The second morning, we took a detour around the peninsula at Bay Center before riding out to the Pacific in Ocean Park on the Long Beach peninsula. After a lunch stop with some liquid carbs, we rode along the Columbia past the Astoria Bridge and then over KM Mountain and through the Whitetail Deer refuge to a early dinner in Cathlamet above the Columbia. A wonderful detour around Longview provided great views of Saint Helens, Adams, and Rainier on the way to Castle Rock. The climb up to Toutle was rewarded with a butter-smooth pavement descent to Toledo with the Big Dipper guiding the way. The late night trip into Morton under the Milky Way was surprisingly enjoyable, even the sections on US-12, which was largely deserted.
Mount Rainier kept an eye on us for just about all of the last day. The backroads that kept us off US-12 for most of the way from Morton to Packwood were wonderful. Quiet and peaceful, although with some rough pavement. Skate Creek Road from Packwood to the huckleberry ice cream at Whittaker's in Ashford was a delight - a mostly gentle climb along a mountain stream on one of my favorite roads. Ashford to Elbe to Alder Lake was nice despite the headwinds. Not so nice was the Alder Cutoff Road into Eatonville. With WA-7 closed, this is the detour route and the traffic was fairly unpleasant. After Eatonville, it was calm again along Ohop and Kapowsin lakes on Orville Rd. Milkshakes and dinner at Wally's in Buckley fueled the trip home, which included the climb out of the Green River valley that we all "loved" from Greg's Chili Feed 200k all those years. And then the usual ride back through Black Diamond, Ravensdale, Hobart, Issaquah, and Redmond.
In summary, a nice tour of southwest Washington, with a good variety of roads and scenery. Hope many of you can make it. Any questions, feel free to ask. Pre-registration will be appreciated.
Some notes about support:
You should plan to be able to ride 100 kilometers without services on this ride. It's 100k from South Bend to Long Beach and it's 100k from Castle Rock to Morton.
On the scouting ride, we refueled at
On the scouting ride, we refueled at
Mile 52 - Sumner control in coffee shop. They have pastries and drinks.Mile 83 - Lunch in Gig Harbor. This may be less necessary during the regular ride because there will be support at mile 121.Mile 143 - Food at Matlock store. Note that this store closes at 8PM. You can get services before at mile 128.7 and after at mile 166.5.Mile 200 - Dinner at Half Moon Bay in Westport. They probably close at 10PM, but we expect to provide support there for later-arriving riders.Mile 240 - South Bend overnight control.Mile 304 - Lunch at Pioneer Tavern. The stretch to here was probably the leg between services that seemed longest.Mile 330 - Snacks at grocery store before Naselle.Mile 363 - Early dinner at diner in Cathlamet.Mile 397 - Snacks at convenience store WA-504 and I-5. The store at the control spot in Toutle (mile 408) was closed when we got there.Mile 459 - Morton overnight control.Mile 497 - Diner breakfast in Packwood.Mile 523 - Ice cream in Ashford.Mile 542 - Snacks at convenience store in Eatonville.Mile 573 - Dinner at Wally's drive-in in Buckley. They close at 9PM. 24 hr services are available a short way off course at mile 576.
The longest stretches (40 miles or more) that will be without services, especially if you are running close the time limits:
Mile 121 - 166 (Vinny's cabin to 24hr convenience store in Montesano)Mile 200 - 240 (Westport to South Bend. There is a 24hr convenience store in Raymond, but that's only about 3 miles from control.)Mile 240 - 304 (South Bend to Pioneer Tavern or Pioneer Market in Long Beach)Mile 397 - 459 (Castle Rock to Morton)Mile 573/576 - 622 (Buckley/Enumclaw to finish. You may find stuff along the way, but not sure.)
Hope to see you there.