July 9 and 10

Sunday morning I woke up in a comfortable bed, it was nice.  We had a lazy day where we did not do much of anything.  I got a tour of Kelly’s and Dirk’s mushroom grow house and learned a bit about growing exotic mushrooms.  They are members of a co op that sells mushrooms to restaurants and such.  They are just getting started and experimenting with different types of mushrooms to see what grows best in their environment.

After I finished updating my blog we went out for a little tour of Shelton and then lunch.  Some of the places they had in mind were not open on Sunday but we found a nice tavern overlooking a small lake.

I spent one more night in a bed and then Monday packed up my gear and headed to Mount Rainier National Park.  The ride there was only about 125 miles and I arrived in the early afternoon.  I rode up to Sunrise visitors center which is above 6000 feet and gives a nice view of the Emmons glacier on the east side of the mountain.  The view is pretty amazing and I waited around a while for some clouds to clear and give a complete view of the peak.  The road up to Sunrise is very fun and I did not have to deal with too many cars.  Again the speed limits are posted to ensure I do not abide by them.  On the way down I had a clear road and in one section that is really twisty I had great fun.  I neglected to turn on my GoPro to record my awesome riding skills.  Trust me, I was braking late into the corners and hitting the apex just right to set up for the next corner.  There were several stretches of left-right-left-right-… that were great fun to traverse from one lean to the next.

I found a nice spot in the White River campground and after setting my tent went for a hike.  The forest here is lush and dense and very inviting to tramp through.  I followed the trail that leads to Glacier basin for a mile or so and then made my way down to the river and worked back along its path.  It is a very steep river and really moves fast.  The water is off of the glacier and ice cold.  There are a number of small side streams that feed into it from the adjacent mountain.  All of the rocks are fine-grained and I believe igneous being that the mountain is a volcano.  The forest coming down to the edge was very nice and I found a number of elk tracks but did not see anything larger than a squirrel.

Tomorrow I will ride through the rest of the park and then down the east side of Mount St. Helens and into Oregon.  I do not have any set destination for tomorrow night.  I can sense now that I am a lot closer to home than I have been for quite a while but I don’t need to rush there except that I miss Sandy so that is luring me there.

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