the summer for camping, rain forest hiking, boating etc. I’ve camped at Willaby Campground by the lake (about 3 km east of the community) in the past but was lucky to get a site then as it does get very busy in the Summer months.

After a good night’s sleep, I packed up and cruised the downhill 3 km to a local cafe for a cooked breakfast, very acceptable and good fuel for the 95 km ride ahead of me to Montesano (Waypoint “5” on the map).
There’s not much for services on this stretch of 101 which made for a necessary stop at a small grocery/gas station/post office (nothing much else there) at Humptulips. I picked up some snacks and cold drinks as the sun was starting to kick up the heat again, might have been an ice cream too!
After that stop, the next areas that I had to ride through were Hoquiam and Aberdeen – from past experience, both of these places were not a pleasant ride as there was a lot of traffic (there always is in this area!) and a few awkward one-way bridges to cross . I stopped in East Hoquiam for lunch and some wifi to plan my routing through these areas. I figured out that there were some seemingly quieter parallel streets to 101 leading to the East Aberdeen Waterfront Walkway that I could access to get away from the busy traffic, at least for a short while (zoom in on the map at the top of page 1 for a closer look at that area). Just before the last bridge, my route changed from 101 to US-12 (Olympic Highway) heading east to Montesano. After the last bridge over the Wishkah River, I had to immediately cross the busy (at that point, one-way) US-12 to access the walkway/bike path; challenging to say the least! The walkway ended after about 2.5 km when I exited back onto US-12

I had pre-booked a motel in Montesano where I had stayed before, a very convenient location in the centre of the town. But even before arriving at the motel, there was a terrible smell in the air as I neared its location. It was terrible, something like you smell when an dead animal is rotting somewhere on the side of a highway, bloody awful! So I rushed into the lobby of the motel, closing the door very rapidly, and asked the young lady desk clerk, “what’s that bloody smell outside?” She pointed to a truck with an open bed trailer parked at the far end of the shared parking lot that had three large plastic vats on its bed. She told me that the truck had broken down at the gas station next door and limped over to the back of the lot. It had come from a nearby abattoir with the vats that were full of whatever’s left over from the animals… obviously some time in the heat had enhanced the aroma! It had been there a while and even the police had checked it out, she added, but the driver was working on getting it running. Anyway, I was having second thoughts as to how fragrant my room would be, so I checked it out first and luckily all the windows were closed and it was ok. I checked in, unpacked my stuff, had a shower then looked out of the window to see that the truck had gone, “Hooray!” I guess the driver got it going and left the premises; what a relief that was, as I was dreading leaving my room to forage for food. And forage I did with a good selection of eateries and drinking establishments to peruse.

The next morning, the sun was shining again when I got up fairly early, packed and availed myself to the free breakfast at the motel.
I was soon on the road after breakfast and heading out of Montesano on Pioneer Ave East which would lead me to the Monte Elma Road (Old Highway 410). This was a very nice quiet route running parallel to the fast traffic of US-12.

Continued on Page 3…

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