Day Four by Dave Schultheis
Sunday, September 7, 2003 - Long Beach, Washington
It rained a lot overnight. Then the wind started blowing. The more rain. Water got between the ground cloth and the tent. Then water got into the tent. From the bottom. It was like trying to sleep in a puddle. It was very unpleasant.
I got up about 6:30 a.m. Everything was moist, and the ground was soggy, but it was no longer raining. It was especially tough trying to get dressed without sitting in water.
While I started to pack my things, and helped pick up trash around the campsite, I had another nice conversation with Bob Veatch, and he was kind enough to make me the temporary Keeper Of the Sheep Skin. I really hoped that it would make long rides more comfortable.
I continued packing things, then walked down to the bathroom, then returned and rolled up the tent, ground cloth, sleeping bag, loaded the bike and helped pick up the last few items of trash the had been strewn around in the rain and wind.
I left Ma & Pa's at 8:00 a.m., in a light rain, a cold 60 degrees, and wet roads. I rode south on WA Hy 103, then north on U.S. 101, then Alternate 101, then south on U.S. 101, across the bridge to Astoria OR and east on U.S. Hy 30. Somewhere along in there, the rain ended, but it was still overcast and 60 degrees.
The sun began peeking through the overcast near Brownsmead. There were many clouds, with some sunshine.
Near Rainier OR I rode across the bridge to Longview WA, where it was still 60 degrees, then south on Interstate 5.
Around 11:10 a.m., I stopped at a Shell Station in Salem OR for 92 octane mini-serve gasoline at $2.079 per gallon. It was 70 degrees and there was some sunshine among the clouds.
I continued south on Interstate 5 under cloudy skies, then some rain. I stopped at an AM-PM mini market in Creswell OR for some Mountain Dew and to put my rain gear on. I think it was here that I accidentally spent my Where's George dollar bill. Rats!
There were some sprinkles, then it was nice, then more rain. The process repeated itself.
At 3:00 p.m. I stopped at a Shell Station in Grants Pass for 92 octane, $2.179 gasoline. It was 70 degrees under a bright overcast. The road ahead looked dark and ugly. The station attendant said that people coming from the south had said they'd had rain.
Sure enough, there was more rain, then some sprinkles, then more dark clouds. Near Mt. Ashland it was very yucky - rain, wind and, just to add to the fun, fog.
Remarkably, at Oregon mile 1, the skies were clear. By the California state line, then mile 796, the road was clear and there was no rain. Later, there were some dark clouds ahead but no rain - for a while.
I stopped at the rest area near the Weed Airport, just north of Weed CA, at 4:45 p.m., where it was 72 degrees.
I made a brief stop at Ray's Market in Weed, then rolled into the parking lot at the Hi-Lo Motel, where I have stayed before, at 5:10 p.m. I had enjoyed about as much as I could stand for the day.
They put me in Room 3, a nice small room, and I parked right in front. There were clouds overhead, and it looked like it could sprinkle, but I was happy because I had a real bed, with real sheets and blankets, indoors!
I turned on CNN, took a shower and put on clean clothes, then walked across the parking lot to the Hi-Lo Cafe, where I enjoyed a patty melt (no onions), and a fantastic blackberry milkshake, all for $12.95 - very good!
Later, I sat in front of the place and watched the traffic roll by, then walked across the street to the laundromat (open until 9:30 p.m.), then back to Room 3, where I went to bed early, around 8 p.m.
Miles for the day = 471. Miles for the trip = 1427.
Tomorrow: Home again!