97km of 281km so far
Last night was tough. The spectacular storm with thunders and lightnings brought up on me buckets of water. The heavy rain maybe lasted half an hour, but it kept raining through out the whole night. The tarp I put under the tent worked against me, as water went in between it and the tent, so by the morning most of the tent was soaked in water, but luckily none of my stuff in it. It was still raining in the morning, so I didn’t get out until I had everything packed apart from the tent it self. I put all my rain gear on and started packing the tent which had double in weight. The word misery kept coming to my mind and I was regretting I didn’t continue south to look for a cheap motel or something, rather than cycling back 10km for that experience. But I guess I had internets access in my wet tent, so I shouldn’t really be complaining.
As I was heading back to the town of Burlington, a driver yaled the A word at me. I didn’t fully understand what he said from within his monster truck, but I asume it had to do with both of us sharing the same road. He was the second driver that yaled at me in the city. Considering that 98% of the drivers in the countryside are extremely patient with my slow pace and give me at least a couple of meters space while passing me, really put me into some thinking. And I wonder, is it that driving in a city can turn you in to an angry douche? Or is it that douchebags never go to the countryside?
Anyway, enough with moaning, as by that time the rain had stopped and minutes later I stopped to buy some fruits, have some breakfast and interact with normal people again.
Once on the country side road again, things were much nicer, with nice rolling hills within farmland, forest and several lakes. It’s a big shame that the 3 lakes I went by, (Big Lake, McMurray and Bryant) were surounded by private land and houses. I didn’t manage to find any public spots, so I could go closer and have a short stop for a snack.
Cycling via the small village of Bryant I came across the ultimate dream of any cyclists. An old rail track converted to a cycling and hiking path, running independent of the main highway. It’s called Centennial, it’s running from Bryant to Snohomish and it keeps getting expanded. I’ve seen this before in Italy and I wish there was one that could take me all the way to LA. Apart from not having to deal and worry about the passing cars, you are closer to the environment, but most of all a rail track quarantees no more than 3% gradient. Happy days indeed!
I got to Arlington in no time, which is a rather beautiful little town. It was time for lunch, so I went by the main road to look for a restaurant with wifi to feed both my hungers. Only one place had it and that was a cool bar/music venue, with a vegetarian only menu. Looking through my options the Greek pita stand out and I have to say it was one of the best souvlaki type food I had in North America, despite the fact that there was no meat. I filled my stomach, let my shocks dry, charged my laptop’s battery and after a short chat with some local guys that would play at the venue that night I headed off back to the Centennial Trail again. On the way I stopped by lake Cassidy, which is a protected habitat, meaning no private houses around it and open to public.
By that time I started wondering where I will spend the night. In the morning after all this rain, I was willing to pay extra money to get in a motel or something cheap. But by that time the warm sun was out. I decided to sacrifice 20-30 minute to get the tent out and let it dry so I have it as a second option. Very wise thinking, even though I should have done it while eating lunch to save time.
My map didn’t indicate anything near by, so I started asking around. Some locals suggested to just hide and camp, or ask the ranger to pitch my tent in the middle of the pakp. After a lot of brainstormig and some phonecalls, they ensured me that there is a campsite by Flowing Lake 10km to the west. They warned me about the steep hills before getting there and indeed the climb was hard.
I got to the park just before it got dark. It’s a state park and one of those that you pick your spot and then you throw some money in a box, assuming you have the exact amount. The park was dominated by families with screaming kids on caffeine. Kids go to sleep early though, but the loud party music just started on the other side of the lake. I think that probable answers my questions about douche-bags by nature.