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Thursday 12 May 2011

Day 2 - A Watershed

Todays miles: 63
Total Miles: 102
End point: Eatonville, WA

I'm wondering looking back how high this day will rank on the list of bad days for this trip.. I reckon the only thing that might keep it off the number 1 spot was the fact I didn't have any mechanical failure.

I packed up my tent and left at a fairly decent time, around 8am after chatting to the post lady and a quick call to Pam. The post lady said I needed to be careful to avoid the watershed - there was a road called the watershed but I wasn't taking it. After cycling and following my route for 5 miles I reached a dead end, although marked on the map. So I turned around and plotted another route, another 5 miles ridden but then I reached a massive security checkpoint and barrier in the road.

After chatting to the lady running the checkpoint it turns out the Watershed is essentially a large area of land around the river which the utility owns and runds. It supplies water to Seattle and Tacoma. The land had been accessible until 9/11 and then was closed she explained. She started explaining what 9/11 was!!! I had to stop her and managed to refrain from making an Osama joke. This massively runied my plans and required a massive reroute.

I headed south to Enumclaw from where I should be able to take a more southern route over the mountains. However this route is still closed due to very late snow. The routes all go around Mt. Rainer which is about 4,500m high!! Its massive! They reckon there will still be skiing to June. It did occur to be to abandon the trip and secretly go snowboarding for a month...

So now I have had to go even further south to make my way around. This would have been ok if I hadn't had to cycle through 4 hours of torrential rain. It was constant and hard and very wet. Literally everything that wasn't in the panniers was drenched. This was quite a low day. Anyway I made it to a swanky and expensive motel for the night. And have just slept for 11 hours. Off to raid their breakfast for as many calories as possible..

Sorry about the lack of photos today but my rerouting along with the torrential rain reduced photo opportunities..

P.s. I did enjoy seeing the vocano escape routes every 5 miles or so..


  1. That is so funny that the lady started to explain what 9/11 was! Wow. And I do not think I have ever seen the words "swanky" and "expensive" used to describe a mo-tel. Hope you have better weather today. On to Packwood! xxxx

  2. Tip - keep some carrier bags with you, put everything in them inside the rucksack, panniers etc - then if the panniers leak or your rucksack isn't waterproof then they will keep dry :)

    Good luck, keep going!