Victoria turned out to be a wonderful town to explore and the smoke was lighter than other parts of the island. After being on my bike for the past month, I found that the rental car was a burden. I couldn’t stop and take a picture without having to find parking. I couldn’t see everything around me. I returned that car immediately, put my bike back together and rode around happily.
At the Victoria hostel, I met Tapio who is from Finland. He is bike touring as well so we discussed riding together from Port Angeles. Tapio had already made reservations through Warmshowers, so I stayed at the Port Angeles hostel which was very comfortable.
We agreed to leave at 9:00am the next morning, but I was running late due to enjoying pancakes care of Kim and Maizy at the hostel. Tapio started off without me as I ended up arriving at the Warmshowers home about 15 minutes late but that was fine as I figured I’d slow him down.
Washington has a Discovery Trail which runs down the coast. Google indicate I should follow this trail to Lake Crescent where we planned on camping. The trail started off paved running along the coast and progressed to recommended roads going toward the lake. As I approached the lake from the northern side, Google indicated I should take the now gravel trail. I didn’t think twice about it as the trail was wide and smooth. The trail ran alongside the lake for 7 miles.
About 3 miles into it, the trail started narrowing… and narrowing… and narrowing. Narrowing to the point of me walking my bike to maneuver the trailer between the rocks. I finally reached a point where my trailer was simply not going to fit. I decided to walk forward a little bit to see how bad it was going to get.
Fortunately, Jim, a local rode up on his fat tire bike from the opposite direction. I asked him about the trail and he gave me the overview letting me know that I will have to disconnect the trailer from my bike and maneuver it over the rocks by hand. He also mentioned the drop off area similar to a goat trail that might be challenging. I was up for this challenging quarter mile section considering my option was going back uphill 7 miles to the road that went around the other side of the lake.
I eventually made it through the narrow section of the trail and was rewarded with a wider smoother surface leading all the way to the campground. I looked around for Tapio and finally asked a guy who looked like he was cycling as well. He told me that he had just met Tapio and they were camping together. And so I met Giuseppe from Italy who has been on the road for 2 months already, starting at Prudhoe Bay at the top of Alaska and working his way down. While talking about cyclists we’ve met on the road, I told him about Daniel from Switzerland and then Giuseppe handed his phone to me with a picture being displayed and said “This guy?” showing me a picture of him and Daniel. It’s definitely a small world. Daniel is a few days ride north of us, but he’ll probably catch up within a week or so. Funny how things work out.
Giuseppe, Tapio and I have been riding together for a few days now and it’s been fun… other than the hills and my trailer which feels like an anchor. There is so much to write about, but I guess I’ll have to save that for the book everyone is encouraging me to write. I can see myself doing that down on a quiet beach in southern baja…
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