Day Five – Elma, WA to Toledo, Wa

Day Mileage: 66 miles
Total Mileage: 330 miles

Much, much better.

I did not know how I’d feel when I woke up this morning. The good thing was, I had plenty of sleep. I jumped in my tent at the Elma RV Park around 7pm. I made plans for a phone call at 8pm. I woke up at 8:35pm. Apparently I was tired. Had a very good phone conversation with Megan and I was out of it again only to wake up at 6:30am.

I’ve told a number of people this but the cycling has been the easy part. It’s night time that is bad. And I shouldn’t give the entire nighttime a bad name because I love sleeping in a tent. I love being outdoors even if it is on a plot of grass in an RV park. It’s typically the hours between 6-9pm that are rough. I sit… And eventually begin to think. I have so much time to myself on The bike, but you’re going somewhere. You really only have time to mess up lyrics to songs, read the map and pedal. When you get to camp, you are in one place, typically by yourself and your mind begins to wander. I think about being back home and doing what I would typically doing at night, missing all the people I’d see on a daily basis. I knew I’d be by myself during this trip, but I didn’t realize how much of a mental workout it’d be….. Camping.

I got on the road this morning at 9:24 after breakfast. My plan was to make it to Lewis and Clark State Park which was 50 miles down the road, a short day considering. When it came time to stop, it was 11:30 and I had done 29 miles at a 14.9 mph pace (yesterday’s ended up being 11.1mph). I was feeling great and the roads were flat. I was stopped by a man and his two kids. They warned me about two pit bulls up the road about 3 miles. He said he pulled his gun on them and was ready. Better them than me. A few years back, I was bit by a pit bull. I’m not a huge fans of unchained,ravenous dogs. For the next 3 miles, I rode with the tool I bought on Day 1 that I’m now using as a club. He told me the mile marker and I was looking. I saw the dogs sleeping in the driveway and quietly scooted along never disturbing them. Victory of the day right there.

After Centralia, I was going to push it a little more than I had originally anticipated. I was going to push for Toledo, maybe more depending on how I felt. Again, I had to battle a few hills in the afternoon so a Toledo was my final destination. Thanks to my little extra effort today, I have a few options for tomorrow. Maybe, just maybe… I reach Astoria tomorrow night.

Day Five Bonuses

  • avoiding pit bulls
  • flat roads
  • cell phone service
  • knowing so many people are enjoying the blog and rooting for me