Day 7 – Destination: Quinalt, WA

Elliott’s Post

Tad and I tried our best to get an early start, and Jeff was taking a different route so we planned to meet him at the campground at Lake Quinalt.

We rode up by Mt. St. Helens – about an hour from Tad’s house. You can see it in the pictures, but the clouds around the top prevented us from getting a good view of the blown off crown. We took some really fun twisty roads up to some lava tubes called Ape Caves. These tubes were found in the 1960s and you can walk the length of them and then pop out the other end. It was quite an experience as you descend about 20 feet and the temperature drops into the 40s. It took about 2 hours to do the full loop.

We then took some other back roads which turned out to be in pretty bad shape and Tad had a rough time on his bike but the GS was soaking up the bumps without much problem. We pretty much had to motor from there all the way to Lake Quinalt. It took forever – probably close to 400 miles for the day – but we made it and Geoff had a sweet campground right on the lake (see the pics). We’re getting up early as we have to ride another 100+ miles to catch the ferry at 12:45 to Vancouver Island.

Geoff’s Post

Alone time

So we decided to split up today- I wanted to hit the coast (and sleep in) and Tad and El wanted to see Mt. St. Helens (which I will see when I come back through in a few months).

The coast started quite nice but quickly got overcast and then cloudy. I totally love this part of WA- the greens are everywhere and the coast is rugged and beautiful at the same time.

One of my highlights from yesterday (leaving Bend) was the guy who was riding the home made Caterpillar diesel motorcycle. 15HP diesel and had a clutch from a Polaris snow mobile… awesome! Thanks so much to Shana for putting us up and taking us out on Friday night in Bend! The bike races downtown were awesome.

Also got to go past one of my favorite place names. Remember at Kalamath Falls, the marketing department too some liberties in naming the town as there are in fact no falls at all? Well the marketing department apparently all took a vacation when it came to naming the bay of Dismal Nitch! Clearly they weren’t looking for developers to move in! Nice stop for a break though.

Anyway, got to Lake Quinalt in Olympic National Park about 7 and set up camp and had a vey nice solo dinner in front of the lake on the camp stove and had the fire going and a glass of wine by the time that the other two showed up at 9:30 and absolutely exhausted! They had a heck of a ride, I’m sure Elliot will write about it more.

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