Day 16

Rockport, WA to Washington Pass, WA
$6 :: groceries
73.42 mi :: 10.3 hr :: 40.2 mph :: 7.1 mph :: 1054 mi

Fabulous day! Broke 1,000 miles! Made my first pass, 5,445 ft! Broke my speed record at 40.2 mph! Had fun!

Just couldn’t get up for the early start. Got off at 8 after BF w/ mosquitoes.

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Got a few vistas of Mt. Baker early on, like an ice cube jutting into the sky.

Stopped at Marblemount for extra water & food as the map warned the next services were distant, and I had no idea if I’d make it over the pass in one day.

Didn’t start climbing for a while, then the grade was easy & shoulder good. The day got hot. After one major climb, I started getting dismayed as it went downhill again. Another climb then an even longer downhill. I thought I must be back at sea level, then it started going down even more.

By lunchtime I reached the bottom of the hill, worried that I now still had at least 3,500 ft to climb in the heat of the day, and not enough water if I needed to stop short and camp.

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The climb wasn’t bad, the scenery great, but it was tough to stay hydrated. I quit drinking when I was down to 2 liters – the min. to get me through the night if need be. I could hardly resist the siren song of the many streams, “come drink our fresh, cold water.”

I was really parched when I crossed the Pacific Crest Trail. Neat to tthink I’ll return to that spot via the trail someday. I finally lost control and drank two bottles of snowmelt. (The PCT was snowbound.) GOD it was good.

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Topping the pass I took some photos & headed down. Quickly topped my speed record, then 36-39 the rest of the way. My faith in my bike took a great leap today.

Could have done lots o’ miles fast on the backside, but wanted to camp high up where I feel so good. Stopped at a USFS camp – free for bikes! Got a site by a stream & just watched the peaks as their sunlit tops of red and gold were doused.

Many bikes on the road today, but none touring and no recumbents. I feel like a pioneer.

Played hide ‘n seek w/ a deer in camp. Life is grand.

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