People who live in the Pacific North West are hardy people who have learned to live with the high average rain fall. The rain doesn’t stop people from mowing their lawns, walking their dogs, or driving in downpours which would be considered a rain storm in California. They have seemed to master living in the rain. A local cyclist who passed us on the road told us that it had rained everyday since October and they have received 88″ of rain this year. We Californians are used to sunshine and I must admit that after three days of rain my spirits and mood turn glum and sad.
There are two things that we noticed in Washington. One, drivers did not seem as cycle friendly as we expected. The log truck drivers were curteous and gave us a lot of room. Although private cars/trucks, especially those pulling rvs, tended to give us little room. This I’m guessing is not unique to Washington state. The second, we were chased by more dogs in Washington than any other state we’ve ridden through including Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Oregon, California, and New Mexico.
It’s a scary experience being chased by a dog. A quick sprint can end the chase but on a bike fully loaded with packs it’s not always possible to sprint and get away. A common practice of cyclists is to spray a dog with a water bottle aiming for the nose. It’s hard to keep calm and aim for the nose when a dog is barking running after or towards you.
We were in the worst possible situation when two dogs gave chase. Erika had crested a hill and I was trailing about 200 yards away. We were not in a position to sprint from the dogs and the larger dog growled and barked at us. We yelled at the dogs “no” over and over again. The owner stayed on the porch yelling for the dogs but the large dog lunged at Erika biting her pants and bruising her leg with its teeth. The dogs lost interest and we were able to get away.
Tonight we are staying at a Warm Showers. The host Art is retired and has been riding for decades and has been a Warm Showers host for 20 years. Art hosts many PCR riders and he’s familiar with the route and he guided us off route the quickest and safest way to his house. We arrived and Art opened the garage door to roll our bikes in. Downstairs he has a room and a private bathroom setup for Warm Showers riders. The kitchen is the next room over and was available for us to use. We ate dinner with Art and discussed riding and trips and I added more rides to our bucket list from the conversation. Art was an ideal WS host and we are grateful for his passion and contribution to the tour cycling community.