The intermittent rain and wind makes it difficult to dress. Do you bundle up to stay warm or do you ride cold anticipating that you will warm up in 15 minutes? When do you put on your rain gear, after it rains for 5 minutes or 10 minutes? Our strategy has been to stay ahead of the weather. If it’s cold in the morning we keep our head, toes, and fingers warm. If you don’t it’s difficult to warm your body even if your riding. When it’s raining you need to decide if it a spit as some locals call it, a short burst of rain that goes away, a down pour, or a 10 minute shower. If you can figure this out then you will know if you need to put on your full rain gear.
This morning I did not do a good job managing my body heat. I rode cold and it rained and I got colder and even though I put in additional clothes I couldnot heat up. Luckily we passed the Kalaloch lodge, one of four Olympic National Park lodges. We stopped in the restaurant and I ordered soup and hot tea and slowly my body was able to heat up.
The scenery on today’s ride was uninspiring. The first 10 miles we rode to evergreen trees and could see the beach through a break in the trees. After that we turned east and every few miles or so we would pass an area that was clear cut and the land was filled with large tree stumps. It looked like a tree cemetery with twisted roots, branches, and stumps. Some areas of clear cut had the first few rows of trees but when you look beyond it, you could see the tree cemetery.
When we reached Lake Quinault, a glacier fed lake, the setting turned beautiful. The lake area was filled with some old growth tress which are very large. The lake is not damned and one of the few remaining true lakes in Washington. The lake can rise a matter of feet during the winter season based on heavy rainfall and the melting of the snow. It’s a quiet setting and in the morning and evening you can hear elk caliing their eery high pitched sound. The Lodge is a classic National Forest Lodge with all wooden interior and huge fireplace surrounded by leather chairs you can sink into. It was a pity that the lodge was sold out and we had to camp in the damp campground.