Travis had a flat when we woke up in the Elwha River Valley. The Power of Three Flat Tires.
It's really hard to log lots of miles when there are so many cool sidetrips to delay you. After a morning hike in the Elwha River Valley rainforest, headed out for our major destination for the day: Lake Crescent.
We're following Highway 101 at this point in the journey, the well-traveled bike tour route from Washington, through Oregon, and down the coast of California. These states advertise specifically to cyclists, encouraging us to take this route, but parts of it are still questionable safety-wise. This section of the route is so narrow, windy, and heavily trafficked that they installed buttons for cyclists to push that signal to cars that there are bikes on the road.
There were a decent amount of turnouts for us to pull over into when there cars behind us, but a road with no shoulder, guardrails, cliffs, and a lake all stuffed into a corridor with speeding cars was still pretty terrifying. Travis said he was impressed with how fast I booked it through that section, and I told him it was because of pure fear.
The terror was worth it, though. Lake Crescent is a very pretty lake, crystal clear like the springs in Florida with a backdrop of conifer-covered mountains. We stopped to take a look at Marymere falls, which was quite impressive. And Travis couldn't resist doing a cannonball into the blue mountain water.
With that two hour detour, we were hard pressed to book it to a campground, with the added urgency weekend competition. The first option we came to was already full, which is too bad because it was a really beautiful campsite even if it was filled with screaming brats. The camp host suggested we continue down five more miles to Bear Creek, there wasn't any running water there but there should be less site competition.
It was 6:30pm when we finally arrived, and unfortunately all the sites were taken. But a nice guy who had taken the bus to the campground (wait, public transportation to the campground??) let us share his site with him because he didn't have a car. Thanks, nice man. We set up camp and fell right asleep.